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Staying on the Path to Recovery:
For Addicts and Their Loved Ones

By Adam Cook

Photo via Pixabay by MarkFilter

Struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction can make sobriety seem like an impossible destination to reach.  People have made it there despite the most impossible odds, usually with the help of a supportive family.  The addict and their family will all need support along the road to recovery to make it last.

Addict’s Road to Recovery

Deciding to make a change starts with addressing and acknowledging the root of your addiction.  Many people start abusing drugs or alcohol excessively due to a loss of a loved one or some type of suffered trauma.  Understand why you started using and choose to find new, healthier methods to cope with stress once you get your addiction under control. 

Think about any failed attempts at sobriety you have made in the past.  Figure out what worked and what didn’t so that you can employ better methods this time.  Build on the things that worked and made you happy. 

Setting specific, measurable goals can keep you on the path to recovery.  Seeing progress, no matter how small, can give you confidence and keep you motivated to push through any difficulties. 

Removing people, places, and things that you associate with your addiction from your life can be a great help.  People that use alcohol or drugs will be too much of a temptation to be around if you are serious about getting well.  Places you used to frequent during these times can also trigger relapses, so you may need to change your living arrangements to stay away from areas that might put your continued recovery at risk.

Joining a recovery support group can be another step in the right direction.  Sharing similar experiences and learning from others who have been in the same circumstances can be a good learning or coping tool.  Finding out more tips that helped others remain sober will just give you extra resources when you need them.

Focus on your mental and physical health.  Staying healthy by exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep can keep your energy level and mood up.  Finding ways to keep yourself occupied and happy without drugs or alcohol will be the key to happiness in the long run. 

It could also be extremely beneficial to let close friends and family know about your commitment to sobriety and ask for their support.  Positive support and encouragement can increase your chances of recovery.  Involving loved ones can also garner their respect and help solidify healthy relationships for you and your family. 

Care for the Addict’s Family

An addict’s family can go through an equal amount of stress and suffering dealing with the addiction as the addict themselves.  It is very important that loved ones in this situation also get the help and support they need during the recovery process.

Stay focused on your loved one’s addiction recovery by staying firm and committed to their recovery plan.  You can be accepting and understanding without giving in to old habits.  They will need you to encourage them to keep pushing forward. 

There will be setbacks but try to focus on the positive gains.  Celebrate the small victories and better behaviors.  Remind them that they can do it, that they are important, and that they are loved.

During this time do not neglect your own physical and mental health.  You deserve to be happy and thriving just as much as your recovering loved one.  Spend time doing things that interest you and enrich your life or you will be drained by the energy it takes to care for a recovering addict. 

Seek family or private therapy sessions to be sure you are dealing with circumstances in a healthy way and not neglecting your own mental health.  You cannot continue to help your loved one by harming your own happiness and state of well being.


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