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My Friend Is In Recovery for Heroin Addiction. What Can I Do To Help Him Stay Strong?

by Cassie

Honestly, I found out two nights ago my friend was in recovery for his heroin addiction. And I'm having a hard time trying to sort through it. I'm proud of him for checking himself in to rehab (5-6 months ago) and I just want to know how to help him stay strong.

I know he needs to make sure his recovery is his top priority, but I worry about him. We met 6 weeks ago because we got a job at the same place and are in training together. And he trusted me enough to talk to me about it, I'm honored that he would, I just want to help him the best I can.

He really is a wonderful person, and I honestly had no idea he had been a user. And I don't want him to regret telling me. I want to show him I can be trusted with this. I will be seeing him for the first time tomorrow since he told me and I'm trying to keep myself from bombarding him with questions, which I know won't help.

Even though it's only been 6 weeks, I care a lot about him, he's become a very dear friend and I hope to continue it, through his time in recovery and afterwards. So what can I do to help him? Answer

Hi Cassie, in a nutshell keep encouraging your friend to work his recovery program, and to do whatever it takes to stay on the path of sobriety. Because it's easy to get sidetracked or tempted, especially when things are tough.

And as supportive as you want to be, know that your friend's well-being is entirely his responsibility and if he's going to stay clean he's the one who has to make it happen by working hard at his recovery and dealing with the self-destructive tendencies that led him down the path of addiction.

Know too that it is recommended that he shouldn't be getting into a relationship in the first year of his recovery, because there is so much stuff he needs to still to work through and process, and a relationship will likely distract him from doing that. This piece on relapse prevention will also give you some ideas.

So at the end of the day there is no perfect formula. Your intentions seem great, be a genuine friend, and encourage him to stay on this new journey of his no matter how hard or tough things get. Because there will be bad days. But if he's truly committed to this new way of life and putting in the work, there should be no looking back.

All the Best

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