How to Deal With a Recovered Addict

This article is to help people out there who deal with recovered addicts.


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    Realize that a one time addict doesn't always need to be an addict. During recovery an addict is struggling to subdue that characteristic in themselves, but it is still there. Nonetheless, given that they are honest and intent on changing, there is nothing stopping them from becoming a respectable person. With a sincere change in their thinking process and enough time, they can overcome the characteristics that led them to addiction.
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    Assess for yourself if they have made the necessary changes in their lives. Remember that abstinence from use does not necessarily mean a change in their thinking process. How do they treat you and those around them? How do they care for their belongings? Do they still have addictive tendencies (smoking, for instance, or compulsive behaviors)? Do they excuse wrong behaviors? Do they seem sincere or are they apologizing too much? What has really changed?
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    Approach a renewed friendship slowly. Do not instantly become close again. Give them time to consider exactly what has been lost to their habits and the thought process with which the habits were established, and make it clear that severe relapse might lead to the end of the friendship.
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    Do not waver. Be steadfast, and set an example of consistency in all aspects of your life. Do not flaunt or push too strongly for your friend's consistency. Instead, be a calm paradigm.
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    Remove temptation from your friend. Without seeming manipulative, introduce them to activities conducive to a clean life. Once they have truly changed their thought process(recovered), they will begin to disassociate themselves more from addicted friends and associated activities. Encouraging them to participate in productive activities, especially those involving service and other activities that establish self worth, will be a great benefit in assisting the transition from 'recovering' to 'recovered'. The goal is to create a drug free environment for your friend to grow accustomed to, and to ease the recovery process.


  • Do not become too immersed in their well-being and forget your own. They are an adult, and thus make their own decisions. Their addiction is not your fault.
  • Have candid conversations with your friend, to assess why they became addicted and how they are doing in the recovery process. Do not be harsh.
  • Discuss the addict with mutual friends to determine if s/he is on the road to recovery. If not, propose an intervention to get them additional help.


  • Be careful about being lied to. If what they claim and what you see with your own eyes is remarkably different, it is possible less change than desired is actually taking place.
  • You are not their rehab. You are not a substitute for professional care. Do not take it upon yourself to save them; if you fail (likely) you will only be encouraging the addictive behavior.

Things You'll Need

  • Understanding
  • Forgiveness
  • The strength to walk away if no improvement is being made

Article Info

Categories: Addictions