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How to Create a Healthy Support System For a Loved One With an Addiction

A healthy support system is vital in the recovery process. If you’re trying to help a loved one overcome an addiction, you’ll want to take the time to help establish a strong support system on which they can rely.

Creating this support system includes setting goals to figure out who you want to involve, what kind of support you wish to provide to your loved one, and how you will ensure that the support system maintains its reliability. Understanding the characteristics that make up a good support system is the best way to create an effective support system that will help your loved one. 

What is a Support System? 

A support system is made up of individuals who positively impact your life. These individuals are the ones you would go to during an emergency, share important life experiences and information, and love to be around. 

Talk to Your Loved One

It’s important to speak with your loved one before you start to form a support group. While you may have the best intentions in mind, it may be too early for someone to open up to a group of people. Ask them how they feel about the idea of a support group and explain to them how they can benefit from one. 

If they’re hesitant about having a support group, let them know that they can at least talk to you about their journey. Allowing them to open up to you at the beginning is a great way to help them build up the necessary trust that will help them open up to a support group later down the road. 

Who Can You Ask to Join the Support Group 

It’s essential to be selective about who you pick to be involved in your loved one’s support group. You want to make sure that the people in the support group will positively impact your loved one and not cause them to stray in their progress. 

Look into close family members they get along with, close friends, and professional therapists or counselors who have helped your loved one make significant strides. You can invite individuals from other social groups that your loved one knows — just make sure they’re ready to offer someone else support.

What Makes Someone Fit for a Support Group 

When you’re looking for someone to join your loved one’s support group, you should look to people who can encourage, nurture, love, and care for your loved one during their most challenging times. 

Individuals that make the best support groups usually have their own goals they’re working toward and are generally constantly learning and moving forward. These people will motivate your loved one to become the best version of themself. 

As hard as it can be, your loved one needs to leave behind people that drag them down or negatively impact their recovery. Some relationships are toxic and make it impossible to move forward, and these types of relationships will render the support group ineffective. 

The Different Types of People That Make Up Support Systems 

Building your own healthy support system will give you the most tight-knit and familiar group for your loved one. Support systems can include a mix of people, including the following: 

  • Therapists and counselors 
  • Family members
  • Friends 
  • A Spouse or significant other

You can also recommend addiction support groups like SMART Recovery and Alcoholics anonymous to your loved ones and even encourage them to join a meditation or church group if they’re open to the idea.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help 

It can be hard to ask someone to help with such a heavy topic, but what’s harder is seeing your loved one struggle with addiction. Don’t be afraid to ask people to join the support system. At worst, they’ll tell you that they aren’t able to make the commitment, in which case you move on to the next person, but at best, you’re giving your loved one a valuable shoulder to lean on when things get complicated.

Patience Keeps the Support System Strong

You can have all the right people in place, but if they lack patience, you could see your support system for your loved one dwindle. The journey to recovery can be arduous, and those in your loved one’s support system should be prepared to experience the bumps.

Make sure you have a serious, in-depth conversation with the potential support group so that you can lay out expectations and ensure that they understand what their roles are going to consist of. Setting expectations is the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page to maintain the patience that is crucial for your loved one. 

On the other hand, you should let your loved one know that they may also need to practice some patience with their support group. It may take a bit to adjust and get on the same page with them, and there may be some days when they may get frustrated with so many people there to check in on them. Remind your loved one that this is for the best in the long run and that they’re allowed to ask for space if they need to. 

Keep Hope Alive 

To make the support system work, you should ensure that you’re keeping the hope alive. Recovery is tough, and consistent encouragement can make all the difference in making sure your loved one feels supported, heard, and understood. 

This can be done through words of encouragement and by letting your loved one know how proud of them you are as they begin to make more progress throughout their recovery. Alternatively, offering encouragement when they’re going through a rough patch is another way to keep the hope alive and keep your loved one on track. 

Get the Support You Need at Ardue Recovery Center 

A healthy support system is the best way to ensure your loved one has people to turn to when things get difficult during recovery. Ardu Recovery Center in Provo, Utah, provides group therapy services that can act as a support system if you struggle to put one together. 

Call us at 801-512-0086 or fill out our online form so we can help your loved one get on the right track to recovery.