If you’ve got to the stage where you’re supporting a loved one through treatment for addiction, and you’re at the withdrawal stage, firstly congratulations. Acknowledging there is a problem that’s affecting your loved one’s life, and most likely your own, is a huge, huge step.
However, the withdrawal process can be one of the most difficult and heartbreaking experiences you will go through, not to mention incredibly tough for your loved one going through it. Depending on the substance or addiction someone has, the withdrawal symptoms can differ. For example, weed withdrawal will typically lead to restlessness, anxiety and insomnia, while alcohol withdrawal can lead to things like increased blood pressure and heart rate. Within that, it really can differ from person to person too.
All you can do is be helpful and supportive. Your support will mean a lot to them, while also helping them stay on track. But how can you best support your loved one during the withdrawal period?
Provide a Safe Environment
One of the main things you can do to ensure your loved one has the smoothest withdrawal process is by ensuring they have a safe, secure and stable environment in which to detox in.
It needs to be a beacon of hope, that is calm, tranquil, free of unnecessary stress and is all-round a positive place. That means keeping any people you’d consider potentially toxic away from them, and anything that may result in relapse away from them. Negative influences should be banished from the environment to ensure they are completely settled and focused on the task in hand.
Detoxing is a stressful and painful experience and it’s likely your loved one will be going through all manner of emotional distress. Seeing calmness in you will help calm then, which is why kindness is key and showing patience will ultimately be rewarded.
During withdrawal, your loved one is at their most vulnerable, which is why they need to be reminded they are loved and that you are there to support them. The time it takes for your loved one to come through the withdrawal process can depend. It could take a few days, it could take weeks, so being patient right the way through is vital. Naturally, that easier for some than others, so if you typically aren’t a patient person, it could be useful to practice a few exercises to ensure you remain so at this crucial stage.
Spend Time With Them
You don’t need to lock your family member in a room and leave them to it. You need to show that you care and you can be of support and strength, especially if you have encouraged them to take this step.
Even just taking a few days off work to be in the same space can be the reassurance your loved one needs to get through this troublesome period. Spending time with your loved one will also reassure you they are on track and calm any anxieties you may have. You can also ensure that they are eating and drinking properly, which can sometimes be a problem for those suffering with extreme withdrawal symptoms.
By providing your loved one with company, as well as kindness and a safe environment to get through withdrawal, you’ll help them pass the time and have the strength to see it through to the treatment process. Where more hard work awaits on that road to recovery…