It can be quite difficult when a friend trying to overcome an addiction shares their struggles with you. You may be unsure of what you should do to support them and help them on their journey toward recovery.
You care about your friend and want nothing more than for them to succeed, but maybe it’s intimidating knowing where to start – or even what that journey looks like. If this rings true for you, take heart: helping your friend on their path to recovery requires thoughtfulness, understanding, and above all else, selfless love.
We’ve gathered several simple yet powerful tips, including the importance of sober living, that will show your friend how much they are truly cared for by doing more than just offering words of sympathy or encouragement!
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What Does Sober Support Mean?
Sober support is an important step to beginning a sober life. In sober support, you find sober friends, attend sober-friendly events, or visit sober bars. Having sober friends to share experiences and motivate you can be the foundation for a successful journey. Finding sober friends can be challenging at first, but there are many ways to make new connections. Look for local sober communities online through Facebook groups, attend 12 Step meetings in your area, or even ask if your local health clinic has recommendations. A great way to meet sober friends is by joining a sober social group and forum. Whether online or in person, connecting with like-minded and sober people on the same journey as you can make all the difference in your recovery process.
Tips To Support A Friend In Recovery
There are a lot of things you can do to help your friend on their path to recovery. Here are some ideas about dos and don’ts:
Do’s: Supporting A Friend In Recovery
Things you should do when helping a recovering friend:
Listen without judgment
One of the most important things you can do for recovering friends is to listen to them without judgment. It can be difficult to understand what they are going through, but it is important to be open-minded and accepting.
Avoid enabling behaviors
It is also important to avoid any behaviors enabling their addiction, such as buying them alcohol or drugs. This can be difficult to walk, as you want to be supportive without enabling your addiction.
Be there for them
Recovery is a long and challenging process, so it is essential to be there for your friend every step of the way. This includes being available to talk when they need someone, attending meetings, and helping with day-to-day tasks if required.
Encourage healthy habits
One way you can help your friend recover is through substance-free activities. This includes eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, joining a volunteer group, and getting enough sleep. Helping them to stick to their recovery plan will make it more likely that they will stay sober in the long term.
Avoid triggering situations
Certain situations may trigger your friend’s addiction, so it is important to avoid these if possible. For example, if they try to stay sober from alcohol, you should avoid going to bars or clubs with them. If you know of a situation that may trigger their addiction, it is best to stay away from it altogether.
Recommend Sober living
The sober environment is another important part of recovery. If your friend is looking for a place to stay, recommend that they look into sober living homes. These are living arrangements specifically designed to provide a safe and sober environment for individuals in recovery from substance abuse.
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They offer an array of services, such as community support, counseling, and recreational activities, to help individuals stay on the right path. With all the perks, your friend can gain inspiration to lead a normal life once again.
Help them find a support system.
A strong support group is essential for anyone in recovery, so help your friend find one if they don’t want to live in a sober home. Many other support groups are available, so find one that suits their needs. Additionally, you can be a part of their support system by offering your help and support. A sober community can help your recovering friend live a fulfilling life.
Celebrate their milestones
It is important to celebrate your friend’s milestones in recovery. This could include staying sober for one month or completing an outpatient treatment program. These milestones show how far they have come and motivate them to keep up the good work.
Don’ts: Supporting A Friend In Recovery
Things you shouldn’t do when helping a recovering friend:
Don’t use drugs around them.
It is important not to use drugs or alcohol around your friend if they are in recovery. This could be seen as enabling their addiction and could put them at risk of relapse.
Don’t talk about past drug use.
When talking with someone in recovery, avoid discussing past drug use. This may trigger memories of the addiction and be a reminder of the struggles that come with it. Instead, focus on positive aspects such as their accomplishments and future goals.
Don’t pressure them.
Although you may want to encourage your friend’s progress, do not pressure them too much, as this could make them feel overwhelmed or discouraged. Try to provide gentle reminders and positive reinforcement instead.
Don’t get frustrated.
Recovery can be a long process and sometimes difficult and frustrating. Remember that everyone has their own pace, and try to remain patient. Don’t give up on them or get frustrated if they relapse, as this may only worsen things.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Focusing solely on helping your friend recover is easy, but remember to take time for yourself. Make sure to take care of your mental health by getting rest, eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, etc., so you can have the energy and patience to help your friend even more.
How To Find Sober Friends If You Are Recovering From Addiction?
Recovering from addiction can be tricky, and finding a supportive group of sober friends is important to getting and maintaining sobriety. Consider attending sober raves in your area, joining sober movements, participating in Sober October activities, using social media to connect with like-minded people who understand what you’re going through, and finding support groups for people in recovery in your city or town.
With these tips, you’ll be set on the path to building a strong circle of new friends to help you as you work toward sobriety.
Helping a friend recover from addiction can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. By encouraging healthy habits, avoiding triggering situations, recommending sober living homes, finding a support system for them, and celebrating their milestones, you can help and support your friend in recovery. It is important to remember that recovery takes time and patience, so take care of yourself during this journey. With the right help and guidance, your friend can make a successful recovery.
Article by Born Realist