Watching a friend battle an addiction to cocaine is never easy. Cocaine can make people erratic, agitated, and paranoid, and it may have caused you to want to end your friendship more than once.
When your friend finally decides to get the treatment they need, it may be the first step to getting the person you knew back. Your friend will need many tools in cocaine addiction recovery — and one of the most important may be your support.
At 2nd Chance Treatment Center in Phoenix, Glendale, and Gilbert, Arizona, our outpatient treatment center provides behavioral therapy and maintenance medication to help people end their addictions. One of the ways we encourage people to remain sober is by staying connected to friends who are supportive.
Here are just a few ways you can support a friend through cocaine addiction recovery.
Lend an ear
Your friend will do a lot of talking in therapy, but that doesn’t mean they won’t need you to listen too. Therapy may even encourage them to want to talk more about their feelings and issues since they’re processing them regularly during treatment.
One of the best ways you can support a friend in recovery is to simply listen. Whether they need to let you know they had a craving to use or want to share something they discovered about themselves in therapy, just knowing you’re there can be all the support they need.
Encourage healthy activities
Your friend will spend a lot of time in therapy learning healthy ways to cope when they feel the urge to use cocaine or encounter a trigger to use. You can help them by encouraging activities and behaviors that enhance their recovery.
That can mean helping them avoid people and places that remind them of their drug use or getting them involved in an activity — like sports, music, or art — that gives them a healthy outlet. Helping your friend take their mind off drugs can be very helpful in their recovery.
You may never understand why your friend started using cocaine, or be okay with how they treated you while they were using. When your friend is finally in treatment, it can be most helpful to put that aside for the time being and help them focus on their recovery.
If the day comes that your friend opens up to you about their past behaviors, try to listen without judgement and acknowledge their experiences. This can help them reduce the shame they may feel around their addiction and their behaviors.
Maintain needed boundaries
Part of being a supportive friend means setting and maintaining boundaries. It’s one thing to be there for your friend, it’s another to let them walk all over you in the name of getting sober.
Be sure to let your friend know what you’re comfortable with and when as they navigate their sobriety. While you may be glad to talk to them daily on the phone, you may not have time to meet them for coffee every day.
Know that relapse happens
At some point in their recovery from cocaine addiction, your friend might relapse. It doesn’t mean that they’ve given up on their sobriety or that what they learned in treatment was all for nothing.
As with many other chronic illnesses, people struggling with addiction can have periods of relapse during their recovery. If your friend does relapse, be understanding, encourage them to get help, and be there to support them as you were when they were sober.
To find out more about supporting a friend through recovery from cocaine addiction or another drug addiction, call us at any of our locations, or book an appointment online today.