Why Patience Is Important in a Loved One’s Rehab

Why Patience Is Important in a Loved One’s Rehab

Long-term healing takes significant time, effort and discipline, and relapse is painfully common

Addiction recovery is a long, often frustrating process. Long-term healing takes significant time, effort and discipline, and relapse is painfully common, so an addict’s loved ones may struggle to endure the one-step-forward-two-steps-back process of recovery. In fact, many loved ones are already at their wit’s end after years of abusive behavior. However, patience for your loved one’s recovery can greatly affect her long-term sobriety.

Understanding the Rehab Process

Understanding the addiction recovery process can increase the patience you have for your recovering loved one. Many people mistakenly believe that, once an addict has detoxed, then his biggest challenge is behind her. However, the truth is that the psychological grip of addiction is much stronger than the physical one. Due to the deep neurological and emotional damage of substance abuse, lasting recovery can take months or even years to complete.

The high brought on by drug or alcohol abuse affects the same part of the brain that manages the following processes:

  • Impulse control
  • Appetite
  • Sleeping and waking
  • Stress and anxiety tolerance
  • Memory
  • Emotional processing
  • Habit formation

The brain recognizes how drugs relieve both physiological and psychological pain, so it uses every tool at its disposal to demand further drug abuse. These cravings occur in the part of the brain that is much more powerful than rational thought, because new neural pathways in the central nervous system essentially automates the behavior that leads to relief. In other words, lasting recovery requires new neural pathways that allow the addict to tolerate discomfort to find relief in better ways. However, even months into the recovery process, the addictive habits remain powerful, so even slight distress can trigger powerful drug cravings.

Preparing for Small Failures

Simply put, relapse is a part of the recovery process, so it does not mean the end of recovery. Most recovering addicts feel a burst of confidence and euphoria when they conquer detox, but this euphoria frequently leads to overconfidence in their ability to resist temptation, which contributes to relapse. However, if a loved one’s support system is prepared for this eventuality, then a relapse event can become an opportunity for learning, understanding and healing. Relapse can also reveal psychological issues that need to be addressed. While it is good to hope that an addict never relapses, prepare in advance for how you will manage to increase your patience.

Support for a Recovering Addict’s Loved Ones

The loved ones of a recovering addict need support, counseling and education, because addiction causes significant collateral damage. It has affected you in ways that you may not even be aware of, so recovery support meetings, family counseling sessions and individual counseling sessions can be incredibly valuable. In fact, these treatment methods will probably increase the patience you have for your recovering loved one.

Help Supporting Methadone Addiction Recovery

Our toll-free, 24 hour helpline staffs admissions coordinators who can answer your questions about the recovery process for methadone addiction. Let them support you as you support your recovering loved one; in other words, call now for instant help.