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break free from the chains

5 Steps to Building a Solid Support System During Addiction Recovery

Person's arms up in the sky displaying unlocked handcuff representing freedomAddiction recovery is a lifelong process if you ask any addict. The steps that it took to get to recovery, alone, are a strong indication of how much an addict has gone through to find peace and treatment.

Now that the addict is in a recovery stage, he or she must find strong support systems to sustain sobriety and prevent potential relapses. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that at least 7 million Americans have suffered from a drug addiction.

Another alarming number is that about 40% to 60% of treated patients will experience a relapse. This staggering statistic should only be a revelation that a strong support system will help an addict from entering into a relapse phase. It’s time to break free from the chains of addiction and take your life back.

If you’re a recovering addict, you know just how difficult it is to deal with your condition all alone. While in treatment, you may be surrounded by other addicts and medical staff, but it can be easy to feel as though you’re alone.

But, you shouldn’t feel alone in the process. There are people who care enough about you to provide you with any type of help that you need. There are many ways for you to build a solid support system during your addiction recovery.

For family members helping an addict recover from his or her condition, take a look at the following steps towards helping this loved one move forward and recover completely.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Oftentimes, an addict will either be too stubborn or fearful to ask for help in his or her current situation. Addicts can feel as if they have no problem with addiction or they are embarrassed to admit that they have these problems, thus entering into denial.

Asking for help with your problem is the first and most vital step towards recovery. You can ask for help from family members, close friends or even medical professionals. You can guarantee that all of these people are more than willing to listen and support you throughout the entire recovery process. Asking for help is a sign of strength and awareness, which is more to say than someone who refuses to seek help for his or her condition.

2. Determine What You Want From Your Support and Get Rid of Any Baggage

Once you’ve identified the people that you want in your support system, decide what it is that you expect from them. You should also be sure to communicate these expectations with them so that way they can ensure that they meet them according to standards of your relationship.

If you’re unsure of how to communicate these feelings, recovery treatment centers offer family therapy and counseling to help families get through the recovery process together. Therapy is facilitated in a safe space and helps open up the lines of communication and allows you to express what you need from the people that are part of your support system.

It’s also a good idea to determine if the people surrounding you in the recovery process are those that will fully support your treatment. This means that they cannot be a negative influence on you while you’re in recovery.

Surrounding yourself with people who have positive impacts will only make it easier for you as you go along your progression towards sobriety. Don’t feel bad when you no longer associate yourself with people who would encourage you to abuse substances that caused your addiction. There is no longer a place for these people in your life. Recovery is about full abstinence from substances that caused you to become addicted.

3. Attend Regular Recovery and Support Meetings.

Recovery can feel like an isolated process. Sometimes, addicts will need to separate themselves from family members or friends in order to progressively get better in their addiction.

Treatment centers offer opportunities for addicts to participate in group therapy so that they can continue to socialize with other people, specifically those who may be going through a similar process. Having a way to express themselves and connecting with people who are going through similar situations can greatly help addicts with the healing process.

There are also 12-step programs that support addicts in the recovery process. In these programs, addicts can openly talk about their addiction to group members and be able to sponsor one another to keep others accountable and on track.

Even if you miss a week or two, continue to go to these meetings because the people will always be there to help get you back on the path towards recovery. They understand your situation, and they do not judge you. Having a place that makes you feel comfortable and not judged for your condition can be a great way for you to find peace.

4. Don’t Get Into Any New Relationships or Life-Altering Careers.

One of the first things that addicts tend to mistakenly do after getting out of treatment is jumping into new relationships or finding new jobs.

A relationship is a commitment to another person that requires more work than an addict would be able to handle. Once treatment is complete, an addict must take the time to work on him or herself, that way they can truly recover and practice self-love.

We have all heard the phrase that we cannot love someone until we can learn to love ourselves. This could not be more true when it comes to an addict trying to find a sense of peace and awareness before giving love in a relationship. You cannot afford to jeopardize all of the work that you’ve done in recovery for the temporary feeling of being in a romantic relationship.

If you’re at a dead-end job and it negatively impacts you every day, then yes, you should go out and find a new career. However, you should be cautious with your endeavors because sometimes, a big change in employment can cause you to become very overwhelmed, anxious, and put you at risk for a relapse.

Addicts use substances as a way to escape the everyday stresses of life. You shouldn’t place yourself in stressful situations that you know can trigger your desire to relapse. Just as people who have food allergies know that they shouldn’t eat a certain food because of what it can do to them, an addict should not place him or herself in any vulnerable or risky situations that can create more stress.

5. Be Patient and Allow Time to Run Its Course.

Perhaps your biggest and most effective support system will be that of time. Addiction was not created overnight. It took time to develop, and the recovery process should look just the same, if not longer.

There will be some days where you might feel as though you’ve made no progression, but if you take a moment to look back on how far you’ve come, you’ll see that time helped you get there along with your other support systems. There is no time limit on when you should be recovered or how you should feel after undergoing treatment.

Every person has a different situation, thus will experience various results. Remaining patient and positive will help you identify that the recovery process takes time, but will be very rewarding in the end. At times where you may feel that you’re at your wit’s end, contact people in your support system to let them know what you’re feeling. They will come and provide you with any support you need to help you maintain your progress towards recovery.

Addiction does not have to take over your life. It has no right to. Because addiction is such a staggering epidemic in America, there are plenty of reliable and effective treatment centers around the country to help patients get better and stay better.

The goals of these centers are to help patients identify their problems and find the most feasible solutions to treating those problems. Every individual addict has a unique situation and requires personalized treatment that will help bring this person to a full recovery. Even following treatment, it’s important to remember that recovery will be a lifelong struggle, but with the right support from loved ones and programs, it can prove to be very successful.

Recovery doesn’t have to be an isolated process. There are people all around you who have the capacity to help you feel supported. From the people that you love and know every day to the medical professionals who can properly provide you with treatment, you can be certain that there is help throughout the entire process.

Those suffering from addiction deserve to live a happy life. They deserve to feel as though they have nothing limiting them from living their life to the fullest potential. If you are or know someone who is affected by addiction, find a treatment center as soon as possible. They can provide you with the tools necessary to get the recovery process started as well as giving continuous support and treatment for people dealing with addiction.