Commonly, when a loved one goes to treatment for a compulsive disorder or substance use disorder, they discover they have a co-occurring mental health disorder as well. Prescription medications can be an important tool for recovery.

Do Set Healthy Reminders For Medications

There are amazing medication management apps which can be shared between you, your loved one, their therapist, and even a 12 step sponsor if there is one in their lives. Most phones have reminders apps, alarms and alerts. Empower your loved one to find a system which works for them to be reminded. If you sense they’re missing too many days, suggest trying a different routine.

Don’t Be A Watchdog For Medications

Supporting a loved one in recovery isn’t about micro-managing or caretaking. It is about enforcing their autonomy to make decisions, develop healthy behaviors, and create change in their own lives. By beating the clock and constantly asking if they took their medication you’re expressing your doubt in their abilities instead of showing your faith in their abilities.

Do Support Changes In Medication

Medications have side effects. Listen to any commercial for a new medication and you’ll hear the long list of potential side effects that pharmaceutical companies are required by law to publish. Finding the right combination of medications and dosages can take time. You can ask how they are feeling and if they feel a medication is right for them. Remind them they can always call their psychiatrist or prescribing doctor to make an appointment to discuss changes.

Don’t Blame Medication For Changes

Medications have side effects. This you already know. If those side effects come through and they are less than pleasant, it isn’t your loved one, it’s the meds. You want to support their practices of mindfulness and awareness in noticing changes in their own behavior. Don’t make accusations about behaviors which are difficult to handle, because it might not be the medication. Medication isn’t a cure, it is an effective tool for managing symptoms.

Do Express Concerns

If the change in behavior is so extreme that you are concerned, then you can voice that concern and take proactive efforts on behalf of your loved one. Find a healthy way to communicate your concern about the side effects of the medication and the wellbeing of your loved one.

Don’t Create Ultimatums

“Take you medication or I’m not dealing with you!” “If you don’t switch your medication, you have to leave the house!” Such ultimatums are harmful and ineffective. Remember, medications are only one part of a recovery plan. Your job is to support your loved one as much as possible without enhancing feelings of isolation.


Hired Power offers after care monitoring and recovery planning so that you and your family can do what you do best- be a family. It’s time for you to just be present for your loved one. Let us handle the details. For more information on our recovery services empowering families to bring recovery home, call 1-800-910-9299 today.

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