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What To Expect When A Loved One Is In Recovery

friends and loved ones.

When a loved one enters addiction treatment, many feel joy and hopefulness for this new path their loved one has found. Sobriety is a big step, and often loved ones are excited that treatment will make everything go back to “normal”. But these expectations of their newly found sobriety may not be realistic.

Addiction treatment is not a cure, and recovery is a lifelong commitment. Treatment provides individuals with appropriate tools to manage the disease and sets them on the right path, but after that it is up to the individual to remain sober and in recovery.

So what should you expect? Nothing. Your loved one is on their own journey and it has nothing to do with what you want or expect.

How You Can Help

For the first year, it’s important for your loved one to follow their relapse prevention aftercare plan to avoid falling back into old habits and patterns which may lead to relapse. It might include things like:

  • Attending Meetings like AA

  • Socializing with others in recovery

  • Spending time with a sponsor

It’s critical to stay positive,offer love and support, and plan ways to help them stay on track, like:

  • Supporting ongoing treatment

  • Learning as much as you can about recovery

  • Creating a sober environment

  • Seeing a therapist or attending Al-Anon groups yourself

Helping your loved one may also mean changing your own expectations and letting go of what you can’t control. Many find seeing a therapist or attending Al-Anon groups specifically for family and loved ones of addicts can give support and tools needed to help communicate and rebuild trust in the relationship.

What Not To Do

As you walk with your loved one through recovery, it’s important to keep a few don’ts in mind:

  • Don’t use substances around your loved one. Instead, find activities you can enjoy together that don’t involve the substance.

  • Don’t enable them, and let your loved one take responsibility for their own actions.

  • Don’t exclude them or make them feel different because they are in recovery.

  • Don’t dwell on the past, instead focus on rebuilding your relationship and trust.

Getting Help For Addiction

If you or somebody in your life seems to have an issue with alcohol or drugs, or is suffering from addiction, professional help may be the best option for recovery.

At Care Addiction Center, we offer treatment plans that address every facet of your addiction, serving individuals in Geneva, Batavia, Sycamore, St. Charles, and Kane County, with online addiction treatment available anywhere in Illinois. 

To get started on the road to recovery, or if you have questions about helping yourself or a loved one, call us today or schedule a confidential assessment online and begin treatment.


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