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addictionDrug and alcohol addiction is a growing problem that has touched nearly everyone; whether they have dealt with addiction themselves or have a loved one that has suffered.  While recovering from addiction relies heavily on the addict’s recognition of a problem and desire to recover, a strong support system is also a key part of the recovery process.

There are many different treatment methods available, both in-patient and out-patient.  Many are based on the 12 Step program but vary in that they offer dual diagnosis, psychotherapy, and other forms of individual and group counseling.  Helping your loved one find the best treatment program for them, a place that will allow them to feel comfortable and embrace the recovery process, is an important step.  If the financial cost seems high there are often financing options available to make it more affordable, as well as many programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous, that are free.

Once your loved one is in recovery providing encouragement and emotional support is important.  Encouraging them in specific ways, not just broad “your doing great” type phrases, can help them recognize areas that they are improving and give them incentive to keep working.

Recognizing that addiction recovery is hard work and unless you have been through it yourself it’s nearly impossible to understand.  Unlike other illnesses you can’t just receive treatment and be cured.  It’s a lifelong battle that requires constant vigilance.  It’s a process of learning what triggers cause the potential for relapse and what coping mechanisms need to be in place to avoid it.  If relapse does occur that doesn’t mean that they have failed or that the hope for sober life is over, encourage them pick up where they left off and learn from this experience so it doesn’t happen again.

Once the recovery process begins it doesn’t mean that the road will always be easy.  Being a strong, consistent, and positive support will help your loved one through the difficult process of recovery and the hope of a clean and sober life.

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