8 Tips for Helping Your Loved One Stay Sober

helping a loved one stay sober

Everyone wants the best for their loved ones. When the people we care about struggle, it’s in our nature to want to help. If you’re concerned about helping your loved one stay sober, then there are a few ways you can assist them in their journey while also being mindful of your own needs. 

A person in recovery should have a network of support. So, consider yourself just one part of that network. You are not solely responsible for your loved one’s sobriety, but you can aid them in their efforts. Let’s look at eight tips for helping your loved one stay sober. 

Participate in Activities That Don’t Involve Drugs or Alcohol

Whether or not your previous shared experiences with a loved one centered on drugs or alcohol, be mindful of their journey now that they’re in recovery. Instead of inviting your friend or family member to events or activities where drug or alcohol use is common, think about other ways you can share experiences. For example, invite your loved one to go for a hike or see a movie. 

Make Yourself Available to Listen

Your loved one may need to open up about their experiences. Think less about what you should say in response and more about listening to what they’re going through. It’s not your responsibility to be there whenever they need someone to talk to, but if it’s clear that your loved one has something on their mind, give them the space to speak up. Helping your loved one stay sober is often as simple as setting aside time to listen. 

Encourage Your Loved One to Trust in Counselors

Though you do want to be available to your friend or family member, understand that people in recovery should have other resources to lean on aside from their loved ones. Encourage them to speak to their sponsors or counselors and to go to therapy sessions or group meetings for support. 

Be a Positive Presence in Their Life

You might have a long history with your loved one. Maybe you’ve seen them at their worst. Perhaps they’ve acted in ways that offended you or caused you harm. Once they enter recovery, remember that your loved one is not their disease. Do your best to be patient and positive when you interact with them. 

Keep Realistic Expectations

Know that being in recovery doesn’t immediately make someone at peace with their challenges. They are likely still struggling to maintain their path. When helping a loved one stay sober, understand that they will have good days and bad days. They might falter in their journey, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. 

Educate Yourself About Relapses

For people who have little experience with recovery or addiction treatment, relapse can seem like the end of recovery. It’s important that you not look at a loved one’s relapse as a failure. For some people struggling with a substance use disorder, relapse is part of the process. 

Relapse is also more than just the moment a person uses drugs or alcohol again. It’s preceded by days, weeks or even months of challenges, so being able to recognize signs of a potential relapse could give you the opportunity to identify warning signs. 

Don’t Ignore Your Own Needs

We’ve talked at length about the ways in which you can make yourself available and provide support to your loved one. Being present and supportive requires effort, but you should never sacrifice your own well-being. 

People in recovery must learn to respect other people’s boundaries. Understand your loved one’s needs, but don’t feel as though helping them stay sober is solely your responsibility. You want your friend or family member to be independent, which means creating space for yourself when you need it.

If You Need Support, Contact Sober Austin

Sober Austin provides resources to those seeking a substance-free life and those who have loved ones struggling with addiction. Please browse our site to learn more about finding support in Austin. You can also contact us directly by calling 512-981-6572 or emailing soberaustin77@gmail.com.