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
Not Educating Yourself About Addiction
You cannot possibly help anyone struggling with drug addiction if you know little to nothing about
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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.
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My name is Pam, I am an alcoholic. I’m sober over 60 days right now. And I just wanted to tell you how fabulous my experience has been at Ken Starr and the addiction center. My treatment here has been fabulous. Everybody from reception to counseling to setting up my… my direct experience has been wonderful. And what’s been really great is I know that I’ll get lifelong support for my sobriety and everything else that the program has done that I can continue that.
The great change in me… well, first, I’ll tell you, I just went to Betty Ford for 45 days for pain and alcoholism. That was a great experience. I didn’t think I could possibly feel better after that, because I thought I was 100%. But when I came here, my… all of my parameters from physical pain, anxiety, depression, craving to drink, all of those on a scale of 1 to 10 are 0 right now, which is a huge thing for me. I drank for 7 years, and so this is a huge change.
The other thing that has really changed for me is the ability to experience great joy. So, I wake up every morning, I’m joyful and happy. My sleep has improved since I’m here; that helps a lot. And I, not only do experience joyfulness, I’ve had that spiritual awakening since I came here. I became open to that. And this is the best I’ve ever felt with my conscious contact with God, my serenity, my sense of calm, my sense of purpose.
When I came here, I had an irrational fear of relapsing. I don’t feel that anymore. It’s just a huge improvement for me. And I can’t tell you enough about the support, the group support here, the individual counseling and therapy, developing a relapse prevention plan and exit plan for what I do out in the real world once I finish this. So, I can’t tell you enough how great this experience has been for me, knowing I can come back for any future needs that I have, and that’s really reassuring.
So, I hope you’ll consider coming here. I will come back if I have any problems. I know they’re here for me emotionally, spiritually, in terms of cravings, if that should come up, physical pain. And I know that I… you know, I always can come back for that. I’m really excited. I hope you’ll consider coming here.
The program is fantastic!
I was very skeptical coming into it you know, not knowing too much about it considering I’ve been through traditional detox before for opiate addiction and I am floored by the results!
I feel so much better after a 10 day detox than I would if I had gone anywhere else.
My cravings are at a minimum and my withdrawal symptoms were almost non-existent throughout the entire process.