As a family member supporting someone recovering from drug abuse, you are the first line of defense for keeping them on the right path. You need to think ahead and create proper strategies to help your loved one through this hard time. Becoming knowledgeable in relapse prevention techniques will help you and the rest of your family identify warning signs, and implement ways to keep your loved one from relapsing. It’s important to remember that although this is a long-term goal, there is still a finish line. Once your family member has recovered from their drug addiction, life will be much easier for them and you to manage.
Family Relapse Prevention Techniques
The first step is to make sure everyone in the family is involved and knowledgeable about relapse prevention. Understanding their addiction and common triggers can go a long way for you and your family. Once everyone is in the light about your family member’s addiction they can begin to assess dangerous situations in which they may relapse. Keeping people in the dark just gives the person with addiction more opportunities to relapse.
Another important thing to remember with family relapse prevention is your relationships may suffer due to increased irritation, try not to take this personally as they are dealing with a highly stressful situation. Help reduce their stress any way you can. You can talk to them or take care of things that would normally be their responsibility.
The next step in family relapse prevention is developing a thorough prevention strategy. Knowing when relapse is most likely to occur is the most useful tool at your disposal. Most relapses occur within the first 3 months of recovery. This is the crucial period when you and your other family members need to be the most vigilant. The other big issue in relapse prevention is stress management. Remember, during this period they are more irritable. They will probably overreact to stressful situations and feel the need to use drugs as a coping mechanism. This is the number one cause of relapse. As previously stated you need to formulate a plan to reduce and monitor your family member’s stress levels. Keeping them calm and collected will help ease the recovery process.
Family relapse prevention is the strongest and best chance your loved one has for recovery. Making yourself knowledgeable about their relapse triggers and monitoring their stress levels makes all the difference on their road to recovery.