How to Help a Recovering Addict

If someone you love is a recovering addict, you already know that it isn’t always easy giving them the support they need. Substance abuse is a lifelong struggle, and it can rear its head when you least expect it. 

Although therapy, support groups, and sometimes medication are important parts of recovery, recovering addicts also need the love and care of those around them.

Keep reading, and we’ll tell give you some tips and resources on how to help a recovering addict. 

Keep Their Space Safe

All addicts, especially those who are in the first year of the recovery process, are susceptible to relapse. No matter how level-headed the addict in your life seems to be, make sure that their home is free from dangerous substances.

If you’re living with a recovering addict, this is easier. If this isn’t the case, consider asking your loved one to stay with you so you can make sure they’re in a safe space.

Consider all intoxicants to be a risk. If you’re living with a recovering drug addict, for example, don’t assume that they won’t be tempted by your anxiety medication, alcohol, or even cough syrup. 

Keep any potentially intoxicating substances in the house locked up or on your person. 

Communicate Openly

Most addicts are good liars. Honest, two-way communication is an essential part of supporting a recovering addict. 

If you notice any change in their behavior, you must be able to address it openly. Don’t beat around the bush; an unpleasant confrontation now is better than continued relapse later. 

Addicts don’t want to be treated like children. For them to be respectful and honest with you, you need to extend the same courtesy to them.

Voice your concern in a way that doesn’t patronize them or make them feel like a villain. Emphasize the fact that you love them and want to see them successful and safe. 

Respectful communication doesn’t mean sugarcoating, however. Be firm and honest about how important your concerns are. 

Keep Them Occupied

Most addicts feel very restless during recovery. You can help them find healthy recovery hobbies to fill the time they used to spend feeding their addictions. 

Recovery is a great time for recovering addicts to rediscover things they used to be passionate about, or find new interests altogether. 

Writing, drawing, or making art of any kind can be a great way for recovering addicts to both stay busy and express some of the difficult feelings they may be confronting. 

A lot of addicts may deal with oral or tactile fixation; the constant urge to occupy their hands and mouth. This may be a result of their addiction or linked to one of its underlying causes. 

Addicts can satisfy this urge safely by learning to cook intricate meals, or mastering the perfect cup of french press coffee. 

Exercise can also be a great way to occupy the body and provide a rush of happy chemicals to the mind. 

Help a Recovering Addict Find Hope

By giving a recovering addict the supervision and support they need, you can help them see that a better future is possible. Recovery can seem impossible, but it’s much easier with the help of an addict’s loved ones. 

We hope we’ve given you some helpful strategies for supporting the recovering addict in your life. 

For more lifestyle tips, check out the rest of our blog!