If you or a loved one have struggled with drug addiction, then you’ve likely seen the struggle that takes place both during and after the main phase of addiction.
The drug users who are fortunate enough to stop using have only won part of the battle – the real battle begins after cleaning up and learning to try to reintegrate into normal life while battling cravings, nostalgic memories, and changes in physical or mental health.
One of the best supports for recovering drug addicts are their friends and family, and one of the best things that you can do for them is to learn how you can help them stay sober. In this article, we’re going to describe some of the best ways to help a recovering drug addict stay sober.
Helping Someone On the Road to Recovery
These are some of the best tips and tricks that you can use to help a recovering drug user stay sober.
Get Some Education
It can be hard to work with someone struggling through their recovery if you don’t know what they’re going through. To compound that, you’ll never really know what they’re going through until you’ve been there yourself.
The least you can do, though, is to learn about their addiction. You can begin to understand how cravings work, what they struggled through, and the neurological issues that they’ll struggle with.
A note of caution: flaunting an educated perspective to someone who has actually struggled through addiction can lead to you coming off ‘high-and-mighty.’ Use the education to both of your benefits, but don’t try to act like you know more than them.
Recovering drug users will be going through a lot. They’ll be prone to emotional outbursts and instability, fatigue, and other physical or mental problems. In short, they may be rather unpredictable.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is that you’ll need to stay on your feet, and you’ll need to treat them with love and compassion – even if they’re acting unreasonably at the moment.
Encourage Positive Changes
It can be difficult for a recovering drug user to know which direction to move in. You can help them in a number of ways.
- Encourage them to hang out with sober, like-minded people. Perhaps introduce them to some friends.
- Help them build an environment that supports their sobriety.
- Give them positive feedback about the changes that they’ve made and the positive effect that they’re having.
- Help them find new hobbies and activities that they (or perhaps both of you) can enjoy so that they have something to fill their time with.
Don’t get so invested that you begin to sacrifice your own mental health. This might seem difficult at times, but it’s important to make sure that you only help them within your own capabilities. If you get burned out, then you can’t really help anyone.
Written by Nigel Ford