Supporting others

We have been here before, we know how to get through this. There are still plenty of ways we can continue to support each other. Moving back into Level 2 and 3 (Auckland only) means that we might not be able to see our loved ones face to face. Try these things to help you, and those you care about, stay well.

Make sure that you have support

You are not alone. Many New Zealand families speak about feeling lonely, worried and emotionally exhausted when supporting someone through alcohol and other drug issues. It is important to get support for yourself during this time.

Identify people that can support you and talk with you about what you’re experiencing. You can call, message, or video call them even if you can’t visit them. 

  • This situation is not your fault.
  • You don’t need to control everything.
  • You don’t have to appear like you are OK. Your household won’t fall apart if they see your human side.
  • If you a supporting your child through this, remember they need you to be a parent more than a friend.

Supporting someone withdrawing at home 

During Level 1, you may still be in the same house with less time apart than before the lockdown started. Try agreeing on expectations and boundaries, and setting a time to hear how everyone is going.

Think about these things:

  • Who else is in the household?
  • What are the expectations in your household?
  • What positive activities can you do in your household that don’t involve alcohol and other drugs?
  • What do others in the house need to know and, if they are children, how can they be protected from what is happening?
  • How can the house be arranged to reduce the impact of alcohol and other drug use?
  • Who can people in the household speak to for support out of the house?
  • How do people in your household relax, distress, or celebrate achievements without using alcohol and other drugs?
  • Does your household listen to each other?

Create a plan together

You can help people in your household stay healthy and live well together by having a plan for how things will work. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we’re human and we’re learning how to deal with another change to the way we live after weeks of being in lockdown. Keeping talking to each other in a household helps issues get dealt with earlier before they explode.

You might like to talk about these things as a household, or as the adults in the household:

  • What are our expectations of ourselves and each other?
  • What positive activities can we do that don’t involve alcohol and other drugs?
  • How do we relax, de-stress, or celebrate achievements without using alcohol and other drugs?
  • How do we talk with and listen to each other?
  • What is our daily routine?
  • How do we arrange our house so that we work well? If someone in the house is having uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms from changing their alcohol and other drug use, they might need some space so it doesn’t impact on others.