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6 Ways To Help Someone Recover After Rehab

6 Ways To Help Someone Recover After Rehab

Rehab may be a critical time of transition for a recovering addict, but aftercare is equally important in helping an individual shift back into a normal life, free from addictive substances.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health in 2012 found that 8.5 percent of the US population had personally dealt with a substance struggle. However, only about 2.5 million people actually received professional help. Not only does that mean many people are trying to cope with an addiction on their own, but those who have chosen to enter rehab are taking a big step to put their lives back together again.

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Recovery isn’t a process someone can go through alone, though. It takes dedicated support and discipline to learn to live sober. Consider these ways to show your support and help the ones you care about survive after rehab.

1. Create a drug- and alcohol-free environment.

Recovering addicts are vulnerable to relapse, especially in the first three months home. Having a temptation-free environment is essential to helping them on their road to recovery. If alcohol is kept in the house, you must make a lifestyle change to remove this while they recover. Set up some sort of environmental structure. One of the hardest transitions will be going from a place of complete structure and separation to one that is oftentimes unstructured and open to outside influences.

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2. Develop community support.

Encourage them to join a support group. It’s important that they can meet with people who understand what they are struggling with and who can encourage them to stay strong. Make sure time is set aside to reconnect with your family and close family friends. Not only do they need to be reminded that their mistakes can be overcome, but they need a level of accountability only those close by can provide.

3. Learn to talk openly with them.

This is a very emotional time for them and for yourself. If they talk about temptations, don’t come down hard on them. Allow them to share their struggle with you, and be open to sharing your concerns. They can handle it. Remember, some sort of conflict led them to take drugs or alcohol in the first place. If they haven’t learned to process their emotions and work through conflict and stress, they will be tempted to return to their addiction. Don’t bring up past hurts. You are all starting new chapters in your relationship, and reminding them of how they have hurt you only hinders their ability to recover.

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4. Build other healthy habits.

While they need space to adjust and settle back into a normal routine of life, it is important that they keep busy so they don’t dwell on the bad choices they made or end up falling back into the crowd they hung with before. Encourage them to take up old hobbies like sports or arts or encourage them to find new interests like cooking or blogging. This requires patience, but it’s important they have something to focus their attention on.

5. Take things one day at a time.

Recovering addicts will have good days and bad days. They may even lapse back into taking an addictive substance. It’s important not to see them as hopeless. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of recovering drug addicts experience at least one relapse. If you find your loved ones have relapsed, reconnect them with a counselor or sponsor right away. Be an encouragement to them by not reminding them of their failures. Recovery isn’t easy, but it is possible.

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6. Set up your own support system with friends, other family members, or external support groups.

Supporting a recovering addict can be emotionally and mentally draining at times. Set aside time to support yourself, to share your own frustrations and stresses with others who understand what you are going through. If you don’t support yourself, it will only make you less able to support recovering addicts as they start over.

The road out of addiction may feel like a long one sometimes, but it gets easier as you travel it together. Learning to be free from drugs and alcohol requires a complete lifestyle change, but it is a change that people cannot make on their own. It means taking the hard steps along with them. They need you to support them in this critical season in their lives as they begin to rebuild and live a life of sobriety.

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6 Ways To Help Someone Recover After Rehab

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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