When you have a loved one going through addiction recovery, you naturally want to help, support, and encourage them however you can. A big part of that is being judicious about what you say—and what you don’t say.
Certainly, there are some well-intentioned phrases and expressions that may not land with the impact you hope they will; words that can actually do a lot of hurt. Some common examples of what not to say to someone with addiction include:
- “That’s funny—you never seemed like someone with addiction!”
- “What was your rock bottom like?”
- “Are you still allowed to drink”/ “Can you still have any fun?”
- “How can you tell when you’re an addict/alcoholic?”
None of those phrases help, but here are some that do:
- “I love you no matter what.” Let your friend or family member know how much you care for them, through thick and thin.
- “I’m so happy you’re taking care of yourself.” Also indicate to them that you want to see them live a long and healthy life.
- “How can I help you?” Or better yet, offer a specific way in which you’d like to help them.
- “You can do it!” Recovery is hard, and your loved one needs to know that you believe in them.
- “I’m not going anywhere.” Finally, you can always let your loved one know that you’ll be there to help and encourage them even down the road, once they get back to “real life.”
Helping Your Loved One Through Addiction
There’s much you can do to help a loved one as they pursue a life of freedom from addiction. Saying the right things is important, but so it helping your loved one find the right clinical care. If you have any questions about where to start, don’t hesitate to contact us at Seacliff Recovery.