Maintenance Strategies For Recovering Drug Addicts
If you've got a family member or a roommate who is a recovering drug addict, you've got to be careful about what's in your home. Recovering from addiction is not just a matter of going to therapy and staying away from drugs in general. Recovery requires that strict measures be taken to ensure the person in recovery does not encounter triggers that could cause a relapse. This can be difficult when there are lots of people in the home, but setting up thorough ground rules can help.
Remove All Drugs and Alcohol From the Home
Obviously you don't want to have the person's drug of choice hanging around. But you'll need to get rid of anything that could be intoxicating, including alcohol even if the person was not an alcoholic. This includes cooking alcohol as well. Remember that a person can easily develop new addictions that act as substitutes for the preferred drug. Do not let people bring alcohol into the home as a gift, either.
Specify Terms in Lease
If you tend to have boarders or tenants renting rooms in the house, make the lease or rental agreement that you use very specific about not having alcohol or drugs in the house or on the property. Specify that the possession of these will be considered a violation of the lease or rental agreement. You may need to go as far as not allowing anyone who smells like they've been using drugs (like marijuana) in the house, even if they use it away from the home.
With the growing use of medical marijuana, this can cause a clash as medical users may claim the marijuana is medicine and not a drug. However, as the owner of the home, you can still ban the substance from your property. Discuss with the person who is recovering from the addiction if he or she is OK with you letting prospective tenants know there is a person in recovery in the home, as sharing this fact may help you keep users out of the home.
Be Mindful of Other Triggers
Each case of recovery is different. Some people may do well just avoiding actual drugs, but others may need to avoid emotional triggers as well. Movies, music, and other reminders of the years they spent addicted may need to be banned from the home.
Keep in Touch With the Rehab Facility
Stay in touch with the counselors and others at the rehab facility that first helped your family member or roommate. This should be a given, but many people forget that drug rehab facilities can help recovering addicts even after their stay at the facility has finished. If you are having issues keeping triggers away from the person who is in recovery, contact the rehab center to discuss additional strategies and warning signs.