Those who have graduated from Hawaii Island Recovery’s Hawaii sober living and recovery center and are transitioning back to life with family are still met with many unique challenges. While becoming a successful alumnus is certainly something to celebrate, the journey to a healthy and sober future is not over. Rather, this transition is a crucial time of familial healing and change. Knowing how to best support newly sober alumni is paramount for families and individuals alike to establish the best approach to a sustainable sober life.

The Need For Familial Support

Families play a large role in the addiction recovery process. While many may perceive addiction or substance use disorder (SUD) and associated mental health disorders to be largely individual challenges unique to each person, families can play a crucial role in sustainable, effective healing. Familial support can empower alumni to feel accepted and celebrated for their dedication to change while surrounding alumni with some of the most understanding, supportive people to help overcome both past mistakes and new challenges. Likewise, changing familial dynamics, relationships, or household cultures are all important to an alumnus’s sobriety.

What To Expect From Newly Sober Loved Ones

Those just graduating from Hawaii Island Recovery’s residential treatment program and transitioning to life outside of a treatment facility will still be focused on their sobriety. Families should not expect addiction and all of its associated effects to simply be “cured.” Alumni overcoming addiction will still be coping with feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. This can be especially prevalent as social groups and relationships change, alumni distance themselves from previous social groups and cultures that may not be conducive to a sober life, or as alumni begin to take on workplace stresses and responsibilities. 

Many are also continuing to navigate urges and cravings to reengage with addictive substances. Experiencing urges and cravings is completely normal, even among alumni, with mood swings, frustration, doubt, guilt, and more also continuing to impact daily life. However, families can be some of the best resources for helping newly sober alumni overcome these persistent challenges and further create a fulfilling sober life.

Does My Social Anxiety Disorder Affect My Sobriety?
Does My Social Anxiety Disorder Affect My Sobriety?

Social anxiety disorder and substance use can be closely intertwined. Learn how our rehab in Hawaii can help you by calling us today at (866) 390-5070.

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How to Support Newly Sober Loved Ones

Newly sober alumni will have adopted many new skills from their time at Hawaii Island Recovery’s dedicated addiction treatment. However, that doesn’t mean that families don’t play a role in their continued success. Addiction is never an isolated disease but rather has profound effects on entire families and communities. Understanding addiction as a disease that involves everyone is necessary to empower alumni and their families to address the situation with a unified effort and dedicated intent. 

Become Educated

Addiction is complicated in how it changes a person’s brain, thought patterns, behaviors, and more. To best understand and support newly sober loved ones, educating oneself about the disease and its effects, causes, and continued impact on a person’s physical and mental health is crucial. Not only can this be the basis for a better understanding of newly sober loved ones and the challenges they face but can also be the catalyst for effective communication, sympathy, and forgiveness.

Tend To Personal Needs

Supporting loved ones is exhausting. Families must continue tending to their own needs, even while supporting others. For some, this can mean finding support groups for family members supporting loved ones through addiction, with some in-person or online communities available. This also means maintaining self-care routines and hobbies. Not only can personal self-care help address feelings of exhaustion, burnout, or compassion fatigue but it can also be used to model effective time management skills for newly sober loved ones. 

Establish Clear Boundaries

While difficult, newly sober loved ones will need some of their own space and time to explore their newfound sober identities. Establishing and respecting boundaries with sober alumni is an essential part of the process. Communicating freedoms, making compromises and agreements, and empowering loved ones to use their space to explore personal interests and ideas can all be great ways of creating an atmosphere of respect, as well as one of accountability. 

How Can I Tell the Family About My Addiction?
How Can I Tell the Family About My Addiction?

Taking the first step into treatment and recovery and telling the family about the need for sobriety is a massive step. We can help you learn to talk to your family about addiction, and can even personalize your recovery plan and incorporate family programming to ensure a unified approach to sobriety. For more information about our Big Island substance abuse center, call (866) 390-5070.

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Make Household Changes

Making changes around the house can be the best way to support newly sober family members. Commitment to a sober household is a group effort and involves removing addictive substances like alcohol from the house entirely, even if an individual is navigating recovery from drug use. 

However, adopting new cultures, routines, or traditions that celebrate sobriety or repurposing rooms in the house to create space for sober hobbies can be an even greater way of supporting newly sober loved ones, alongside removing reminders of past use or unnecessary stresses, triggers, and more that can transform the house into something new and supportive of sobriety. 

Celebrate The Accomplishments of Newly Sober Loved Ones

Recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments, milestones, and progress of newly sober family members is crucial. These celebrations can help to combat feelings of doubt while improving resilience and empowering alumni to focus on their recovery, sobriety, and commitment to ongoing outpatient treatment and self-care routines. 

Having familial support is truly transformational throughout the recovery process, especially after graduating from our Hawaii sober living and recovery center and personalized programs. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we not only understand the important role that family plays in sustainable and transformational sobriety but we also encourage familial involvement to facilitate this success. From dedicated family programming and education to being a constant resource for sobriety for alumni and their families alike, we are prepared to help entire families heal from the effects of addiction while maintaining sober change. For more information on how we can help you support your newly sober family members, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about specific questions, call (866) 390-5070.