How To Help Your Family Member In Recovery

How To Help Your Family Member In Recovery

Published on March 19th, 2020

A person that has lived with an addict that is actively using drugs knows that their behavior affects the entire family.

And, when a loved one leaves the treatment facility and rejoins the family, their addiction is not completely cured.

It’s also not in remission. The cured addict still has chances of relapsing. And, they have to deal with triggers every day.

Recovery, therefore, is a lifelong journey. It’s not a specific destination that a person reaches and relaxes.

Anybody that has battled drug addiction or gone into rehabilitation has to be concerned about relapse throughout their life.

Of course, they always can get help by calling at national drug abuse hotline numbers at AddictionResource but it is very important to be independent and have a support from your family.

Who Is A Recovering Addict?


A person is called a recovering addict if they have gone through an alcohol and drug treatment program and now displays these characteristics:

  • They understand how their problems differ from those of other people
  • They have established personal boundaries
  • They deal with their problems without resorting to alcohol or drugs
  • They take time to allow their bodies and brains to recover emotionally and physically when fatigued
  • They have a person they are honest with

Individuals that have gone through free substance abuse programs are in a lifelong recovery journey.

Welcoming A Recovering Addict

Coming home from a treatment facility requires every family member to make some adjustments. It’s wrong to pretend that nothing significant happened when a recovering addict comes home.

Family members and the recovering addicts will have varying emotions when they meet. Research indicates that substance abuse affects families in different ways.

Therefore, family members will react differently towards the recovering addict once they get home.

Although each family member wants things to go well, they may feel awkward, nervous, or happy. The recovering addict may have regrets and guilt to deal with.

But, the homecoming of an addict can be made better by doing the following:

  • Creating a space that the recovering addict can call theirs- This may not be a major issue when the recovering addict is a partner or spouse. However, you should create a space that the recovering addict can call theirs if they are a brother, daughter, sister, son, or any other family member.
  • Set boundaries- Discuss your expectations once the recovering addict arrives home. You can write down what is expected of every family member and the consequences of failing to follow through.

It’s also crucial to make the home environment welcoming. Make sure that the person that is leaving the free drug rehabilitation center feels welcomed back home.

Additionally, include the recovering addict in the social plans of the family. Be supportive and encourage them to try new hobbies.

Helping A Family Member In Recovery

Helping A Family Member In Recovery

Once a person has arrived home from a free drug rehab center, family members should do certain things to help them with recovery. Major among them include:

  • Allowing the recovering addict to talk about the addiction problem– This can include discussing their experiences at the rehab and the things they have learned. If a loved one joins a twelve-step program, they might want to share certain things with you as part of the program. Therefore, be ready to listen and talk to them.
  • Avoid enabling– Whenever the recovering addict seeks a favor from you, ensure that it’s not something that can lead to their relapse. Make sure that the recovering addict acts responsibly.
  • Seek help– Don’t focus on helping a loved one that has left a free drug addiction treatment center and forget to take care of yourself. You should also be in good condition to help the recovering addict.

It’s always good to be a good example for the recovering addict. Therefore, avoid anything that may act as a trigger. The fact that a recovering addict has received free addiction help doesn’t transform their personality.

A recovering addict is a human with bad and good days. The best thing family members can do is support them through recovery without doing things that may act as triggers and prompt their relapse.