How to Support a Recovering Addict on the Road to Sobriety

Many people who want their loved ones to get rid of substance abuse think that professional services like detox and rehab are the only roads to recovery. They often fail to understand that these professional services are just the start of a long journey.

Recovering from substance abuse is a very long process, because it requires a lot of courage, persistence and resolve to stay on the sobriety track. Recovering addicts need the support of loved ones after getting professional assistance, so it is very important for you to embolden and motivate recovering addicts to stick to a drug-free life.

Studies suggest that recovering addicts who received continuous support and encouragement from their loved ones found more success in beating the addiction than those who didn’t.

Below are some ways to support a recovering addict.

How to support a recovering addict

How to Support a Recovering Addict on the Road to Sobriety

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

– Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream

Pay attention

Recovering addicts need your attention. Particularly, they want someone to listen to them without panning them. One of the best ways to support a recovering addict is to pay close attention to what they have to say and to allow them to share their apprehensions, doubts, experiences and other feelings. This way you are letting the recovering addict voice his or her concerns to a kind ear, which can relieve their stress. It is also important to know the drug relapse triggers.

Show compassion

Most recovering addicts often feel they are being judged whenever they express their feelings to someone. One of the best ways to nullify this feeling is by showing compassion and demonstrating your love for the person instead of judging them. Also, don’t criticize, and don’t express your disapproval of their feelings. All they are asking for is your support, and if you handle this with care and love, they will soon become completely sober.

Create a drug-free atmosphere

The best way to ensure that a substance addict recovers and becomes a sober individual in the long run is by creating a drug-free atmosphere. You can ensure that your loved one is protected from drugs by keeping her or him away from places that might lure them to revert, and by eliminating any drugs from their living environment.

Reassure and motivate

You should always reassure and motivate a recovering addict to continue their drug-free life. You can do this by choosing healthy activities to engage in with them, and by motivating them to indulge in exercising and playing sports. When you keenly demonstrate your care for them, they will find it much more comfortable to steer clear of a potential relapse.  

Practice patience

Recovering from substance abuse is a slow process, and it requires the addict’s loved ones to demonstrate much patience. If you seriously want them to recover, you have to show patience when they make mistakes, because mistakes certainly occur along the road to recovery. Show your affection by telling your loved one that you are always there for them, and that you are well aware that they will stick with their commitment to recover.    


Remember, recovering from substance abuse is extremely easy when the addict’s loved ones demonstrate support. Your loved one will recover fast if you practice the points explained above.


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