The #1 Most Important Thing to Do to Help a Recovering Addict

Figuring out how to help a recovering addict can be a daunting task. Where do you start? What do you say? Will the situation ever change? The truth is, many people have helped their loved ones recover and now enjoy better lives with them. So, what can you do to help? Let’s explore the #1 most important thing you can do to get involved and see real results.

Introduce Them to a New Social Circle

Our social circle includes the places we go and the people we associate with. We tend to find those who are most like us, the ones we are comfortable with. Addicts often form friendships with other users and frequent the same places as those users. Overcoming addiction is not just about stopping the use of substances; it’s about revamping the entire social circle. But how does an addict drop all of that and make new associations? In most cases, they don’t do it alone. That’s where you come in.

Now, we’re not saying the addict has to take on your social circle, go to the places you go to, and become friends with your friends. Often, this isn’t practical. However, you can go beyond yourself and help find new friends and places for your loved one. You can then serve as the bridge between where the person currently is and where they could be.

This will not be easy, but it is possible. More importantly, it is powerful. In almost all cases, the addict knows nothing else. The friends they have are the only friends. The places they go are the only places in their world. So, you need to create a new world that is both appealing and inviting to the one you love.


If the new social circle you help your loved one establish doesn’t appeal to them, it will not work. It is natural to seek what we like, what we think we’d enjoy. But in this situation, it is important to find what works best for the other person.

For example, what activities or hobbies did the person enjoy before developing the addiction? Did they play baseball, work out, or read? If it was baseball, take them to a game. Join a team with them and play alongside your loved one, even if it doesn’t particularly interest you. The goal is to help the person establish a new social circle that appeals to what they naturally like.


The other important part of the social circle you actively help the recovering addict establish is that it be inviting. In other words, will the group welcome them easily and quickly? Both aspects are important. For example, taking the scenario from above about the baseball team, if you tell the recovering addict to join the Major Leagues and play for the Braves, you won’t do much good. Why? Because that is not easy to join, and doing so would not be a quick process. However, signing up together at the local league that is free to join would be great. Why? Because it meets both criteria. There are minimal requirements to play, so it is easy to join. Additionally, they can join today and be on a team by the end of the week, so it is quick.

Of course, joining a baseball team is just an example. The goal is to find a fit for the person you love and are trying to help. They desperately need to change their social circle, but doing so is easier said than done. So, the goal is for you to help them find a new hobby or activity that will take them to new places, keeping them occupied and away from the old places they frequented.

The aim is to connect the person with new people whose habits and hobbies will not tempt the recovering addict but will actually encourage them to live in freedom. To do that, you must push yourself into new territory. You must find something that appeals to the person and invites them to participate both easily and quickly.

As the recovering addict’s social circle changes, so too will their life. Instead of living down to the old environment, they will start living up to the new places and people in their new social circle.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. At Shenandoah Valley Adult Teen Challenge Virginia, we provide a supportive community that helps individuals break free from addiction and rebuild their lives. Reach out to us today and take the first step towards a brighter future.

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