A Shoulder to Lean On: How to Help a Friend Recovering from Addiction

friend recovering from addiction

Addiction can affect anyone from all walks of life. Whether it’s alcoholism, addiction to opioids, or other drugs, the process of rehabilitation can be daunting for the person who is addicted and for their friends and family members.

If you know someone who is recovering from addiction, there are many different ways you can help a friend in need of support.

Here are some tips and tools that will give you the strength and ability you need to be a good, supportive friend for those in recovery.

Be Available and Present

One of the cornerstones to healing and recovering from addiction is having a reliable support system. Tell your friend in no uncertain terms that you will be there for them whenever they need someone to talk to.

Whether it’s a ride to the grocery store or a late night phone call, having someone to lean on is paramount to true recovery. Let your friend know you care and prove it by being available whenever possible.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set boundaries, but it’s also essential to tell your friend that you will try to help them out in any way possible and as often as humanly possible.

Help a Friend by Being Patient

It’s important to realize that addicts will struggle long after they’ve supposedly recovered. That’s where patience comes in. As a friend, you’ll need to be as understanding as possible and be aware that slip-ups will happen.

Whether it’s coping with someone relapsing or dealing with drama, patience is the key to offering good support.

Many times, those in recovery will have a difficult time dealing with sobriety. Expect to encounter a few less-than-pleasant scenarios for a while, and understand that it’s all part of the process.

Be a Guiding Light

When your friend is struggling, you can become a beacon of light that helps them on their way to living a sober life. Whether it’s showing them how to learn more about local rehab programs or actually taking them to rehab yourself, offering guidance is essential.

Let your friend know about any group therapy sessions, books, or other possible methods that will help them recover from addiction.

Even if you don’t know everything about what they are going through, you can provide your friend with as much information as possible to help them on their way. If they slip up or make a mistake, be supportive and try to steer them back in the right direction.

Friendship Helps Addicts Feel Needed

By offering to help a friend in need, you’re showing them that you care about their well-being and you value the relationship. Feeling needed can inspire those coping with addiction to do better.

By offering patience, being there, and giving helpful and actionable advice, you’ll be able to play an essential role in the recovery of someone you truly care about.

For more information about drug addiction, recovery, hope, and paths toward healing, check out our blog.