When it comes to helping a family member recover from a lifelong addiction to drugs or alcohol, you might be grappling with what to do and how to help. With relapse rates ranging from 50%-90%, you might wonder how to turn the tables in your loved one’s favor while simultaneously preserving your relationship. Here are three tips for helping a family member to detox, so that you can help them to live a better life. 

1. At-Home Rehab Can Be Dangerous

Taking care of your loved one from the comfort of your own home might sound like the perfect environment for recovery, but you might be setting yourself up for failure—in a dangerous way. Certain addictions change the body chemistry of addicts, which means that withdrawals can be fatal.

For example, addictions to alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines alter the way the GABA receptors in the brain react, which means quitting these substances cold turkey could lead to problems with seizures, breathing problems, heart issues, and even death. Recovering from these substances is less about “quitting,” and more about “tapering,” which is why at-home rehab might not be the best option.

If you want to help a loved one detox from alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids, the safest route to take is to enroll them in a program at a detoxification center like Evergreen Recovery Centers. Medical experts will carefully monitor their withdrawal symptoms and vital signs, and even have access to special medications that can ease recovery.

2. Focus On Proper Nutrition

Whether your loved one has recently been released from a detoxification center or they are tapering off of a dangerous substance on their own, a focus on proper nutrition is an absolute must. Make sure to fill your home with healthy, readily-accessible foods that are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients.

Consider stocking up on foods that are easy to digest, such as pasta, soups, and smoothies. Offer foods that have been shown to help the body to expel toxins, such as green tea, garlic, and healthy greens. Try to keep the person recovering hydrated, as withdrawal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea can cause severe dehydration very quickly.

Keep healthy snacks on hand for your loved one to munch on if they need to take their mind off of the way they are feeling. Nuts, dried fruits, and pre-cut, crunchy veggies are easy to keep on the counter or in the fridge—and can provide your loved one with a nutritional boost.

3. Distraction Is Essential

One of the most important ways you can help a loved one to detox from a drug or alcohol addiction is by offering powerful distractions. When your loved one is in the throws of battling a withdrawal, these distractions can help them to think about something else other than the way they are feeling, which can improve their recovery.

  • Television: Have a queue of great TV shows on hand, with a heavy helping of comedy. Although it might seem fitting to show your loved one shows or movies that center around addiction, watching dramas like that unfold might trigger a relapse.
  • Games: Whether your loved one prefers card games or video games, a little gaming can help to keep their mind off of their addiction.
  • Exercise: Encourage your family member to exercise to help their body to rid itself of those toxins. Take them on a walk or pop in an exercise video to get you and your loved one’s blood flowing.

Although it might seem exhausting to provide hours of endless distractions, watching television or playing games with your family member can be a great way to bond with them throughout their recovery.

If you need help walking a loved one through drug or alcohol dexotification, contact a counseling or rehabilitation center near you. These centers have caring experts who innately understand the intricacies of drug and alcohol addiction, so that your loved one can move on with their lives in a healthy, promising way.