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 ten 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.
1. Recovering Addicts Sometimes Crave Drugs
Most recovering addicts want sobriety, but they can’t control when a craving strikes. 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’ previous 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 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 hurdles 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 individuals 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 a 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.