In 2017, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths was 9.6% higher than in 2016.

This means that more people are consuming drugs and alcohol at an alarming rate.

For some, they struggle to recover from substance addiction, which affects every aspect of their lives. Sadly, the misconceptions that surround addiction alienates those struggling to recover. Social stigma, mental health, and in some cases chronic issues are some of the struggles that lead to addiction.

More often than not, addicts hesitate to talk about their struggles with their family and friends for fear of criticism and judgment.

However, your support as friends and family can encourage the addict to stick to their sobriety plan. You may feel at a loss on what specific things you can do to help, but showing how much you care will relieve some of the burden they feel.

Here are some ways to support someone you love.

1. Seek Professional Help

The journey to recovery starts with the person admitting they have a problem and need help. Seeing a professional therapist will help your loved one identify some key triggers to their addiction. Some of these triggers are prescription drugs, peer pressure, loss of a loved one, and emotional problems.

Experts will develop a comprehensive treatment plan for your loved one. They will need support when they feel demoralized, skeptical, or have a hard time keeping track of appointments. To show that you care you can help them remember to take their medicine and go to the appointment with them.

2. Encourage Healthy Choices

Recovery should have a holistic approach from the mind, body, and soul. Eating a balanced diet, engaging in physical activities, getting adequate sleep, attending regular health screenings, and seeking spiritual nourishment are ways to promote healthy choices.

You can support someone by taking this approach to life as well to show that you are in it together.

3. Encourage Peer Support Groups to Support Someone

Someone who has co-occurring disorders will benefit from peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These programs are especially helpful after leaving rehab. You can support someone by attending meetings in several peer support groups to help them find the right one.

4. Create a Substance Free Environment

Don’t allow triggers or temptations in your home. When helping someone recover, avoid anything that may make them relapse. Abstinence should be emphasized as the key to recovery. Encourage them to stay away from situations where the substances are often used.

5. Help Them Develop Coping Mechanisms

It is wise to help them develop strategies to deal with the everyday stresses of life. With persistent mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, cravings are very high.

You can support the person by being there to listen. Help them find ways to solve the problems practically. Encourage them to talk when feeling overwhelmed by their own thoughts.

Know the Signs of Relapse

Relapse can happen at any time. It’s important to know when a person in recovery seems to be falling back into old habits. 

Family members and friends should support their loved ones by affirming their ability to fight addiction and live a wholesome life. If you want to know more about how to support someone through hard times, check out our lifestyle blog today.