Encouragement in Recovery Goes a Long Way (How to Encourage a Loved One in Recovery)

Written by Chloe Nicosia

It’s important to know what to say to provide a loved one with encouragement in recovery

In life, there are many situations a person may find themselves in where finding just the right words to express concern, love, or support do not always come. Knowing what to say to someone in drug rehab and providing encouragement in recovery can be one of those instances. For a loved one, striking the right balance between support and letting a person find their own way in their sobriety can be difficult. This article offers suggestions on how to provide words of encouragement for sobriety in an encouraging, supportive manner.

“I Admire Your Courage to Seek Treatment.”

The decision to seek drug rehabilitation is a difficult one on many levels. Doing so means a person is giving up a pattern of abuse they have followed for many months and years of their life. Without a drug or drugs, the person may not know how they are going to move forward with their life. Yet, many people decide to do something healthy for themselves as well as their family and loved ones: quitting substance abuse. Recognizing the courage a person has displayed by seeking drug rehabilitation can be highly reassuring to another person that they are in the right place and are capable of overcoming their addiction.

Being Specific

Sometimes compliments or words of encouragement in recovery can fall flat because they may not come across as sincere, regardless of the intentions of the person saying them. An example of what to say to someone in drug rehab could include “You seem to be more at peace after going to a meeting than I have seen you in a long time.” Using descriptions and specifics can help turn ordinary encouragement into something that feels special and unique. Another example could be, “I admire the way you have encouraged those who are just starting rehab. You are a real role model to others in recovery.” Naming a specific instance or event where a person has succeeded are all excellent examples of beneficial words.

“I Have Faith in You”

Sometimes a person in recovery needs extra encouragement to truly believe they can move forward with their sobriety and continue to succeed in their recovery. You can express this support by emphasizing your faith in their abilities to become and stay sober. Although you can never truly feel the same emotions a person going through rehabilitation is going through, you can express your faith in them to complete a rehabilitation program. Saying “I can’t imagine how hard this is to go through, but I know that if anyone can do it and succeed, it is you” can provide a much-needed confidence boost that keeps a person going.

Let Actions Speak Louder

If you aren’t sure what to say out loud, simply being there for a loved one can help. Offering to drive them to a 12-step meeting or sending them encouraging letters while they are in a residential rehab can be thoughtful shows of support. You could also engage them in an activity designed to promote stress-relief and enjoyment. This could include a cooking or workout class or even just a walk in the sunshine. By helping a person find greater stress relief and peace, they are more likely to stay sober.