According to a survey conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), eighty percent of the American population has positive feelings about addiction recovery. This public perception, albeit optimistic, should also go hand in hand with a high level of sensitivity and circumspection.
The survey also shows that “one out of two Americans knows someone who is recovering from substance addiction.” If you happen to know a friend who is currently recovering from some form of addiction, please pay attention.
To make sure you do not cause more harm than good, you need to know what to say or do to a recovering addict. While your intentions may be pure, your words may carry the wrong message.
Following are common blunders you should avoid when dealing with a recovering addict.
Avoid Telling the Person “You should pull yourself together.”
If you want to make the person feel more confident about his or her recovery, simply say “If there’s anything you need, feel free to talk to me. You have my full support.”
As much as possible, never pass the entire blame to the person. Addiction is a complex mental issue. You may freely share relevant insights especially if you have also experienced the same problem but always be tactful and sensitive in your words.
Do not invite the person for a drink.
One of the major effects of drug and substance abuse is the loss of behavioral control. It follows then that when an addicted individual takes a big amount of alcohol, which is an addictive substance, he or she may lose the ability to think and act properly. You do not want to be solely responsible for the person’s relapse.
If you want to help a recovering addict, avoid all occasions where alcohol is present. This substance will not help at all. Ideally, you should help the person make the conscious effort not to attend any events that offer alcoholic beverages.
Never tell a recovering addict “Can’t you just stop taking drugs once and for all?”
Did you know that going cold turkey is extremely dangerous for a recovering addict? Studies have repeatedly shown that going cold turkey is the least successful method of recovery.
One of the reasons why you must not bring up this topic is the fact that it could put the person’s health at risk. To help ensure the safety of a recovering drug addict, always remind him or her to hang out with people who can provide positive influences.
Most important, always advise the person to stick to his or her detox program for a successful recovery. It is also important to find a detox facility that offers a holistic program to help the person rebuild a new life and reconnect with friends and family.
If you urgently need professional guidance and medical assistance for substance abuse, consult a medical expert who can immediately provide you with sound and up-to-date information. Seek the expert recommendations of well-known and trusted addiction specialists in your area.