Ways to Support a Loved One in The Harmony Home Sober Living Program
1. Encourage Them.
You can provide encouragement in so many ways. Whether you write a letter, send an uplifting text message every week, or simply tell him how proud you are of his progress, verbal and written encouragement can help your loved one stay motivated and committed. Even just showing interest in his program and asking questions about what he's learning, how he's doing, and how you can help are all things you can do on a daily basis to provide encouragement.
2. Be There to Listen
In early recovery, unexpected life events can cause additional stress that may make a person crave the relief drugs and alcohol used to provide. One of the best things you can do to support your loved one is to make yourself available to listen. If you know your loved one is going through a difficult time, meet with him at your house or a coffee shop and talk to him about the problem. Remind him of coping strategies he can use to manage the stress and help him solve problems when appropriate. This might include giving him a needed ride if his car breaks down or helping him fill out a job application. Making time to listen and talk to your loved one will help him process stressful experiences in a healthy way and also encourage sustained sobriety.
3: Remove Substances from Your Home
If you know your loved one has made a commitment to not drink alcohol, one of the easiest ways to provide support is by simply removing all alcoholic beverages from your home. The same is true for someone recovering from drug abuse, Moving prescription drugs out of the medicine cabinet and into a safe, locked location is an effective way to remove temptation and also prepare for his return back home.
Additionally, while your loved one will be busy working his program, volunteering, work, or school while enrolled in a sober living program, he will likely still have some free time to spend with you as well. Make an effort to spend that time in a social situation that does not involve substance use. Instead of going to a bar, go bowling. Or instead of heading to a tailgating party where beer is abundantly present, go for a bike ride or see a movie at the theater. In doing this, you are not only helping him avoid temptation, but you're also showing him that there are plenty of ways to have sober fun.
4. Introduce Them to Sober Friends
Building a sober peer network will help your loved one maintain their abstinence and build meaningful, healthy relationships with others who support his sobriety goals. When your loved one is out of rehab, he will be laced with a choice: hang out with old substance-using friends or make new ones. lt's easy to fall back into old habits with old friends and making new friends isn't always easy, especially while making such a huge transition. You can help a loved one build a healthy, sober peer network by introducing him to great sober people that you know and trust and discussing ways he can potentially meet new sober friends in their area.
5. Attend Al-Anon and Possibly Family Therapy
It is recommended that you attend Al-Anon meetings. In some instances, it may be appropriate and encouraged that you attend family therapy with your loved one. If so, you should make every effort to attend as often as required. Just as addiction is a family disease, recovery is a family endeavor as well. Effective addiction treatment should involve the family unit and by attending, you are not only making an outward commitment to support your loved one, but you are also making an internal commitment to adjust and change some of your own unhealthy behaviors and thoughts. During these meetings you will gain additional understanding of your loved one's addiction and learn about different tools and strategies for effective communication, healing, and healthy relationship-building practices.
6. Familiarize Yourself with Relapse Risks and Prevention
Relapse looks different for everyone, but the more familiar you are with your loved one's relapse risks, warning signs, and prevention plan, the more equipped you'll be to help them recover from it. Take the time to sit down with your loved one and discuss red flags and warning signs of relapse. Determine what you will do and how you will do it if you begin to recognize a relapse. You may also want to discuss your loved one's relapse prevention plan with his treatment provider to gain additional resources and advice on how to recognize and handle a relapse situation.
There are plenty of other ways you can support a loved one in sober living. These are just a few ways you can get started today. If you are interested in learning more about family involvement within sober living programs at the Harmony Home, please contact us.