Helping A Loved One in Sobriety

Recovery from addiction is not a one-time process. It’s a lifelong journey for the addict and their loved ones.
Avoiding Relapse and staying away from addictive behavior is the goal. With proper treatment and support, a sober life and a bright future are absolutely possible.

Supporting Sobriety

Since living in recovery is often for life, it can seem very challenging for someone that you love. However, understand that it isn’t a hopeless situation. There are things you can do to help the recovering addict in your life.

  • Be positive. Optimism can go a long way when it comes to changing one’s behavior. Remind them and remind yourself that this process is one step at a time and every little victory is important.


  • Don’t dwell. Sobriety really is a one day at a time, one moment at a time process. As the recovering addict needs to live in the present in order to live a better life, you should as well. There will be times where you will be tempted to fall back into thinking about the bad memories associated with the addiction. When you find yourself dwelling on this, refocus on what is happening in front of you right now.


  • Avoid temptations. A real risk to relapse is to have temptations around the house. Alcohol, pill bottles or known trigger items can quickly cause a problem. If the person is addicted to a certain medication, throw it out. Removing any triggers or reminders of the addiction can go a long way to committing yourself to wellness and sobriety.


  • Don’t smother. It is important to keep the recovering addict accountable for his or her actions. However, it‘s important for them to maintain a level of independence, so a balance must be struck. Establish boundaries from the beginning and stick to them. Each person will have different levels of what they consider to be appropriate boundaries, and it’s important that those boundaries are respected.


  • Support healthy habits. Bad habits need to be replaced by good habits. Learning to eat healthily, sleep well, and take part in regular physical activity are keys to a healthy, happy, and sober life. Spending time outdoors may also help with stress relief and mental health.


  • Suggest new hobbies. Maintaining a hobby can be a major component when to achieving long term sobriety. No matter how busy we are, people often end up running into times of boredom or inactivity. if this free time isn’t filled with something, preferably something constructive, there is a chance that a recovering addict could fall back into bad habits. Even if temptation is removed from the residence, having that extra time could still cause them to think about relapsing.

Listed below are some challenges many recovering addicts face on the road to sobriety. There are many ways friends and loved ones can help.

Problem: Mental health issues
What you can do:  With the permission of your loved one and with written consent, you can schedule appointments on behalf of the recovering addict with their doctor or therapist.

Problem: Financial troubles
What you can do:  Financial advisers can be very useful. It’s best to set up an appointment with them so the recovering addict can get a better grip on their finances.

Problem: Relationship issues
What you can do: Consult a therapist to talk about different paths they can take through individual and couples counseling.

Problem: Employment or academic trouble
What you can do:  Reach out to a career counsellor or an academic advisor to help go through potential options, highlight skills, and gather information that will help the person follow a positive path.

Problem: Loss of spirituality or religion
What you can do: Visit a trusted clergy member or other form of spiritual advisor to help the recovering addict address issues which they face.

It is critical to be an uplifting presence in the life of a recovering addict as they travel the ups and downs of returning to sobriety.

Challenges for family and friend caregivers.

It’s common for family members and loved ones of a person recovering from addiction to become preoccupied with taking care of the addict while neglecting themselves. It’s difficult to think of oneself when a loved one is going through a very difficult. However, it is still vitally important to look out for ourselves, to stay well, and to ask for help when needed.

Ensuring that your emotional, mental, and physical health is looked after is crucial. Let’s talk about a few ways you can get the support you need in order to be supportive of the recovering addict.

  • Consider individual therapy. Though the recovering addict in your life is going through a tough time, the truth is that you are too. It can be a big relief to talk to a therapist about what you are going through and they may provide insight into how to help you and your loved one.


This is very constructive for your mental health and it may help you sort out your feelings during this difficult experience. Your insurance provider might be able to provide a list of therapists in your area.


  • Consider family therapy. Sometimes therapy is better taken in a group. In this case, a therapist or counsellor can see your family all together and you can work with the therapist to better support each other and sort through not only the feelings involved but the complexity of relationships as well.
  • Attend group support meetings. It’s a very powerful thing to be able to access people who are going through the same things you are. There are many support groups for virtually any type of addiction and the people helping family members become sober. Some of these groups include Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

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