Substance abuse is a continuous and serious problem for Canadians. Many people are dealing with substance dependencies all over the country, and as a result, many people are directly affected by their struggles.
Whether you’re a friend, family member or acquaintance of an individual who has experienced substance addiction, you’d be surprised how helpful or harmful even the simplest of actions can be.
If you’re in the presence of a recovering addict, there are things that you can do to help them continue forth on their journey to sobriety Encourage their hard work and progress with these ways to help a recovering addict:
- Educate Yourself
It is important not to assume that you know everything about substance abuse, or what a specific individual has experienced during their journey to recovery. Educating yourself might mean learning what kinds of things can cause addiction and what certain drugs can do to the body.
It can also be very helpful to ask about the personal experience of the recovering addict you know. Try to point out that you only want to educate yourself about the topic so that you may genuinely be able to help them more efficiently.
- Avoid Judgement
It is never right to be negative towards others; we should always be supporting one another.
Hearing positive reinforcement and support is one of the best ways to help a recovering addict, because it helps to keep them in a healthy mental state. That means offering positive reinforcement, supporting their goals and offering to help them along the way.
- Remove Triggers
If you still want a recovering addict to be a part of your life, then it is ideal to remove any triggers from the surroundings when they’re around.
That means keeping substances out of your home when they’re with you, and considering all of the places you’re taking them. Avoid bars and clubs, and instead try a new activity together like hiking or curling.
Removing recovering addicts from potential trigger situations is a great way to keep them on their new path. If you don’t know what places and things set them off, ask them so that you can be prepared.
- Try New Things
Recovering addicts often find that staying busy keeps their mind off of wanting to relapse. If this is the case, consider taking them out to try some new things.
It can be anything: Sports games, painting, picnics, etc. Trying new things will show them all of the great opportunities they were missing out on before, and they may even begin to enjoy their new activities more frequently.
This is also a great way to help them meet new crowds of people, and to move away from previous people or places that had a bad influence on them.
Always be willing to listen to a friend or family member who is a recovering addict. Even if they don’t make it known, some people really need someone to talk to.
Keep in mind, actively listening won’t just mean hearing what they have to say; get rid of distractions and communicate with them by both listening and offering your own sound advice.
Addiction recovery is much easier for individuals who have a sound support system of family and friends. If you want to help someone on their journey to sobriety, consider these ways to help a recovering addict.
If you notice the individual struggling, suggest that they join a support group, or volunteer to go with them for support.