Prayers For Drug Addiction Recovery
Prayers for Drug Addiction Recovery and Recovering Alcoholics
I’m glad you found your way to this page. This means that you or someone you know needs help. The fact that you are here shows that you or someone you know needs to change. It’s time to take that first step toward recovery, whatever the addiction may be. Hopefully through prayer and help from organizations, family, and friends this vice will be overcome.
Prayers for Drug Addiction Recovery
God, I’m going through recovery, and it is a bumpy road, but I know I can get through it. I’m glad I can turn to you for strength and peace of mind.
I need you to reinforce me so I can continue to fend off this evil. I do not want to disappoint you or my family so I need to remain strong. Many others have gotten through this and I know I can as well.
Jesus, continue to walk with me on this difficult journey.
Prayer for Overcoming Addiction
I know that when things that aren’t important start affecting my life, I need to change. I turn to you today, God, because I need your guidance. I have fallen to this addiction and it needs to end.
I now realize that I have a problem and through you, my friends, and family I will resolve it. It began with innocent intentions. I just wanted an escape from how I was feeling, and now I’m paying the price. I need to finally stand up against my addiction.
Help fortify my will and help me stand steadfast against the temptations I will be facing.
Prayer for a Recovering Alcoholic
Lord Jesus, I would to thank you for giving me the strength and courage I need to recover from my addiction. I am extremely pleased by the progress I am making each day. I know that I’m on the right path. Thank you so much for enlightening my mind by showing me what I was doing to myself and loved ones.
I have been blinded all along not knowing that I’ve become heavily dependent on alcohol. I would to ask forgiveness for my weaknesses. I know I have failed you, but I am working very hard to not to return to that life. Thank you for showing how much you care for me amidst this difficult time in my life.
I can feel your presence telling me that I can make it through this uphill battle. It’s not an easy task to forget about something that has been part of my daily routine for years. Lord, thank you for giving me this opportunity to realize what I have become. There are some who aren’t given this chance.I know I cannot do this alone. I need you by my side through it all. I regret what I have done, because it has led to ruining relationships with family and friends. Lord, I pray that you will show me your compassion. I want to be completely free from this addiction.
I will not allow it to further influence my life in a negative way. All things are possible with you because you are my Redeemer.
Prayer for Alcoholics
Heavenly Father, I feel deeply saddened knowing what people go through who are alcoholics. It is a very challenging situation to be in, because it involves so many negative emotions. There are countless instances where good relationships can become destroyed by alcoholism.
A marriage can end very badly because of this addiction. Children of parents who are alcoholics do not grow up to have the proper upbringing that they deserve. Their vision is blinded and their minds get clouded which can lead to both mental and physical abuse.
Father, I put my whole faith in you in finding a solution to this dilemma. I pray that you’ll help these troubled souls overcome this cruel addiction. I believe that through you it is not too late for them to change for the better. There is always hope within you .
As a faithful believer, I trust that you’ll be able to help alcoholics win their battle against this addiction.
Prayer for a Heroin Addict
Merciful God, you have given me this life. I am very grateful for your generosity. Today, I come to you asking for forgiveness. I have a problem. Even though I am ashamed to admit it, I know that the first step to recovery is acceptance. I have been dependent on it for awhile now.
Heroin makes me feel good but at the expense of everyone who has ever cared for me. I have finally realized that what I’m doing is wrong. I also shouldn’t be abusing my body, because it is a special gift you have generously bestowed upon me. Please give me the fortitude and willpower I need to defeat this addiction.
It has greatly affected my relationships with the people I love the most. I know you will not let me face this alone. I do not want to disappoint your or my family ever again. Today, I am making a promise to you that I will never again fall to the shadows. I have decided to quit this vile addiction.I will take it one day at a time and find the strength I need in you. I trust that you’ll continue to work your mighty wonders in my life.
Addiction is a terribly challenging thing to deal with. It is one weakness that quite a few of us have. Please keep in mind that when I say, “addiction” I’m not just talking about drugs.
Addiction can take many different forms. Someone who gets home from work and watches TV until they go to bed everyday could definitely be considered to be addicted to television.
It can take many forms.
Hopefully with these prayers you or your loved ones can make some progress. I encourage all who have a problem with addiction to pray and seek professional help.
Remember that your friends and family are the most important parts of your life. Do not lose them over something that really doesn’t matter.
Here are a few resources that may help you or someone you know who is having a problem with addiction:
Alcoholics Anonymous – This is probably one of the largest organizations dedicated to those who suffer from alcoholism.
National Institute on Drug Abuse – A great site that offers plenty of resources regarding drug abuse and addiction.
The power of prayer in addiction recovery
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Struggling with a substance abuse addiction takes its toll not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually as well.
That’s why Christian drug and alcohol treatment centers strongly believe in treating the person as a whole; mind, body and spirit.
How does prayer work in recovery? The power of prayer in recovery builds hope and provides the motivation and strength to fight the good fight against addiction.
Finding or restoring a relationship with God during rehab provides a powerful Helper while on the journey to life-long recovery. Strengthening a relationship with God through group and personal Bible studies, and fellowship with others through prayer groups, provides an unexplainable sense of peace and boundless hope. In its essence, faith in recovery needs to be accompanied by actions.
“Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked. ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” -Matthew 20:32-34
The healing power of prayer is a proven fact that scientific and medical research equally support. There are documented studies that prayer has healed many serious diseases much to the puzzlement of medical practitioners. The power of prayer is a mighty God-given gift that can heal addiction too.
No one is without weakness; no one. How we react to that weakness, however, makes all the difference in the world. Turning to drugs or alcohol is the easy way out and not the reaction God desires.
God offers unlimited strength to those who turn to Him in prayer; releasing control and allowing Him to take charge of that weakness – that addiction – will extinguish its power and hold on an addict’s life.
There are many more benefits gained through genuine faith and prayer:
- You will never be alone in the battle
- Relief from fear and anxiety
- Balance of mind, body and spirit
- Experiencing pure joy which increases the effectiveness of treatment during rehab
- Inspiration to do the work necessary to achieve a new life free of addiction
- Greater mental focus
- Diminished stress levels
- Strength against addiction triggers
- Reduced rate of relapse
- An increase of dopamine levels in the brain generating the serenity once manufactured by drug use
- Absence of depression
- A 24/7 Helper to guide you to making the right choices while accepting what cannot be changed
How to Pray
“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:1-2
Don’t let your loved one suffer. 1-888-882-1456
Think of prayer as a conversation between you and God. Talk to Him as if you were talking with a friend. Prayer does not have to be a script; filled with ‘thee’ and ‘thou.’ God wants to hear from you – personally.
A good guideline is to:
- Start with some praise, tell Him how you care for Him and trust in Him alone
- Thank Him for the blessings in your life; big and small
- Ask Him for healing from your addiction and share the desires of your heart with Him
- Ask for forgiveness
- Ask for strength and protection against the evil powers of addiction
The 12-Step Recovery and Prayer
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr
A.A. and N.A. believe deeply in utilizing the power of prayer for recovery and healing. A countless number of addicts have achieved successful long-term recovery with the strength gained through praying to God.
Each of the twelve steps is complemented by a prayer which can be incorporated into personal prayer time. Reciting the Prayer of Serenity during A.A. meetings is customary and a good prayer to find strength on a daily basis during life-long recovery (what the Serenity Prayer means).
Believe in the Power of Prayer for Recovery
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” –John 10:10
Drugs and alcohol are not your friends. They are the enemy – the thief – that is intent on destroying lives and families. God promises unconditional love, protection from your enemies, a Helper to guide you and strength to carry you through. All you have to do is believe.
The Addiction Recovery Journey in 9 Steps
Everyone's addiction journey is different. The important thing is to never be afraid to ask for help.
The specifics of every person’s addiction journey are different, but for most people, the path to recovery follows a similar trajectory: a “bottom” followed by the decision to take action; the initial, often traumatic physical and mental adjustment to life without the substance; the gradual establishment of a “new normal”; and somewhere in there, work on the difficulties that led to addiction in the first place, helping them feel stronger than ever before.
Remember, everyone’s different—just be honest with yourself about how you’re doing, and use all the recovery tools you find helpful. Never be afraid to reach out for help.
#1. Admit You Have a Problem
For many people, this step follows a bad experience: maybe a terrible night out or losing your job or a relationship. Whatever your bad experience looks , remember that although being at the low point feels miserable, there’s nowhere to go but up.
It’s both a humbling and an empowering place to be. If you chose to read this, the idea that you might have a problem is probably percolating somewhere.
It’s okay if it takes you a while to get to this step; just keep reading all the information you can find about recovery and be honest with yourself.
It’s both a humbling and an empowering place to be.
#2. Find Support
For many people in recovery, this step made the difference between that final, successful attempt at sobriety and all the failed ones that came before.
Support doesn’t have to mean AA; it could be a friend, a relative, a doctor or an online support group. Most people find it essential to talk to someone about what’s been going on. It keeps you accountable and provides you with support when you need it.
You can always add to your sober community later, but it’s good to enlist some help right away.
Support doesn’t have to mean AA; it could be a friend, a relative, a doctor…
The first few days of sobriety can be very challenging physically: you might experience withdrawal symptoms, or perhaps have a terrible hangover or comedown from that last binge. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you might need medical supervision during your detox. When in doubt, ask for professional assessment.
Hang in there: it will pass.
#4. Early Sobriety + PAWS
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is a controversial topic: some people say it doesn’t exist. It’s the stage of withdrawal after the immediate physical sensations have passed, and it can take many forms; to name a few: irritation, panic, anxiety, trouble sleeping, depression, trouble concentrating.
It can also last a long time—as long as a couple of years in severe cases—though symptoms generally lessen significantly over time.
Whether or not you believe in PAWS, you’re sadly unly to transition straight into feeling great, and particularly in the early stages, you’ll probably need to lean on your sober community a lot.
PAWS can take many forms, including:
- Trouble sleeping.
- Trouble concentrating.
You’ll face hurdles your first weekend sober, and you’ll start to mourn your relationship with your drug of choice. It might feel as though you’re losing an old, loyal friend, but remember how dysfunctional the relationship was, and the hell you went through at the end. You’re not alone. Every recovering addict goes through this mourning phase and emerges into a happier place.
#5. Finding New Routines
At some point, the initial mourning and anger will pass, and you’ll realize that you’ve settled into some new routines.
Maybe it’s a 12-step meeting you always hit after work when you’re feeling vulnerable, or a bedtime routine or morning exercise now that the mornings are yours again. Replacing bad habits with new, healthy ones can be one of the most empowering parts of recovery.After years of having drugs or alcohol dictate your every decision, now you get to start making some of your own choices about how to spend your time.
Replacing bad habits with new, healthy ones can be one of the most empowering parts of recovery.
#6. Pink Clouds
In the first few months of sobriety, when you start to hit your stride, you might have days so good you feel you’re walking on air. Some people in recovery call this phenomenon “pink clouds.
” By this stage you’re sleeping better, saving noticeable amounts of money, you look better, you have time for hobbies again, and most importantly, you don’t have toxic chemicals streaming through your body, messing up your chemistry.
Sadly you’ll ly have non-pink cloud days, too, but all of those positive changes will stay the same.
By this stage you’re sleeping better, saving noticeable amounts of money, you look better, you have time for hobbies again…
#7. Put Your Life in Order
Every person struggling with addiction lets certain things slide. Maybe you’re behind on your taxes or up to your neck in debt, maybe you haven’t been to the dentist in 10 years, maybe you need to lose 30 pounds. A lot of people in AA want to jump straight to Step 8: “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
” There will definitely come a time when you have the strength to address these things, but try not to rush it. Getting sober is a big enough job – focus on that in the early stages. Overwhelming yourself with other tasks when you’re not ready is a good way to tip yourself into relapse.
You’ll probably feel ready to tackle some of these things when you have a few months sober.
Maybe you’re behind on your taxes or up to your neck in debt, maybe you haven’t been to the dentist in 10 years…
#8. Avoid Relapse
Once you’re settled in your new way of life and everything has become more manageable, it’s easy to grow complacent.
The disease of addiction requires constant vigilance, and one of the best ways to avoid relapse is to recognize “prelapse,” the conditions that generally, for you, make you feel unable to cope without a drink or a hit.
It might be stopping your exercise routine or your regular check-ins with your sober community, or maybe overwork or not asking for help. Whatever it is, relapse strikes when you’re feeling vulnerable, so successful recovery depends on you taking care of yourself and learning to recognize the conditions that prefigure a fall.
The disease of addiction requires constant vigilance, and one of the best ways to avoid relapse is to recognize “prelapse”…
#9. Enjoy the Rest of Your Life Sober!
At a certain stage you’ll realize that days, weeks or even months have passed since you last thought about drinking or drugs. When you’re not obsessed by one thing, life opens up and you can appreciate the full beauty of every day. It won’t be perfect, and bad things will happen because that’s life.
But if you stay present and use whatever tools work for you, you’ll soon find yourself navigating life’s challenges stone-cold sober, and that’s a pretty amazing feeling.
And now that you have the ambition to do more every day than struggle to the corner store for a can of Coke, you’ll start to reap the rewards in all areas of life.
Drug dependence … This phrase causes consternation among many people. But what really this definition means and who are drugged addicts?
The disease, known as drug addiction, in fact, is one of the most dangerous diseases of modern society. Such patients are characterized by a pathological propensity for different psychoactive drugs. And over time this irresistible abnormal attraction to drugs is becoming a major cause of serious problems, not only health but often the law …
Causes of drug addiction
Starting from the day when the drug addiction has gained a definition of illness, psychologists, physicians, biologists try to find the answer to the question: “Why do some people have so quickly become used to psychoactive substances?” Today it is possible to identify some the most popular causes of drug addiction.
First of all, people with a peculiar sense of dissatisfaction with their lives are the most prone to diseases development.
Then they begin to seek solace with different chemicals that allow at least temporarily escape into a world of illusion, forget about the unpleasant realities, to get relaxed … A human can be pushed to drugs because of the old emotionally trauma, received in childhood, and also a stress in adulthood can also serve as a cause.Drugs can push as the old emotional trauma received in childhood, and can serve as a cause of stress in adulthood. But the reason is always the same – people feel uncomfortable in the environment, so starts looking for comfortable circumstances for themselves through drug intoxication.
Secondly, a family, its traditions, upbringing plays an important role in the development of drug addiction.
The family where the child does not feel the love, understanding often becomes a reason that the teenager begins to look for so-called parental love substitutes as psychotropic substances.
Twice as many children of drug addicts come from families where one or two parents are drugged addicts, rather than from families with normal maternal education.
What kinds of drug addiction do you know?
Specialists divide all drug addicts into two kinds. The first suffer from the psychological addiction, the second – the physical.
Drugs psychological dependence – is a disease when a person suffering from it is constantly or occasionally tends to feel pleasant sensations. Also, patients with psychological dependence on the drug wish using chemicals to remove emotional stress or depression.
This kind of dependence can develop during some period of time, but there are not rare the cases when the disease develops after the first adoption of psychotropic drugs. But the reason of dependence is always the same – the desire to get rid of an unpleasant emotional state. This desire can be dictated by two factors, and depending on that there is mental and compulsive craving for drugs.
There are always observed thoughts about drugs at mental craving. Often, the patient has a depressed mood and dissatisfaction with his life, when there are no drugs. But everything is changed dramatically with the appearance of the next dose.
But a patient with characteristic compulsive craving for psychotropic substances lives a state of insuperable desire: he unwillingly can’t stop thinking about drugs, and he is under a full and complete control of this idea. Therefore, the model of such patient’s behavior is also determined by his uncontrollable desire to take drugs.
Patients with physical dependence on the drug can also be defined: after a long time the consumption of psychoactive substances the whole human body is rebuilt to a new work, and in the absence of the drug there is the so-called withdrawal (abstinence syndrome). This period of drug addict’s life is accompanied with the different psychosomatic pathologies. Relief begins only after the replenishment an amount of drug substance in a sick body.
Physical dependence is caused by the regular consumption of many kinds of drugs. In each case, the rebound syndrome will proceed with a different clinical picture. And also do not forget about the existence of so-called tolerance to various drugs.This means that over time, the body stops reacting adequately to the taken dose of psychoactive substances that forces the addict to increase the dose of the drug.
The size of the dose is often necessary to be increased during each taking off the next dose.
Which drugs causes the dependence?
- lydol (meliridin);
- substances from cannabis (hashish, hash oil);
- ephedrine (amfepramone) and methamphetamine;
- ecstasy, fentanyl;
- 4 metilaminoreks.
How to recognize a drug, addict?
People, having a long-term experience of drug consumption, undoubtedly almost always stand out sharply against the common mass of humanity. But it is not so easy to recognize a sprung, especially if you take into account only circumstantial “evidence.” However, it is worth remembering a few major “signs”, by which drug addict can be identified.
Signs of drug addicts:
- his has almost always detached, glassy stare;
- pupils – are very wide or narrowed, despite the lighting in the room or on the street;
- clothing – in any weather long sleeves are worn;
- appearance – is untidy (dark damaged teeth, hands with edemas, the hair is dry);
- posture – is stooping;
- speech – is slurred and slow;
- movement – are clumsy, slow;
- emotional state – constant irritability, rudeness;
- needle track marks (bluish-red veins on the flattening but piercings can be anywhere, even in the skin under the hair).
How to identify drug addiction among teenagers?
No doubt that close people, living with the patient under one roof, may determine the presence of drug dependence. And teenagers’ parents must be especially observant. The following changes in child’s behavior should put on the alert parents:
- academic performance in school has fallen sharply;
- the child lost interest in things that have recently been his hobby;
- there is a secrecy in behavior, particularly in communication within the family, with parents without the slightest grounds;
- the desire to leave the house at a time when early usually spent those hours with loved ones;
- insomnia, which had never happened before;
- behavior, resembling alcohol intoxication, without a perceptible odor of alcohol;
- the teenager began to demand more pocket money;
- the teenage broke out new suspicious friends, with whom he spends most of the time;
- there are often inadequate mood swings;
- there are needle track marks on hands.
Treatment for drug dependence
To lost heart and let things take their course or try solving the problem by yourself – are the two worst scenarios after the family learned about the addiction of a loved one. Drug addiction – this is a disease when every day worth its weight in gold.
There is no time to lose if you want to save a loved one. Only qualified doctors and psychologists can solve the problem of addiction to psychotropic substances. Also, beginning the fight for a healthy life of a loved one, you should remember that this is a long and difficult process.
But it is more than real to cure the patient.
What the effectiveness of the treatment depends on?
The process of treating for addiction to psychotropic substances takes place in the drug treatment clinics. It is a whole range of steps to eliminate the dependence, first of all – the physical.
And only after the neutralization of withdrawal symptoms and cleansing the body from toxic substances you can proceed to the next step – in fact, the drug treatment.
At this stage, the main role is given to the removal of mental addictions.
Four stages on the way to a new life
Experts determine four stages of treatment of drug addiction.
At this stage, doctors are working to remove the abstinence syndrome in the patient. The steps of intoxication removal are provided for the normalization of the body, the correction of mental disorders is used.
After a number of performed procedures, the patient begins to sleep well. A resuming of proper metabolism is beginning, and there is provided a correction of behavior disorders.
Only the third stage of treatment will allow determining the main syndrome of mental addiction to narcotic drugs, which will give the patient opportunity to continue the necessary therapeutic rehabilitation. Psychologists define craving symptoms for drug substances and dynamics of its development.
It is a stage when a patient is coming face to face with the desire to repeat the taking of narcotics. That means that now the relapse is possible. In order to avoid such development of treatment process, the patient is prescribed an anti-relapse treatment.
Three conditions for full recovery
Before the beginning of a long and complex process of treatment, many are faced with the main question: “Can I get rid of the disease forever? Or the ghost of drugs will scare the former drug addict and his family all through his life? “.
The answer to this question lies in the patient. And to be exact, it depends from his strength of will. Some people think that there are no former drug addicts. But it would not be amiss to admit: everybody has a chance to become a “former”.
It is necessary to fulfill only three conditions.
First of all, the patient must accept the fact that he is a drug addict, whose life is the result of yesterday’s irresponsibility, immorality, not wanting to lead a normal life. So, it is necessary to understand and realize the need for professional help.
Secondly. A sincere desire knows how to make miracles. The patient must really sincerely want to get rid of the pathological dependence. Only this step will allow making the next one – to understand that you want to live a long and happy life among the people who love you. Only a strong awareness of his own problems will help the addict to overcome it.
The next the third step is the most important. Even now, when all the clinics, drug specialists, therapists, and psychologists are in the past, you’re still a drug addict. Is It cruel? Maybe. But only this understanding and a constant reminder of this truth will allow the dependent to stand in moments of temptation, it will stop him at the moment when he wants to take the drug again.
It is not easy to come back to real life from the world of illusions. There, under a drugged daze, the dependent person pictured his own world, his own system, his own values, while continually destroying the reality.
Yes, real life is full of temptations and problems, real life – it’s a daily challenge, real life – for the strong people. But the force necessary for life is in each of us. It will be enough of it to solve any problem, to get any situation. Without drugs. Without escaping from yourself.
Without the destruction of your real world and the world of people who love you.
Living With a Recovering Drug Addict or Alcoholic
By understanding what is involved in living with a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, you can be better prepared to assist with recovery and offer support to decrease the chance of relapse.
If you’ve lived with a drug addict or alcoholic, you know that addiction doesn’t just affect the addict – it affects friends and family as well. The same goes for recovery. Because recovery is a lifelong process, your loved one won’t be “cured” once he or she comes back from treatment.
You play an important role in supporting the life changes required for long-term recovery. Continue reading for some tips to living with a recovering alcoholic or drug addict.
Importance of the Family in Recovery
Alcohol abuse and substance abuse not only affects the individual with the problem but also the entire family. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that an important part of a customized substance abuse treatment regimen is to address all of the person’s needs—not just their drug use.1
- The provision of mental health and medical services.
- The development of recovery support systems that are family-based.
Such systems can be critical to success in achieving and continuing a sober lifestyle.
Tips for Living With a Recovering Addict
Here are 5 ways family members can support their loved one in drug or alcohol recovery. They include common problems family members encounter while living with a recovering addict and what actions you can take to address them.
Understand Extended Problems
The consequences of an addiction can affect your family for a long time.
Even though your family member may have successfully completed treatment, the consequences of addiction could continue to affect the rest of the family for a long time.
Typical Challenges After Rehab
As a result of the addiction, you may face ongoing hardships, such as:
- Financial difficulties.
- Health problems.
- Relationship issues.
How to Address These Challenges
You can take some steps to help alleviate some of the stress of different hardships.
- Meet with a financial advisor. They can help you your financial needs, as well as help you plan your short-term and long-term needs.
If necessary, you can also take out a loan until you feel that your finances are more secured.
- Encourage regular doctor visits for your family member. Just because he or she has completed rehabilitation doesn’t mean health problems aren’t lingering.
- Attend family-based therapy.
You can learn to practice honest and open communication within relationships.
Become Educated and Stay Involved
In most cases, drug use significantly changes the lives of all those close to the addict – none more so than the immediately family. For this reason, the family often needs help, too.
Many drug and alcohol treatment facilities provide education for family members on topics such as how addiction works and how to handle stress. These programs are key to restoring the health of the family unit after addiction.The entire family needs to be involved in the treatment as well as the recovery process. To do this, the family will need to learn the best ways to support the recovering addict. Agreeing to participate in family education is a great way to support the addict’s recovery.
Many outpatient family therapy programs are available for you and your loved ones. You meet with a certified therapist who teaches you intervention skills you can use at home during stressful and trigger situations. You learn healthy communication skills and ways to express feelings and needs without projecting blame.
One of the most important things that a family needs to be aware of when living with a recovering alcoholic or drug addict is the importance of family members maintaining an alcohol- or drug-free and sober lifestyle.
Keeping someone in recovery away from the temptation of using is essential, especially in the first year of recovery. This is why many people prefer inpatient rehab programs; they get the addict away from the environment in which they were using.
Get Rid of Substances in the Home
Ideally, a home should be completely emptied of any substances that could be intoxicating. If your family has always kept alcohol or other substances on hand for social events or special occasions, it may be necessary for everyone to make a lifestyle change to support a loved one during recovery.
Find New Activities
The family can participate in activities and hobbies consistent with a substance-free lifestyle.
- Play a sport together.
- Ride bikes.
- Go to the movies or a play.
- Work on a garden.
- Host a potluck.
- Make crafts.
- Play card or board games.
- Go kayaking or rock-climbing.
- Plan a family vacation.
- Go for a hike or camping.
- Go to an amusement park.
- Make a bonfire.
- Try out a new restaurant.
- Visit a museum.
Obtain Support for Yourself
Just as the individual in recovery will require support from family and friends, it will also be important for family members to have support.
Many family support groups can provide encouragement to help people cope with the emotional and physical stress that can accompany supporting an individual in recovery.
Counseling can also be helpful as you adjust to your loved one’s sobriety. Online forums, such as the one on this site, can be an additional form of support.
You can meet people who understand what you are going through and can offer advice similar experiences.
Seeking support for yourself can also have an additional benefit. When your recovering family member sees you asking for support, they may be more ly to seek out support on their own in the form of recovery and aftercare support services.
Support Groups for Friends and Family
Below are a few different support groups designed for the friends and family members of recovering addicts:
- Nar-Anon. 12-step program for family and friends of drug addicts.
- Al-Anon. 12-step program for family and friends of alcoholics.
- Adult Children of Alcoholics. A group for adults who grew up in an alcoholic household and display characteristics associated with trauma and abuse.
- Families Anonymous. All-encompassing 12-step program for family and friends of those afflicted by substance abuse or behavioral addictions.
- SMART Recovery Family and Friends. A science-based support program for family and friends of alcoholics, drug addicts and other related addictions.
Al-Anon is a 12-step support group for those who have a loved one with alcohol abuse. You work through 12 steps with a sponsor, which help you to focus on yourself and your personal growth. Al-Anon meetings are held in many cities across America.
Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts may be more susceptible to stress and, in turn, to relapse. Some of the most common sources for stress among individuals in recovery include:
- Family conflicts.
- Health concerns.
Understanding what to expect and how to help a recovering alcoholic or drug addict proceed with recovery can prove to be beneficial. You can offer them resources that can help with stress, such as relationship counseling, adult education, therapy and support groups. In addition, it’s important to focus on yourself and manage your own stress.
Ways to Deal With Stress
Other proven sources of stress relief for you and your loved one include:
- Breathing steadily.
Emphasize that recovery takes teamwork and that he or she doesn’t need to do it alone. Keep in mind that you should not expect recovering drug addicts or alcoholics to behave perfectly when they first leave rehab. They will often need time to adjust to life outside of treatment. Your job is to foster and promote a supportive and comfortable environment for he or she to adapt.
Finally, it is imperative that you take action if you believe that your loved one may be at risk of a relapse. You don’t need to wait until the relapse has already occurred. If you believe your family member is in danger of drinking or using again, immediately take steps to provide a safe environment.
Below are a few relapse warning signs that your loved one may be at risk:
- Romanticizing past drug use.
- Starting to reconnect with old friends from drug-using days.
- Sudden changes in attitude or behavior.
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities.
- Appearance of withdrawal symptoms.
- Going to fewer self-help meetings.
- Spending less time on self-care.
If you are concerned your loved one may relapse, you can:
- Approach your family member in a kind and caring manner. Avoid judgment and blame and express your concern.
- Have them contact their sponsor.
If your loved one has a sponsor from a 12-step program, suggest he or she meet with the sponsor or call them.
- Suggest they attend a 12-step meeting. Encourage your loved one to attend a 12-step meeting or recovery support group.
- Encourage your family member to talk with his or her therapist.
Or recommend that they enter an intensive outpatient program to get back on track.
A relapse does not mean that treatment failed or that the person is a failure. It just means that the person needs to readjust their treatment plan or try another form of treatment. Relapse rates for addiction are similar to rates for other chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma.2
Going back to rehab should not be considered a failure, but rather an act of courage. The person realized the dangers of falling back into addiction and valued their life enough to make a positive change.Though it may seem difficult, the relapse can be seen as a learning opportunity that can strengthen recovery.
The person needs to understand what triggered the relapse and develop a plan for preventing another one.
A person entering rehab after a relapse may have more guilt or shame because they may feel they “messed up.” But they may also have less anxiety because they know more what to expect from treatment. They may even be more determined because they now understand that staying in recovery is hard work.
By understanding what is involved in living with a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, you can be better prepared to assist with recovery and offer support to decrease the chance of relapse.