group of friends outdoorsHow can you help a friend who is struggling with addiction? What role should you play in your friend’s life?

It may seem difficult to immerse yourself in your friend’s addiction recovery process, but it can be not just effective but important that you play an active role to ensure that your friend has a successful recovery. When you have a friend who is struggling with addiction, you may be the ideal person to be there in moments of success and in moments of struggle.

Addiction is a disease that is extremely difficult to overcome alone. Individuals struggling with addiction need the proper treatment recovery program and the support from friends to complete the recovery process. You are an essential part of your friend’s recovery process and can strengthen the struggling addict’s willpower to remain dedicated and determined to achieve sobriety. There are some key things you can do to help your friend successfully recover from addiction and live a meaningful life again.

4 Things You Can Do to Help a Friend Who is Addicted

1. Educate yourself. It is important that you research the warning signs of your friend’s addiction. Get informed and recognize the differences in the individual’s physical appearance and interactions with family and friends. Observe how your friend reacts in social environments and be aware of signs of distress or symptoms of depression.

Your friend may start to separate from the rest of your social group and become very isolated. Recognize if he or she begins to withdraw from once previously enjoyed activities or from family and friends. This is an extremely important sign that your friend is struggling and may be using drugs or alcohol to cope.

2. Empathize with your friend. Try and put yourself in your friend’s shoes. It may be difficult to understand why he or she is struggling with addiction. For people struggling with addiction, they usually use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism to get through difficult moments. You can provide a productive outlet by taking your friend away from the environments that elicit destructive thoughts and behaviors.

Provide unconditional love and support. This may seem like a very small gesture, but to a person who is struggling with addiction, showing how much you care can make a tremendous difference in the person’s life. Be the buffer zone between your friend and the destructive substance and show that you can help your friend overcome difficult moments in a productive way.

3. Communicate with your friend. Talk to your friend and make sure you tell the individual that you will be there in moments of struggle and success. Make sure your friend is sober when you have a conversation about your concerns and your willingness to help.

Be careful not to place blame on your friend for any reason. Embody a non-judgemental attitude and do not get mad at your friend for turning to alcohol or drugs to cope. Tell the individual that you will help find the perfect treatment program and that you will be there for emotional support every step of the way. It is vital that your friend knows that the recovery process will be a team effort and that the individual will be connected to loved ones during the entire process.

4. Take action. Research treatment centers with your friend and offer your support during consultations and group therapy sessions. Drive your friend to appointments and offer any additional support that you can. Be invested in the recovery process and make sure that the treatment center is the best possible program for your friend. Be a pathway between the therapists and family members and encourage the individual to get involved in activities once previously enjoyed.

Accompany your friend to church services and engage in daily prayers to show that you are dedicated to the individual’s recovery process and renewed connection with God. Connecting yourself to faith will also help to ensure that the individual feels connected to the larger community of God.

The greatest gift you can give to your friend who is struggling with addiction is to be present throughout the entire process. Be there for the good moments and triumphs of the recovery process as well as for the difficult moments. Friendship and connectedness is an extremely meaningful experience that every individual needs in order to fully recover from addiction. Being invested in the process, doing enjoyable activities, and getting involved in a church community may be exactly what your friend needs in order to gain the willpower to overcome substance abuse.
At Covenant Hills, the highly trained, world-class staff offer a tranquil and supportive environment for your friend who is struggling with addiction. Covenant Hills include family and friends in the recovery process and ensure that the individual receives high quality care every step of the way. Their comprehensive program options and diverse therapy sessions provide individuals with the coping mechanisms needed to maintain sobriety and live a healthy life again. To reach Covenant Hills, call (800) 662-2873.