Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Friends & Family

10 Things Recovering Addicts Want You To Know

Posted by Myra Davis to Sobriety

How would you rate your knowledge and understanding of addiction recovery? Maybe you’re walking the journey today with a loved one or barely understand the struggles a recovering co-worker is facing. I encourage you to discover 10 things recovering addicts want you to know about their experiences and realities. Use this list to understand and help the recovering addicts in your life.

Friends & Family

1. They Sometimes Crave Drugs

Most recovering addicts want sobriety, but they can’t control when a craving will strike. Something as simple as a song on the radio, odor in the air, or stressful day at work could trigger a craving.

2. They Need to Cut Ties With Former Lives

Old, unhealthy friends and hangouts were all part of recovering addicts’ former lives. To maintain sobriety, they frequently need to cut ties with their negative past and start fresh with influences that align more closely with their new life choices.

3. They Need to Track Sobriety Time

Whether they’re clean for 30 minutes, 30 days, or 30 years, sobriety time motivates recovering addicts to keep going. Encourage your recovering friends to count every second of their sobriety. They’ve earned that time with work, sweat, and tears; and those seconds will turn into a lifetime, as they see continued success.

4. They Might Relapse

Even after rehab, relapse is possible. Drugs affect a person’s brain chemistry, and that reality makes staying clean really challenging. I’m not saying every addict will relapse, and I don’t want you to expect your recovering friends to relapse, but realize that it’s possible. Respect the struggle they face and the huddles they must overcome.

5. They Need Your Support

Recovering addicts value support. Even if you don’t understand addiction, I encourage you to support your friends by becoming an exercise buddy, offering rides to meetings, or listening when they need to talk.

6. They Need Holistic Treatment

Weekly psychotherapy sessions and meetings are part of the treatment plan many recovering addicts embrace; however, success hinges on using a variety of treatment tools that address physical cravings, emotional strongholds, and spiritual needs. The most successful treatment plans provide holistic and well-rounded treatment.

7. They Aren’t Waiting for a Cure

Maybe scientists will discover a cure for addiction. Until then, recovering addicts keep working their program. They know they’ll achieve sobriety today only through hard work, holistic treatment, and generous support.

8. They are More Than Statistics

You can find statistics about everything from the number of addicts in the U.S. to the relapse rate; however, every recovering addict is a living, breathing person who deserves respect and value. Look beyond the statistics and see recovering addicts as unique people who need your support and understanding.

9. They’re Not Hopeless

Maybe the recovering addicts you know dropped out of school, left a string of broken relationships behind them, or are serving life sentences in jail. Despite these circumstances, these men and women are not hopeless. They can successfully recover and live a healthy and whole life.

10. They Have Dreams for the Future

I encourage you to look beyond the struggles recovering addicts face. They have career, relationship, and personal dreams of things they’d like to accomplish and achieve in the future, and they can make those dreams come true.

Are you surprised by any of these 10 points? If so, I challenge you to learn more about addiction recovery. Talk to your recovering friends, attend an open meeting, and read recovery literature. As you understand the experiences and realities of recovery, you’re better equipped to help your friends find success in their recovery journeys.


  • Diane C

    What great information. I had no idea on some of these things. I guess you just kind of assume that these addicts don’t have future plans, etc as they’ve been under the influence of their addiction for so long. It’s good to know that as they get sober, their will to survive and ability to plan their future returns. We all need to recognize this and help them achieve the things they want.

  • Walter

    This is a great thing to read. It is commonly not thought that there will be a relapse or that they are still a person who is struggling with something that they could not control. This I feel is a common reason that some people may not be able to unable to understand what a person who has had an addiction has been through and many people may not fully understand the different things that it takes to get clean. So if you know anyone who is having a hard time facing addiction, then they need to be sure to get the help and if you are the one that is helping them, then these are good points to understand when you are helping them to get through the difficult time they are going through.

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