Keeping our Teens Drug and Alcohol Free

Supporting a Loved One’s Recovery

How can you best celebrate friends or loved ones who are living addiction-free? Here are some ways for you and your kids to show your support:

Ask them! Your loved ones in recovery probably have great ideas about how they would like your support. Model being a good listener.

Join them in their recovery maintenance. Spend time together sharing in healthy new habits, like nature walks and board games. In addition, peer support meetings like the 12 Step fellowships or SMART Recovery have meetings for friends and family members to learn about recovery.

Abstain from substances and behaviors when you’re together. Try out these festive fun and delicious non-alcoholic drink recipes as a fun, creative way to enjoy time together.

Offer a good ear and a shoulder. Life challenges and their associated strong feelings may be overwhelming and lead to risk of relapse. Model empathy by showing how much you care with your time and attention.

Know who to contact. If they feel shaky and need professional help, offer to sit with them while they make that call to their therapist, the treatment program they attended, or to the JCFS Access Team for referrals.

Beth Fishman, PhD, Program Manager, JCFS Chicago Addiction Services