Addiction Advice – Helping Someone Through Relapse

Relapse happens often, more often than what anyone would like. In fact, *according to the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction (NIAAA) there is evidence that nearly 90% of alcoholics will experience at least one relapse over the 4-year period following treatment. Unfortunately, there aren’t any interventions that can prevent relapse in a predictable manner.

One of the most difficult parts of sobriety is seeing a loved on return to alcohol and/or drug abuse after they’ve completed addiction treatment and began the work to make their lives better. It can be devastating to all involved. Most loved ones either throw their hands up in despair, while others will seek addiction advice that can help them get through their loved one’s relapse. After all, addiction is also about the people surrounding the addict.

Here are some Addiction Advice tips for Relapse:

  1. Remember that Relapse is not your problem. That might sound cold and it doesn’t mean you simply turn your back on the addict, but remember that the battle is with the person who struggles with addiction. You can only be there when they want to get help.
  2. Stand firm and hold the addict accountable for what he or she does that led them to their relapse. They are the person responsible for the judgment call.
  3. Try not to make excuses for their relapse. Just listen, and try not to steer them in a direction they are not able to see at the moment – even if it seems incredibly obvious to you. Let them come to their own conclusions.
  4. Be supportive and encourage them to redirect their treatment plan. It’s surprising what most addicts learn about their triggers to relapse and how to avoid them next time.
  5. Let go and let them walk on their own. Once the addict has reconnected with the people who can help him or her, you should take a step back and remember that this is THEIR journey, not yours.

Do you have any helpful addiction advice for loved ones who have relapsed?

*http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa06.htm

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