When a loved one makes the decision to pursue detox and rehab, it’s a reason for joy: After all, seeking treatment is the first step toward lifelong freedom from addiction. It can also be a little daunting, though, if only because you’re not sure what to say in order to show your encouragement and support.

There’s no trick to it. Speaking simply and from the heart is usually the best way to go. To help you get started, here are a few sentiments that are always important for people to hear as they pursue addiction recovery.

5 Things to Say to a Loved One in Recovery

  1. I care about you. Remind your loved one that you do, in fact, love them. Don’t simply assume that they already know it, because it’s important for them to hear it out loud. Let them know you care, you have been concerned for them, and you’re excited to see them pursue healing.
  2. I support you. Recovery is a journey that lasts a lifetime, and along the way there can be bumps in the road. Let your loved one know you’re there for them; that you’ve got their back, on good days and bad.
  3. I want to see you get well. Since treatment itself is sometimes challenging, your loved one needs to hear that you want them to be well—that it’s worth it, and that they are valuable.
  4. It’s not your fault. Shame and guilt are common symptoms of addiction. Make sure your loved one knows that you don’t hold any grudges against them; that they have a disease, not a failure of character.
  5. Treatment works. Treatment really is effective, and can result in lifelong recovery. Remind your loved one of this, especially on days when they are feeling discouraged.

Offer life-giving words to your loved one in recovery—because often, that show of support is what makes all the difference.

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