The Importance of Nurturing Relationships During Recovery

Family and Friends Play An Important Role in Recovery Process

As a family member, spouse, or close friend of someone in the grips of addiction, you’ve no doubt witnessed the impact it can have, not only on the individual addicted, but also on yourself and others closest.  Addiction can cast-out family members, devastate marriages, and end lifelong friendships.  However, just as you and others closest were affected, you are also critical in affecting their recovery.  At Northern Arizona Center for Addiction we realize how important the relationships both during and following recovery can impact short- and long-term success.

However, the support of those closest can both help and hurt this healing process.  It’s precisely for this reason we choose to not only focus our attention on our patients’ individual recoveries, but we also aim to improve the understanding of addiction and the recovery process among the people closest in their lives.  Our extensive experience has allowed us to identify several key areas as being fundamental in any successful, long-term recovery:

The identification and adjustment of co-defendant relationships in our clients’ lives.

  • Often, those closest to those struggling with addiction fail to realize that they are actually contributing, in one form or another, to the addiction itself.  This can be as obvious as partaking in the substance abuse, or just being a consistent source of stress.  It can even be as well-intentioned as trying to help the addict recover in unproductive ways – which inadvertently also prolongs effective recovery.

Be mindful of your own recovery.

  • The impact of being close with someone struggling with addiction can be exhausting – both mentally and emotionally.  That’s why it’s just as important to be mindful of your own recovery throughout the recovery of your loved one.  Seeking professional help isn’t the only way to achieve this either; attending community support group meetings or just reaching out to others who were affected are great ways of healing your own wounds while simultaneously being supportive.

Strive to be positive, understanding and supportive.

  • Addiction is a complex phenomenon, and relapse isn’t uncommon in many individuals working to overcome it.  Factors like the length of sobriety, the duration of the addiction, and the substance involved in the dependency all contribute.  Reducing the impact of these components is highly contingent on the positive, understanding, and supportive relationships present during recovery – especially early on.

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