Tips for Helping a Friend Avoid Relapse

avoid relapseWhen addiction is involved, relapse is a common word heard among recovering addicts. In fact, relapse is often a part of the recovery process, and relapsing doesn’t mean they failed. Relapse is another part of the recovery process for about half of all recovering addicts in treatment. Remember that your friend can still get clean and stay clean, even if there are bumps and setbacks along the way.

However, there are some ways that you can try and help the addict avoid relapse altogether. The most important thing to remember when helping the addict is that their recovery is not your responsibility. The addict is in control of whether or not they ultimately heal, relapse or not, and the main thing you can contribute to the addict is your support throughout the process.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

One of the biggest contributors to the success rate of addicts is treatment. Whether it’s type of treatment, duration, or treatment facility, the way that you try to heal the addict greatly affects the effectiveness. The best way to help your addict is to try and make sure they continue their treatment long term. Follow up therapy reinforces the treatment and can help the addict stay clean permanently.

There are many types of treatments to choose from, but you have to make sure that the addict is going to be comfortable and be able to heal. Although Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a well-known option, you need to think about what works for the addict. AA is effective in about 20% of people, and it is not for everyone. You both should decide upon the best approach for treatment, and you shouldn’t push the treatment you alone think would work. You have to ask the addict what they feel would be most effective. Your job is to support and keep up dialogue about the progress they’re making. In some cases, it can be beneficial to attend meetings or support groups with the addict to show you stand behind them on the healing process.

Preventing Relapse

Relapse-prevention training can be extremely helpful. Triggers and lifestyle changes are stressful experiences that the addict is going to encounter, and when the time comes, they need to know how to avoid relapse. Relapse-prevention training can teach the addict how to handle stress healthily, in addition to spotting triggers. Triggers can be difficult to identify, as they can be people, places, things associated with the drug, or strong emotions and stress. The best way to deal with triggers is to identify them ahead of time and talk through them. You can help the addict figure out ways to avoid the triggers and find new activities, jobs, or locations in order to help the addict continue the healing process and avoid relapse. Above all, don’t drink or use drugs around the addict, especially in the early months.

Remember if relapse occurs, don’t be extremely frustrated or angry. Relapse doesn’t mean defeat. If relapse does occur, seek help as soon as possible and deal with the relapse, examining the recovery plan and treatment to make sure it is still effective.

The recovery and healing process can be confusing and frustrating.

Hired Power can help you through the process of seeking treatment, conducting interventions, and more. No one has to go through addiction alone, and you deserve the best help you can get.

Call 800-910-9299 for more information on how you can begin recovery today.