Restorations Therapy Blog

How Do I Help a Loved One Who’s Relapsed?

by on Monday, October 18th, 2021

Closeup of couple holding hands

When a loved one journeys through recovery, it may like all of their hard work has finally paid off. You may see your loved one with this new sense of confidence and euphoria and feel as though there will only be positive progress following their sobriety. 

However, relapse is always a possibility when recovering from addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that more than 85% of people with substance use disorders who cease using drugs or alcohol end up using again within a year. 

It may be hurtful seeing or hearing about a loved one’s relapse.  Becoming aware of what you can do to help your loved one during that time can prepare you for if or when it occurs. 

Understand Addiction and Relapse

Learning more about how addiction affects people and their struggles being newly sober will show your desire to better understand those with substance use disorder. 

Researching the specific drug may help you better understand why your loved one used it and the cravings and withdrawal symptoms they are struggling with now. You can also become better acquainted with relapse and its different stages. 

Talk With Your Loved One 

It is essential to allow your loved ones a space where they can talk openly about their struggles with addiction. Knowing why a person may relapse can help you ask questions about their mental state and what stressors and triggers they could be experiencing. 

Remember to address your concerns without judgment and with patience. They will most likely already feel ashamed and as if they failed at recovery. Offering the perspective that their relapse was a learning experience can help them remain in a progressive mindset. 

Help Find Solutions

You are there for your loved ones, and you want to remind them of that. Try to avoid blaming them for hurting your feelings. Instead, share with them how their actions caused you to worry about their wellbeing. 

Relapse may be a sign of needing further treatment. You can explore treatment options with your loved one, and have a conversation about the areas they need help in. Many people who suffer from substance use disorders have trouble identifying healthy coping mechanisms. 

Remember to Take Care of Yourself

Sometimes, you may feel that your loved one’s relapse reflects on your own efforts. In these times, it is essential to remember that you are an individual with your own needs and struggles. 

If you are not taking care of yourself, it will be tough to be there for your loved ones if they relapse. Journaling, practicing self-care, and asserting boundaries are all ways to address your own mental wellbeing. 

You can also seek help from family and friends if you feel as though you are carrying too much burden. 

Because of the refreshing feeling following sobriety, relapse may be something you don’t even want to consider. However, relapse is common amongst people recovering from substance use disorder. Learning how you can approach a loved one who relapsed with understanding, communication, and encouragement can help you plan how to address relapse if the time comes. If you or a loved one has thoughts of relapse, it is essential to receive the help and treatment needed. Restorations Therapy is here to help you through the more difficult times in life. Call us today at (720) 446-6586.

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