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What You Can Do to Help a Friend through Addiction Recovery
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Tags: addiction recovery, support system, mental health

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Addiction recovery isn’t easy. It can be made slightly more bearable, though, with good friends. If you want to help your friend to get through addiction recovery, you may want to try some of the tactics listed below.

Be a Sober Friend

While your friend might have an official Sober Companion, you can help by being a sober friend. This means not engaging in addictive behavior when your friend is around. This might require something of a sacrifice on your part, but it will help make your friend’s road to recovery a little easier. Think of it as a small sacrifice that shows your friend that you’re with them on this journey. While what you’re doing isn’t really comparable, your friend will appreciate having someone around who won’t engage in tempting behaviors right in front of him or her. It’s also important for you to know your stuff. Know that a pill can just as easily be a non-addictive opioid treatment as an opioid. Trust them and provide a positive example.

Be a Sounding Board

From time to time, your friend will need someone to whom he or she can vent without being judged. Your friend might be dealing with some fairly huge emotions during this time period, with few chances to get out their thoughts in a non-therapeutic setting. If you want to help, be the kind of person who can listen to these thoughts without judging. If your friend wants advice, they will ask for it; if not, your best move will always be to listen, empathize, and to ultimately to remain present even when your friend feels that they have no place else to turn when grappling with these major, life-changing circumstances.

Give Space

There may also come a time when your friend feels that they can’t effectively recover when hanging around the same people. If you’re a true friend, you’ll need to recognize this and give your friend the space that he or she deserves. During the recovery period—and slightly after—you’ll want to make sure that you’re only meeting on your friend’s terms. In some cases, this might mean avoiding familiar places or certain group activities. In others, though, it might mean understanding that your friend needs time away from you for their health and that your friendship might not be what your friend really needs.

You can be an effective part of your friend’s support system during his or her recovery. Be helpful, be patient, and above all else make sure that you understand that this whole process is meant to improve your friend’s life. With patience and caring, you can aid in your friend’s recovery.



By Marlena Stoddard
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.

Marlena Stoddard

Author:

Biography: Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband two kids and puppy Molly Belle.

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