3 Strategies For Families Helping A Loved One In Recovery
Start by learning about mental health disorders, addiction, and integrated treatment. Integrated treatment addresses all co-occurring disorders at the same time.
Help your loved one follow all treatment recommendations. Your loved one may need support following through with multiple forms of treatment, like individual and/or group therapy, vocational rehabilitation, pharmacological treatment, and more. Following treatment recommendations may be difficult for some people with co-occurring disorders. You can support your loved one by:
Helping your loved one to remember to take all prescribed medications,
Listen to their concerns about medications and help address those concerns,
Making sure appointments with providers are kept.
Encourage total abstinence from alcohol and other drugs. People with a mental disorder are highly sensitive to the effects of drugs and alcohol. Even small amounts can make symptoms worse and trigger relapses. Staying away from all alcohol and drug use is the safest choice for people with co-occurring disorders. You can support abstinence by:
Expressing the believe that abstinence is the key to recovery,
Staying away from social situations where substance use is common and avoiding substance use with the family,
Helping your loved one find and participate in sober recreational activities.
Reduce family friction and provide social support. Conflict with family members can be unpleasant for everyone. For people with co-occurring disorders, stress within the family can contribute to relapses of the mental health disorder, the substance abuse disorder, or both. You can reduce tension and be supportive by:
Being flexible and resourceful in the face of problems,
Letting one another know how much you care,
Spending positive time together that is rewarding for everyone.