It can be painful to watch someone you care about go through bouts of addiction and recovery, but at the same time it can be hard to know what you can do to help. Every addiction is different, but with the right combination of support and treatment your loved one stands a good chance of sticking to a recovery program and avoiding a relapse. You have a role in their recovery after the intervention is over, so it's important you recognize that responsibility and step up to it.
During In-Patient Treatment
Whether friend or family, make sure that the person getting help has a way to reach you, and that you're on the contact list with the staff at any in-patient facility. Some facilities have restrictions on who is contacted, limiting this to family only, but the patient can augment this list as they desire. Be aware though, the first few weeks will be the roughest, so don't expect any contact initially. Even so, making an effort yourself is a good way to make sure that your loved one knows you're pulling for them.
Make a point of scheduling visits as regularly as allowed by the facility, and by your own schedule. The more invested you are in the recovery process, the easier it will be for your friend or family member to see and accept your support. Every patient is different though, so there's no way to predict exactly how your support will be received, but don't take it personally if your offers of help are rebuffed initially.
Out-Patient and Ongoing Treatment
Whether because of successful completion of an in-patient program, or a lack of willingness to participate in one, your loved one has the option to participate in an out-patient or long-term treatment approach. These programs are made more successful if the support system of the patient remains stable. With that in mind, make yourself available as often as you can to attend meetings, provide transportation to appointments, or simply listen when things start getting bad. This will also minimize the opportunities and excuses for blowing off commitments or relapsing into old habits. Having someone to reach out to who isn't a part of their addiction can make recovery much easier for patients, but this requires that you maintain an environment that is completely free of temptation. For example, if your friend or loved one was an alcoholic, make sure your home is free of anything that might contain alcohol in any form, including cold medicine and mouthwash. It may seem extreme, but recovering addicts can be unpredictable.
Knowing that you're there to help often means more to an addict in treatment than you might think. Without that support it's far too easy to back-slide and end up in a world they've fought hard to get out of. If you need advice on other ways you can help, reach out to a local group chapter or treatment center like Psych & Psych Services.