5 Ways to Help Someone After They Relapse

5 Ways to Help Someone After They Relapse

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if addiction could be treated with a single stay in drug rehab? Sadly, addiction does not cut anyone any breaks. Without continued treatment and lifestyle modifications, this progressive disease will continue to destroy lives. To prevent this from happening, people in recovery must not get complacent. They need to make smart decisions, continue therapy and 12-step meetings and know how to prevent relapse. One way to do this is through drug rehab in Phoenix.

If relapse does occur, it’s important to know that this is not failure. The time spent in treatment is cumulative – nothing is wasted. However, when relapse occurs, it’s important for the person to acknowledge it and get help right away. The longer they wait, the more likely they are to fall back into the spiral of addiction. 

How to Help a Loved One Who Relapses 

People who relapse often feel discouraged, so you’ll need to be there to offer support to your loved one. Try not to focus on the negative consequences of relapse. Instead, let your loved one know how brave they are for speaking up and contact an alcohol or drug rehab in Phoenix for continued therapy. 

Below are five ways to help a loved one after they experience a relapse:

1. Embrace your loved one with compassion. 

When a recovering addict suffers a setback, they don’t need anyone to point fingers or make them feel bad. Relapse is not an intentional act. In fact, relapse is a process that happens in three stages: emotional, physical and mental. This means that your loved one has probably been feeling conflicted for several weeks or months. 

By understanding your loved one’s frame of mind, you can be more compassionate and empathetic. Avoid focusing on the physical act of using drugs or alcohol and pay attention to how your loved one has been feeling, why they slipped up and what they can do differently in the future. 

Something you can say when learning of a relapse is, “I’m sorry this happened. I know how hard you’ve been trying.” This shows that you acknowledge your loved one’s hard work and feel badly for the setback. But, it doesn’t take responsibility away from the addict. They need to get back on track with outpatient treatment in Phoenix and increase their 12-step attendance.

2. Instill confidence in your family member. 

People who relapse usually don’t have much confidence. They’ve just suffered a setback, and they’ve likely been feeling conflicted for a long time. This is a lot different from people who are just returning home from treatment. Newly recovering addicts tend to have a false sense of security in their sobriety. 

Knowing that your loved one is probably questioning another stay in drug or alcohol rehab in Phoenix, it’s important to get in front of this. Remind your loved one that they’ve done this before and can be successful again. You can say something like, “I want you to know that I believe in you. You’ve gone through this once before and I know you can do it again.” 

If you can, give specific examples about times when your loved one showed strength and courage. Also remind them that relapse does not mean going back to square one. All it means is that more work needs to be done. As long as your loved one admits their setback and gets help right away, things should not be as hard as they were last time.

3. Ask how you can better meet your loved one’s needs. 

It’s always a good idea to check in with your loved one’s mental and physical health. How are they feeling? Are they happy? Is there anything they need? This shows that you have a genuine interest in providing support. 

By continuing to check in with your loved one, you also keep the lines of communication open. They can let you know what they need to feel more confident in their recovery, such as more time in therapy or the removal of certain triggers. 

People who are going through recovery are sometimes reluctant to accept help, so you might have to be a bit more assertive than you normally would. If you sense that your loved one is not content, ask the right questions: “Is there something you need from me to make this better?”

4. Promote personal responsibility. 

As much as you can do to support your loved one’s journey, you are not in control. Ultimately, it is your family member’s choice and responsibility to seek help and follow their treatment regimen. The sooner you learn this, the better. Otherwise, you could end up trying to take over and be the fixer, which isn’t healthy for you or your loved one. 

Be kind, supportive and understanding to your loved one but do hold them accountable for their actions. The following statement gives you an idea of how you can talk to a person who has relapsed: “Your counselor told you that relapses aren’t uncommon. But you’ll need to face up to this problem and get help. If there is anything I can do, I will do it.” 

Promoting personal responsibility also prevents you from becoming an enabler. Enabling is often confused for helping, but it occurs when people do something for someone who can do it themselves. Setting boundaries and expectations for an addict is critical to their healing. Otherwise, they’ll have no reason to change.

5. Locate outpatient rehab in Phoenix that can help. 

Lastly, help your loved one choose a treatment program that can help. One episode of relapse does not mean that your loved one has to go back into an intensive program. They can benefit from a program that is more flexible and allows them to maintain much of their normal routine. 

Outpatient drug rehab in Phoenix is a great option for people who have relapsed. These programs are accommodating and include therapy sessions three to five days a week. People in recovery can get added help as they navigate their struggles, develop healthier coping strategies and build a life of sobriety. 

Drug Rehab in Phoenix

Continuum Recovery Center is a treatment center in Phoenix, AZ that offers intensive outpatient and standard outpatient treatment. In addition to behavioral therapies, we also offer a wide range of alternative therapies to support our clients’ recoveries. Contact us today to learn more about the costs associated with our programs, the insurance coverage we accept and the many tools we give clients to reach their goals.