Supporting a Loved One’s Recovery
Beth Fishman, Ph.D., Program Manager, JCFS Chicago Addiction Services
Addiction Recovery is all around us, freely shared and supported! We are now celebrating one another’s recovery just as we have always celebrated positive change in other kinds of physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. So…how do we support loved ones who are living addiction-free?
- Ask them! Your loved ones in recovery probably have great ideas about how they would like your support.
- Join them in their recovery maintenance. Spend time together exercising or in whatever other healthy new habits are part of the recovery mix. In addition, peer support meetings like the 12 Step fellowships or SMART Recovery have meetings for friends and family members to learn about recovery.
- Abstain from substances and behaviors that may challenge your loved one’s recovery when you’re together. Pass on evenings at the casino or alcohol on the table. There are endless ways to have fun or just be together that are safe and enjoyable for everyone.
- Offer a good ear and a shoulder. Who among us doesn’t benefit from a great listener? Life challenges and the strong feelings they can bring may be overwhelming and lead to risk of relapse, so lend an ear to your loved one…not with advice, but to show you care enough to give your time and attention.
- Know who to contact if they feel shaky in their recovery boots and need professional help. Then offer to sit with them while they make that call to their therapist, the treatment program they attended or to JCFS for referrals at Ask@JCFS.org or call 855.275.5237.
See the JCFS Addiction Resources page for more information.