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Helping a Loved One in Recovery: How Family Members Can Recognize the Signs of Relapse

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Loved One in Recovery

Recovering addicts face many obstacles as they try to stay sober in recovery, with the threat of relapse an ever-present danger.

Now that the person you care about so much has completed their stay at rehab and returned back home, they will need your support and encouragement more than ever.

Relapse is a real danger for those in recovery, and it is a potentially deadly one.

By the time your loved one is using drugs again, it may be too late to make a meaningful difference, and that could mean another painful round of rehab for your loved one – or worse.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to support your loved one in recovery.

If you want the person you care so much about to succeed for the long term, you need to be there, providing the support and guidance they need.

Here are some simple ways family members can encourage their loved ones to stay sober and continue their hard-fought recoveries.

•   Recognize the personal warning signs – Not all relapses are the same, so look for the specific warning signs that have accompanied previous slips into addiction. If you have been dealing with addiction on a long-term basis, you are probably familiar with these warning signs, so keep your eyes and ears open.

•   Develop an intervention plan in advance. Hopefully, your loved one will remain in recovery and stay drug-free for a lifetime, but families of addicts need to be realistic. As you keep your eyes and ears open and watch for signs of relapse, you should also be working with other family members to develop a fast intervention strategy if things start to go wrong.

•   Reach out to your loved one’s 12-step sponsor and others in the support structures they have built. Community meetings are wonderful sources of support, not only for recovering addicts but for their family members as well.

•   Read about the recovery process and the risk of relapse. The more you know about how the system works and what to expect, the more prepared you will be to minimize the damage should a relapse one day take place.

•  Work with a drug treatment center that has a strong discharge and after-care plan.

Also, you are not responsible for their recovery. Your loved one needs to want to get help. Don’t make them do it. Work with an interventionist or a reputable treatment center that can help you with your loved one.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to seek help.  At Burning Tree Ranch, we specialize in long-term care that produces real results, especially for those who have experienced a relapse.  Here you will find a team of qualified and compassionate professionals, ready to help each client through a customized treatment program that addresses all aspects of addiction, including the identification of co-occurring disorders.  We know that the journey towards recovery doesn’t end with the conclusion of an inpatient program, which is why we provide extensive aftercare programs to best support our clients during their transition into lasting sobriety. We also know that addiction affects the whole family, and therefore loved ones are encouraged to participate in the recovery process and take advantage of all our support resources.  For more information, call us today at (877) 389-0500.

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One of the most challenging scenarios we encounter is the “chronic relapser.” These are individuals who, despite repeated attempts at recovery, find themselves caught in a cycle of relapse. Understanding the characteristics and warning signs of chronic relapsers is crucial for developing more effective strategies to support their path to sustained recovery.

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KRISTINA ROBERTSON, LMSW, LCDC

KRISTINA ROBERTSON

LMSW, LCDC | Counselor
Kristina Robertson serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, Kristina’s greatest joy is “watching our clients learn to love themselves again.” An avid equestrian, mother to twenty-one horses, and all-around animal lover, Kristina serves as a bright shining example of long-term recovery in action. Her commitment to whole person health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual makes her an invaluable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. As a distinguished Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Zeta member, Kristina believes deeply in each client’s pursuit of becoming their best selves.

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Beth Legacki, Burning Tree Ranch Alumni