Here at Scottsdale Recovery Center, we understand that addiction recovery is a long and difficult journey. Not many people understand that addiction is a disease and because they lack this knowledge, they have a lot of misconceptions about what it truly is. You may also find that friends and family detach themselves from a loved one who has a substance abuse problem because they don’t know how to deal with the person or the situation.

Supportive Family in RecoveryConversely, you may find a friend or relative who wants to help the addict, but is doing it the wrong way. They could be thinking that they are saving the addict by covering up for him or her. But all they are doing is making it easy for the addict to continue in their addiction by enabling their actions.

There are mistakes friends and family can make that may cause a recovering addict to relapse. It is important to identify these mistakes and to avoid making them if you don’t want a loved one to relapse:

Not Participating

One of the things that we do at Scottsdale Recovery Center is to encourage family members to get involved in their loved one’s recovery by enrolling in our Family Guidance and Counseling program.

The aim of the program is to help strengthen the family as a whole. Our counselors work together with the family members to help and support the addict and more importantly, to help repair any damaged relationships. However, not all family members like to take part in the program because they are not ready to forgive. That is why we encourage recovering addicts to be patient.

Not Understanding Addiction

One of the many reasons addicts do not seek treatment is because they are afraid of stigma from friends and family. The stigma of addiction exists because people are not aware that addiction is a disease, like diabetes or cancer. They have the misconception that addiction is a choice. But what they don’t understand is that it’s a mental problem.

In order to help and support a recovering addict, family and friends need to educate themselves about addiction and recovery. They can access resources online, or by coming to our center and talking to one of our addiction counselors.

The Blame Game

When a loved one is struggling with addiction, families tend to point fingers and blame the addict or each other. Blaming the addict for past wrongdoings does not help at all. In fact, it may trigger a relapse. What we advise family members to do is address past issues and find healing, because blaming the addict adds no value to their recovery process.

Remember, your aim is to help your loved one achieve sobriety. This would need you to, above all, forgive. When you forgive each other for previous mistakes, you will heal more quickly.

Expecting Quick Results

Recovery is a process, and a long one at that. Do not expect that your loved one is going to beat addiction overnight. It’s a lengthy and challenging process. One that requires a lot of patience and understanding.

Therefore, do not expect quick results with addiction recovery because it is a journey that requires the healing of both the mind and body.

Not Being Open to Communication

It is understandable that a family member may not be open to discussion about past issues with the addict. However, it’s the only way you can address and fully resolve an issue. By communicating, the addict can also get to know and understand how you feel. And it goes vice versa: you get a better understanding of how the addict feels as well.

Making It About You

Addiction has a negative impact on friendships and relationships. You may feel hurt because a loved one who has an addiction wronged you in the past, and it’s good to address these feelings.

However, you should keep in mind that recovery is not about you, it’s about your loved one. It’s challenging enough recovering from addiction, therefore burdening the addict with feelings of guilt and shame do nothing to help with their recovery.

Ignoring Successes

Achieving sobriety takes a lot of strength and determination. If you have a loved one who has recovered from addiction, celebrate their success and encourage them to set goals to maintain their sobriety. Celebrate every step your loved one takes in recovery, no matter how small. This can really boost their morale to do better.

Neglecting Yourself

While you do everything you can to support a loved one in recovery, it is important that you don’t neglect your needs. To see your loved one through their recovery journey, you need to be mentally and physically well.

Not Having A Plan

Once your loved one graduates from our addiction treatment program, they will still need a lot of help and support to maintain their sobriety. You can join our aftercare programs here at Scottsdale Recovery Center that can assist in creating a plan that ensures your loved one achieves long-term sobriety. If this program sounds like it might be beneficial to you or a loved one, call us today.


Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.