Each September, we take part in recognizing National Recovery Month to help increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders within our communities. Created by the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, National Recovery Month is a nationwide effort centered around encouraging addiction recovery and to helping to promote long-lasting sobriety.
We recognize that addiction is an epidemic, affecting the lives of millions of Americans each day. Most likely, everyone knows someone who has suffered from a substance use disorder or someone who has lost a loved one due to addiction. However, there is hope for those who strive to put themselves on a path to recovery. Recent data shows that over 23 million adults in the United States once had a drug or alcohol problem and report that they are now in recovery and are working towards overcoming their past struggles. A person with a mental or substance use disorder may find it difficult to reach out for help by themselves, but families, friends, and support systems can help during this challenging time. Below are a few ways to help someone you love during their recovery efforts.
- Create a substance-free environment – Living in a drug-free environment can drastically improve one’s chances of long-term recovery. Loved ones can protect a recovering addict’s surroundings by removing any drugs and alcohol and checking in on his or her whereabouts to make sure they aren’t visiting places where an opportunity for a relapse may present itself.
- Actively listen – Some recovering addicts are just looking for someone to listen to them, so make yourself available to listen to your loved one’s victories and struggles. Whether it be in-person, over a phone call, or through text, lending an ear to a loved one can make a significant impact on their feelings and overall mindset.
- Encourage healthy habits – Cooking food, exercising, or taking up a new hobby are all positive activities that recovering addicts can get involved in either by themselves or with a friend or family member.
- Be patient and kind – Recovery is not easy — it is a a long and complicated process for all involved. Like any human, those in recovery can make mistakes, so it’s important for them to know that their family and friends still support them even during the rough times.
Help be a voice of recovery by sharing with friends, family, and loved ones the treatments and services available right within our communities. Our Counseling & Wellness Centers offer a variety of therapies and support services designed to meet the needs of those in recovery as well as their loved ones who are there throughout their journey. Call our toll-free number at 833-444-NEST (6378) to make an appointment to speak with someone about what options are available to you and your family.