When someone you love is living with opioid use disorder (OUD), it can affect the whole family. Although you cannot make a loved one seek treatment if they are not ready, you can support them through the recovery process. You can help people you know with opioid use disorder by:
- Learning more about addiction
- Being there to listen and talk your loved one through stressful situations
- Being flexible as they make life changes that support their recovery
- Recognizing the early signs of relapse, such as withdrawal from friends and family or skipping treatment sessions
- Reminding them about appointments if they ask
- Letting them know you care and support them through this process
Later on in the recovery process, people with OUD and their loved ones may want to consider family therapy. The goal of family therapy is to ensure everyone is able to provide the right kind of support to the family member in recovery, while providing emotional support to the whole family.
You may also want to consider individual therapy when you learn that a loved one has OUD. You may feel hurt or confused and speaking with a counselor or therapist can help you process your feelings and develop better coping mechanisms. Family Health Centers of San Diego offers both individual and family therapy.
Support groups can help connect you to other families going through the same thing and provide an outlet to discuss the process. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline can provide you information and referrals to support groups near you and can be reached at 1-800-662-4357.