Family and friends play an integral role in the drug addiction recovery process. They provide support and encouragement. However, when a loved one deals with addiction, it may strain relationships to the breaking point and leave friendships fractured.
Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is challenging enough without also needing to rebuild trust with family members and friends. When someone you care about enters treatment for substance use, their life changes dramatically.
They will likely stop drinking or taking drugs completely, attend group meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, and find trusted friends they can lean on for support. With time and continued recovery, the trust may be restored with family members and friends, especially those that were there during treatment. But this process isn’t easy – trust is something that must be rebuilt slowly over time. These strategies may help you start the journey of rebuilding trust after your loved one begins recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.
Have a Conversation
Communicating with one another is the first step in rebuilding trust after someone begins drug rehab. Whether your loved one is still in treatment or already living in their own home, sit down and discuss expectations, boundaries, and the support they’ll need.
This conversation should cover a range of topics. These topics may include:
● Who will cover the cost of treatment or any other expenses related to their addiction
● What each of you should and shouldn’t discuss with one another
● Expectations for aftercare and continued treatment
When it comes to boundaries, don’t be afraid to say what is and isn’t okay. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about addiction or your loved one’s treatment, it’s okay to say so.
After you’ve had a conversation with your loved one about their addiction issues, setting boundaries is essential. If your loved one is still in treatment, set clear boundaries about what you will and won’t discuss with them.
If your loved one has completed treatment, set boundaries about how often you plan to communicate and how often you expect to hear from them. One thing to remember when setting boundaries is that your loved one is still in the early stages of recovery, which means they may make mistakes.
Avoid punishing them for every slip-up or mistake they make – try to understand that they’re still learning as they go.
If you feel like your loved one isn’t respecting your boundaries, don’t be afraid to speak up and explain how you’d like to handle things moving forward.
Forgive, But Don’t Forget
When a loved one enters alcohol addiction treatment, it’s natural to feel hurt and betrayal, especially if they kept their addiction a secret. Forgiveness might be extremely challenging if your loved one keeps their addiction a secret.
Forgiveness isn’t about condoning your loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction or making it “okay” because they’re in treatment now. Forgiveness is about letting go of the pain and anger you’ve been holding onto so you may be able to move forward.
If your relationship feels irreparable or you struggle to forgive your loved one, consider talking to a therapist. A therapist may be able to help you process your feelings and find ways to move forward.
Help Your Loved One Build Their Network
One of the most critical steps in recovery is building a solid network of friends and supporters. You might need to step back and let your loved one interact with new people.
Let your loved one go to meetings, invite new friends over, and try to engage with people who aren’t part of their immediate family. If you want to help your loved one build a strong network, offer to help in other ways.
Offer to cook, do chores around the house, or drive your loved one to meetings or appointments. You may also help by offering emotional support and encouragement when you see your loved one struggling.
Take Care of Yourself
While supporting your loved one is essential, you must also take care of yourself. This means setting healthy boundaries and avoiding enabling behaviors.
If you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, make changes. Let your loved one know you’re willing to offer support, but you also need time for yourself. Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health.
This means practicing good self-care and avoiding enabling behaviors, like covering for your loved one or making excuses for them. Asking for help when needed is an excellent way to take care of yourself.
Talk to a therapist if you feel overwhelmed or like you’re being taken advantage of. They can help you process your feelings and develop a plan for self-care moving forward.
Taking care of yourself could also mean pursuing a high school diploma in something you’ve always wanted to study, such as mental health or business. The more you do ensure you’re in a great place in life, the better support you’ll be able to offer your loved ones when they complete treatment.
Drug Addiction Recovery and Rebuilding Broken Trust
When someone you love enters drug addiction recovery, it’s a challenging time for both of you. It’s essential to be open and honest about your feelings and support your loved one in every way possible.
With time and patience, you may be able to rebuild trust and repair your relationship after your loved one enters recovery from addiction. Ensure you seek help and take care of yourself by doing things like going back to school.
Contact InterCoast for more information on the certificates they offer and more.
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