What Not to Say To A Recovering Addict

What Not to Say To A Recovering Addict

When you have a loved one or a family member who is a recovering drug addict or an alcoholic, you may not know how to react or what to say to them.

You may feel like you need to tiptoe around the topic, or you may want to confront them for how they hurt you before they became sober. The last thing you want is for them to relapse, so how do you talk to them while showing you’re supportive? First, know what not to say to a recovering addict.

Things You Shouldn’t Say to A Recovering Addict

As a luxury residential drug rehab in Florida, we know that what you say or do not say to your loved one matters and can sometimes make all the difference. Because of this, we are sharing what not to say to a recovering drug addict or alcoholic.

  1. You don’t look like an addict. How long have you been sober?”
    What exactly does an addict look like? Addiction is a disease that affects people from all over the world of all different backgrounds. Saying something like this sounds ignorant and can be insulting. On that same note, they probably don’t want to dive into all of the details.
  2. Remember that one time you were so high, and you almost got arrested.” Or “What was your rock bottom?”
    Someone who is in recovery is trying to move forward with their life. The last thing they need is a reminder of when they were at their worst, especially when many recovering addicts struggle with shame and guilt.
  3. Are you okay? Are you sure you are okay? You aren’t going to relapse, are you?”
    While you should certainly check in on your loved one, checking in too much is not only annoying, but can also leave them feeling like you don’t trust them or they cannot stand on their own. This one may be the hardest to avoid, but you want to empower your loved one and be supportive when they need it, not undermine their progress.
  4. Shots for everyone, except Sam.”
    It is the person in recovery’s choice to tell people or not to. Don’t single them out in a group, especially if you don’t know if everyone you are with knows that they are sober. It can make the person in recovery feel uncomfortable.
  5. “How much does it suck to no longer drink or go out? Are you bored all of the time”
    When you talk to someone in recovery, you should focus on how good it is that they are moving forward. Partying, drinking, and going out was a big part of their problem in the first place; do not make them feel like they are now missing out on something that was contributing to their addiction.
  6. “Well, we all have our vices. I know how you feel.”
    Addiction is a horrible disease and if you haven’t been through it yourself, you do not know how they feel. They probably went through drug detox, experienced uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, and spent a long time in treatment. Especially if you equate a drug or alcohol addiction to something that’s not that bad, it not only sounds ignorant, but it is also rude.

It can take some time to cope with your loved one’s recovery and learn how you fit in. Knowing what not to say to a recovering addict is important, so at Seaside Palm Beach, we offer family addiction programs in South Florida to educate loved ones on addiction and how to move forward together in a healthy manner.

If your loved one still struggles with drugs or alcohol or may have relapsed, the best way to help them is to try and get them into treatment. Learn more about the next step to take by calling 561-677-9374.

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