Helping A Friend Through An Addiction
When a friend admits they have an addiction, it can be difficult for you to know how to respond or act. You don’t want to treat them differently, but you also want to help them to make sure that they don’t relapse. It’s a crucial time for your friend, and they will need your support to get them through it. By admitting it to you, your friend has shown you that you are someone they can trust, and you should try to do what’s in your power to help them. Here are just some of the things you can do to help you friend through an addiction.
Listening is a skill and one that your friend will need you to have during this tough time. You can become a better listener to help them get some of their feelings out into the open, rather than always trying to offer a solution to their problems. Give them pointers to ask how they’re feeling, but stay away from sharing your experiences or relating to your own problems. This will help make them feel like they’re being heard, and make them more likely to confide in you if they feel like they’re going to relapse.
It can be easy to tiptoe around someone who is going through something, out of fear you’ll say or do the wrong thing. If your friend is recovering from alcohol abuse, don’t be afraid to say the word ‘drink’ – they’d much rather you were normal and treated them as you’ve always done. It helps to suggest activities that aren’t related to the addiction but don’t feel like you have to completely change your friendship to stop them from relapsing. Being with you probably gives them a sense of calm and normality, and you should do what you can to keep things as normal as possible.
Help them improve their lifestyle
Anyone can benefit from a healthy lifestyle change, so why not do it together? When recovering from an addiction your friend will need to take better care of their health, and it could have benefits for you too. Start taking up an exercise together or a healthy eating plan as a way to motivate each other to become healthier. There are many benefits to exercising with a friend and by taking on a joint challenge, you’ll have a common goal which isn’t based on their addiction and any issues you might be facing.
Get them help when needed
It’s also important to know that your best efforts may not always be enough. Helping someone with an addiction is tough, especially if it’s new territory for you. You’ll be able to help them far better by reaching out than if you try to handle things on your own. Contacting a recovery center or reaching out to their family and other friends could help them where you can’t and ease any pressure that you’re feeling too. You have your own problems and concerns to deal with, and if it’s too much for you on your own – you need to reach out.
When helping a friend who’s in trouble, it can become all-consuming. If you worried about a friend, make sure you tell someone to get them the help that they need. It’ll be a long journey towards recovery from your friend, but they’ll be glad you were there for them when they needed it.