People in the recovery process are sensitive to what is said to them. As a matter of fact, they will pay attention to the tone of your voice and how you say it. They wont take shouting or criticism lightly. The chances for such people in the recovery process of going back to addiction are usually high. Any slight discouragement can send them back to addiction. Therefore, always talk in a way that shows you have confidence in what they are doing and even when they go wrong, correct them in a friendly manner.
Do not ask a person who is undergoing treatment or who has graduated from a recovery plan how long they have been sober. It is a sensitive question to ask as it may appear invasive or even mocking to the person in spite of the intentions. For patients recovering from alcohol addiction, the chances of a relapse are high as they tend to struggle with issues of shame and self-esteem. They are educating themselves about the life skills needed for a healthy sober life. Instead of asking questions on soberness, enquire on their progress and offer lots of encouragement.
Do not ask a question that touches on when he or she will stop attending their regular meetings. Though the question might seem innocent, a patient might read judgment and a sign of you giving up on him or her. Try to offer encouragement on why the patient should continue attending the meetings. Any sign of negativity might make the patient view the meetings as a form of punishment and not treatment. Instead, make the patient see how fortunate he or she is to have enrolled in such a great program.
Though this might seem extreme, never tell a patient on the recovery program that you know how he or she feels. Unless you have successfully gone through a treatment program and emerged victorious, never tell a patient that you know how he or she feels because you do not. Instead, make assuring statements like you are always there for the patient and you will stand by his or her side throughout the process. Such a statement is more practical and sincere. It will be easier for the patient to connect with your sincerity, as opposed to a case where you are issuing statements just to make the addict feel better.
Do not ask whether a patient is fully recovered from the addiction of any drug. Challenging a person on recovery usually discourages them from making the expected progress, as they will start second guessing themselves. Instead, offer to accompany them to their therapy sessions so you could learn more about what they are going through.
Making an effort to attend a meeting with your family member in recovery is usually a huge boost in accelerating their full recovery. Though such a gesture may seem small, the patient will often see it as your sign of faith in their ability to break free.
Telling the person on a recovery process that you think he or she has a problem is not wise. The patient is highly skilled at hiding his or her problems and challenges. Hence, when you appear judgmental, you are limiting the patient’s ability to open up to you. Instead, express your confidence in his or her ability to overcome the challenges she or he is facing. However, don’t delve on how difficult it is to attain full recovery. You might make it tough for the patient to overcome his or her challenges.
Never ask “can’t you just stop taking this or that?” If a person in the recovery process has confided to you that they are on their way to recovery, take their word for it. Asking such questions might discourage them as they might think they are taking too long and they might not break away from addiction.