top of page

Mistakes To Avoid When Helping Someone Recover From Drug Addiction

Drug addiction may be a treatable condition, but addiction recovery is a lifelong process that requires all hands on deck to improve its chances of success. When you’re helping a friend or a loved one recover from drug addiction, you’re bound to run into more than a few challenges. Sometimes, we make mistakes when helping a drug-addicted family member or friend. Some of these mistakes could deeply hurt a recovering addict’s feelings. Others may even push them to begin using again. No one would ever want to see friends or loved ones get involved in situations like getting arrested for DUI prescription drugs or worse, overdosing on any addictive substance. If you really want to help them recover from drug addiction, you must avoid committing the following mistakes:

Not Educating Yourself About Addiction

You cannot possibly help anyone struggling with drug addiction if you know little to nothing about it. You would be in a much better position to help a friend or loved one recover from addiction if you understand the causes of addiction, the symptoms associated with it, and the treatment options available. By educating yourself about addiction, you will come to understand better what your friend or relative is going through. The more you know about the condition, the more you will be able to help them overcome it.

Not Watching What You Say

We all should keep in mind that a friend or relative facing drug addiction struggles may tend to be a a bit more insecure, emotional, and sensitive about their current situation. You might be close to that person, but you still have to be careful about what you say to or around them.

You may mean well when you say something like, “I know what you’re going through.” However, unless you’ve struggled with drug addiction yourself and managed to overcome it, those words will ring empty. Better say that you’re sorry and that you’re there to support them than mouthing off about knowing what they’re going through when you actually don’t. If possible, avoid cracking jokes at their expense, even when you’re bosom buddies with the recovering addict. They might be smiling or laughing with you when you’re making light of their situation, but there’s no way we would know if they’re really okay with the jokes. To be on the safe side, keep your jokes away from anything resembling their current state.

Making Decisions For Them

It’s understandable when you’re eager to help family members or friends recover from drug addiction. However, if your eagerness leads you to sign them up for rehab or choose addiction recovery programs without running it past them first, then you are overstepping your bounds. Entering rehab is a major decision that no one should ever force on a person facing addiction problems. For treatment to have a much better chance at success, it must be something that they should choose for themselves, not by anyone else.

Assuming That Addiction Is Gone After Completing Rehab

Some might assume that completing a treatment program means a person is cured of his or her drug addiction. However, as mentioned above, drug addiction recovery is a lifelong process. It’s not unheard of for former drug addicts to be sober for years but end up relapsing after something like a memory or sudden access to drugs triggers their cravings. If anything, we all need to be consistent in our support for their recovery. Over time, we should keep on helping them avoid social gatherings where people might use addictive substances and build relationships with sober friends, among other things. Rebuilding their lives is key to their full recovery, and we should be there for them every step of the way.

Neglecting Your Own Well-being

The recovery process takes a lot out of the person recovering from addiction. What many don’t realize, however, is that recovery takes quite a toll on the people providing them support, too. Worse, people helping a friend or loved one recover tend to forget about their own well-being in the process. If you intend to help someone on their lifelong journey towards recovery, you have to attend to your own needs, too. Take the time to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, even as you do the same for someone else. Eating right, getting enough exercise, and enjoying life, in general, makes you healthier and happier, which will enable you to provide continuous and consistent support for a friend or loved one in addiction recovery. Addiction recovery may not be the easiest thing in the world, but by avoiding the mistakes listed above, the entire process can go a bit smoother for everyone, and that’s always a win.

Learn more about our outpatient treatment program or detoxification programs.


bottom of page