How To Help A Loved One Recover From Addiction

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September is National Recovery Month, and Parkridge Valley Licensed Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor Tony Neuhoff offers strategies for family and friends of those who are reclaiming their lives from alcohol or drug addiction. 

The path of recovery does not end once a person has decided to seek help, or even once a person has left a formal drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. “For the addicted person, recovery is a process that requires a plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle and actively avoid falling back into old behaviors,” Mr. Neuhoff notes. “If friends and family members are going to be a part of the recovery process for an individual, everyone needs to work together to develop a written ‘recovery contract’ with realistic, achievable goals as well as consequences for not meeting those goals.”

Mr. Neuhoff emphasizes the need for accountability in recovery:  “It is vital for those involved with their loved ones’ recovery to be consistent, and follow through with consequences if expectations for behavior are not met. This stabilizes the situation and allows for the rebuilding of respect and trust.”

When helping a loved one or friend through the recovery process, Mr. Neuhoff recommends avoiding nagging or criticizing. “A large part of addiction has to do with low self-esteem, and reminding someone of the ways in which you feel they are falling short is neither helpful nor productive as it only makes them feel worse.”

It’s also important to avoid ‘hovering’ over the recovering person. “It’s uncomfortable for anyone to feel like they are being watched constantly and interrogated about their every move. You can keep an eye on your loved one without smothering them. In this case, a little space is very helpful,” advises Mr. Neuhoff. 

“Most importantly, don’t enable your loved one,” says Mr. Neuhoff. “Don’t take over their responsibilities or cover for them if they make poor decisions. You might think you’re helping, but really, these types of behaviors are part of a negative cycle that does not help the addict at all.”

During recovery, family and friends need to remember to take time to care for themselves by seeking support as needed. “There are a number of good counselors and support groups such as Al-Anon, and it’s a good idea to set a positive example of self-care for the loved one in recovery,” says Mr. Neuhoff.

While relapses can and do happen, it’s important to remember that treatment can work and recovery is possible. “Above all, remember that recovery is not something you can do for someone else, it is something they must do for themselves.” 

For more information about the addiction rehabilitation programs at the Parkridge Valley campuses, call 499-2300 or visit ParkridgeValley.com.

Fourth Annual Tucker’s Trek 5K And One-Mile Fun Run Is May 18

The fourth annual Tucker’s Trek 5K and one-mile fun run benefiting Emily’s Power for a Cure Neuroblastoma Foundation takes place Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m. at Baylor’s new Tucker Hunt '16 Memorial Lacrosse Field.  Mr. Hunt loved Emily Ransom and her battle with cancer had an effect on him -- and he loved Emily's Power for a Cure, said officials.  Tucker's Trek was ... (click for more)

Groundbreaking Ceremony For Morning Pointe Of Chattanooga At Shallowford Set For April 22

Independent Healthcare Properties (IHP) and Morning Pointe Assisted Living will kick off the groundbreaking celebration for the new Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford on April 22 at 10:30 a.m. Already, the building is being framed in and the construction project is on target for an early 2015 opening. While construction started earlier this year, better weather has work ... (click for more)

Bus Driver Will Not Face Charges In Tragic Bus Accident

Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan announced in a Friday afternoon press conference that the investigation into the death of six-year-old Zackery Bryant at Chattanooga Valley Elementary has been officially declared complete and that there will be no criminal charges. Zackery died tragically on Monday morning after being hit by a school bus after stepping off. According to Sgt. Sturdivan, ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy May Begin Effort To Allow Wine In Grocery Stores; Concussion Forms Required For Sporting Events; WWTA Chided For Causing Potholes

The Soddy Daisy Commission is considering taking steps to allow wine in grocery stores now that Tennessee lawmakers have voted to lift restrictions. To have the law appear on the next ballot for a vote, Mayor Janice Cagle said a petition with an amount of signatures totaling 10 percent of the number of voters in the last general election will have to be collected. Commissioner ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Nudge By Angel Kilbride

Way above us, high in the heavens, a handsome angel everybody calls Ben yelled to Saint Peter on Thursday and told him, “Better send me a couple of rubies and maybe an amethyst … Dad’s crown just got bigger.” To you such a scenario may sound silly and foolish but Bill Kilbride, a dynamic genius who has just been named as president-elect of Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce, knows ... (click for more)