Following a successful family intervention, the next process is working with the interventionist to help the individual through treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning. The family intervention is the first step, but during the time they are in rehabilitation, the family can learn how to help them during recovery and aftercare.
The beginning of 2021 still presents many challenges for people in recovery and those struggling with addiction. Most states are struggling with the ongoing pandemic, but people were still receiving treatment. Per the Associated Press citing the United States Addiction Rehab Industry Report of 2020, a total of 3.7 million people received treatment. Insurance coverage for rehab has increased, and private equity investors have been pouring money into addiction treatment.
However, because of social distancing and other restrictions, much of the human connection for people in recovery has been removed. More than ever, family plays a significant role in helping recovering addicts maintain sobriety and their recovery during 2021.
The following are some tips for the family to help their loved one maintain sobriety through 2021:
Accept them without judgment and create a substance-free environment—It is not uncommon for many recovering addicts to feel judged by their families and friends. Families need to understand this is normal, and the feelings do not last forever. However, in the meantime, express love for your loved one and praise their decision to maintain sobriety. Also, drug-free environments are crucial, and this may even include alcohol use. The biggest part of creating this environment is encouraging them to stay away from places and situations that might tempt them to relapse.
Actively listen and encourage healthy habits—Someone recovering from addiction needs their family and friends to listen to them. The biggest barrier that anyone has during the initial weeks or months in recovery is the reality of not using drugs or alcohol anymore. If the individual has good communication with their family and friends, they will express their victories and struggles, and it is important to listen to both. Healthy habits are also key, like getting enough sleep, healthy eating, and exercise—more importantly, remaining connected to other sober people.
Encourage joining a support group and be patient—Peer support groups are an essential part of recovery, and these groups also help families understand the recovery process. It is encouraged that even family members attend some of these groups to get a better understanding. Overall, recovery is a long and complicated process, and it takes time. It is important to be patient and support them every step during this time.
2020 Was a Difficult Year for People Struggling with Addiction
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across the country have faced significant challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the summer of 2020, U.S. adults reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19. Younger adults reported increased substance use and elevated suicidal ideation. In late June of 2020, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use, and 13% of adults started or increased substance use. It is difficult to know what 2021 will bring, but it is essential for anyone in recovery to have the support and help to make it through.
NIDA. “How effective is drug addiction treatment?.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 3 Jun. 2020
Czeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1