9 Ideas for Showing Support to Someone in the Recovery Process

Drug dependency and addiction can ruin someone’s life and tear apart their family. However, when the person takes the steps to get into recovery, they need the support of their family and friends. There are many ways that support can be given, but here are 9 ideas for showing support to someone in the recovery process.

1. Let them know you want to help.
Part of the disease of addiction is secrecy. Many addicts will not admit they have a problem and will try to hide it from family and friends. Therefore, they might not always ask for help, even during recovery. They may be embarrassed or think that they are bothering you. It is important to let them know that you are there to help them.

2. Make yourself available.
Make sure that if the person in recovery reaches out to you for help that you are available. You need to discuss the things the person needs help with and make sure that you do them. Do not commit to helping in a certain way and not follow through on it. This will undermine the person’s trust in you and the legitimacy of your commitment to them.

3. Educate yourself on recovery.
Educating yourself on what recovery entails and how it affects the patient and those around them is important. You may want to ask the person if you can attend a meeting with them, so you can understand what issues come up and perhaps learn new ways of supporting the person during recovery. You can learn from other people in the meeting and get answers to some questions you might have. Additionally, you should do your own research on mental health, so you can promote recovery.

4. Encourage them going to meetings
Part of the responsibility of a recovering addict is that they go to meetings. It is a critical part of their recovery. As a friend or family member, you need to remind them of the importance and encourage them to go to their meetings. You cannot do it for them, they must take responsibility and do the hard work necessary to be successful.

5. Encourage healthy living
Recovery does not include only mental health. There are other activities that help with a recovery of the body as well. For instance, maintaining a healthy diet, finding places to enjoy, getting exercise, and getting involved in groups can create a focus on healthy activities. When the person focuses on healthy activities, it creates a distraction from what they used to do when they were taking drugs. They need to replace unhealthy activities.

6. Acknowledge that they have found a place to help them
Applaud them for finding a place where they felt safe enough to get the help they needed. Do not try to find out when they are going to be done with their treatment. Encourage them to continue their treatment in the place they have found to be beneficial and represents a safe place for them to be vulnerable.

7. Do not minimize recovery
Do not try to make light of the addiction a person is suffering from. It took a lot of courage for the person to come forward and ask for help. Do not question whether they really need help. If the person has taken the steps to get help, you need to support the decision and not make them second guess themselves. In addition, do not act like you know what they are going through (unless you are a recovering addict).

8. Acknowledge that they deserve sobriety
Let them know that they are important to you and everyone else around them. They need to believe and understand that they deserve to be happy and sober. Help them understand that it is an illness and needs to be treated for a lifetime, just like other illnesses. Get them involved in activities and hobbies that they may have had before the addiction.

9. Let them know they are not alone
Do not focus on the sobriety journey of someone else. Everyone’s battle is different. Just let the person know that they are not alone, and you are there for them. Knowing they have someone to lean on and someone who will listen to them without judgment is important and can make a world of difference.

Taking steps to get sober is one of the most difficult and important things a person can do in their life. After getting sober is where the work really begins. Dealing with issues, emotions, temptations, and other things that will challenge their sobriety is critical. Family and friends have a variety of ways to offer support. And, support can be the key to staying on track and remaining sober.

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