Weather the Storm: A Guide for Families on Coping with a Loved One’s Relapse in Recovery

Weather the Storm: A Guide for Families on Coping with a Loved One’s Relapse in Recovery

When your loved one started their journey to recovery, we’re sure you were filled with hope and expectations for the future. Now, your loved one has experienced a relapse and you’re feeling hopeless and unsure of what will happen next.

Relapse is an intense and challenging time for any family coping with a loved one’s addiction. However, it is important to remember that relapse in recovery is just one part of the complete recovery journey.

During this time, it is important to offer love and understanding to your loved one. We are going to share some helpful coping strategies to help you get through this difficult stage.

Understanding Relapse in Recovery as Part of the Journey

Relapse is a part of the recovery process for most people. Studies show that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks or months after first receiving treatment. While this statistic can be disheartening, it may also feel comforting to know that relapse can be just another step along the way to full recovery.

The key to weathering the relapse storm is approaching it without judgment. Instead, you should see relapse as an opportunity for learning and growth.

Managing Expectations and Avoiding Blame

When your loved one relapses, it is natural to want to blame someone or something. You might be tempted to even blame the person experiencing the relapse. Saying things like, “It’s your fault…” will only lead to more guilt or resentment from them and could lead them to continue using.

Instead, recognize that relapse does not mean they failed. Addiction is a complex and challenging journey. Just as you wouldn’t blame a cancer patient for relapsing, you should not blame someone suffering from addiction for relapsing.

Seeking Professional Guidance

When a relapse happens, it’s important to seek professional guidance. A professional, such as a doctor, psychologist, or therapist can help guide you on the best way forward. A therapist or counselor can bring the family together and facilitate family discussions.

Professionals can give you valuable insights, coping strategies, and support for both your family and your loved one in recovery. They can offer some relapse prevention strategies to use in the future. These might include:

  • Identifying high-risk situations
  • Recognizing the warning signs of relapse
  • Managing negative emotional states
  • Working toward a healthier lifestyle
  • Enrolling in treatment centers

Reinforcing Boundaries with Love

When your loved one has relapsed, especially if it is your child who lives with you, you might be tempted to remove some boundaries you had put in place. Unfortunately, this could lead to enabling their behavior, which can contribute to a cycle of dependence.

Instead, you need to reinforce healthy boundaries while maintaining a compassionate and loving approach. There is a delicate balance between offering support and enabling unhealthy behaviors.

Examples of healthy boundaries in addiction recovery include:[TA1]

  • Not giving them money
  • Not taking their calls unless they say they are ready for help
  • Not allowing drugs or alcohol in the house
  • Not bailing them out if they get arrested
  • Setting a curfew
  • Being honest with others about their addiction

Overcome a Relapse in a Sober Living Home

If relapse trends keep happening in your loved one’s life, it might be time for a sober living home like Ethos Recovery. In a sober living home, there are strict rules and boundaries, including absolutely no drug or alcohol use. If a resident experiences a relapse, they are only allowed to continue with the program if they have a true commitment to change.

Do you think your loved one is ready for a sober living home? Contact Ethos Recovery today to see if they would be a good fit.

[TA1]Client note:
Not sure if the Betty Ford Clinic is considered your competition or not. If it is, please let us know and I’m sure the writer can find another reference link.