Checking into a substance abuse treatment center can be one of the best decisions a person ever makes for themselves. However, the idea of getting sober can scare an addict for a wide variety of reasons. Wondering how they will be able to maintain friendships and enjoy social gatherings in the absence of alcohol is one enduring fear among those who are trying to get sober. It can mean a lot for you to show support for a friend who is entering rehab. Here are some of the best ways that you can be there for your friend who is embarking on their path to recovery.
Call Often with Words of Encouragement
When someone enters an addiction recovery treatment center, their contact with the outside world is sometimes limited, but many rehabs do allow the former addict to speak to friends over the phone. If not, make calls and leave voice messages for your friend to receive when they can. Someone who is in rehab will usually lose touch with many friends who simply don't know what to say or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. It's always best to reach out and let the person know that you care.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
One of the best ways that you can comfort someone who is trying to recover from an addiction is showing that you want to understand what they are experiencing. Everyone wants to be heard and understood, yet addicts are often very misunderstood. These open-ended questions help convey that you seek to understand them, and they can also enlighten you about what the person is experiencing. Ask the following questions.
- What do you wish I clearly understood about what's happening to you?
- How can I help ease some of the pressures that you're facing?
- What is the most hurtful thing someone has said so far about your sobriety?
- What is the most helpful things that people say about your recovery?
- Can you tell me about your plan for when you're tempted?
- What are some ways that friends can best be there for you right now?
Participate in Therapy if Requested
Sometimes friends are asked to be a part of family therapy during someone's recovery. Family therapy is often a part of treatment plan for addiction recovery, and anybody who is considered important to the addict may be asked to participate. Don't get your feelings hurt if you aren't asked to participate because some people just enlist the help of immediate family members in this sort of therapy. But if you are asked to participate, show up for your friend at every requested appointment, if possible.
Finally, keep in mind that the path to sobriety is fraught with complications and temptations. Every bit of support that's offered to a recovering addict can make things a little easier on the person during what may be one of the most difficult times of their life. Never hesitate to show your affection and support for someone in recovery.
For more information, talk with some local clinics, like Ascent Behavioral Health Services, about what you could do to be more supportive.