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Being Involved:Helping Drug Addicts Toward Recovery

posted Sep 8, 2017, 4:20 AM by Dr. Curtis Cripe

A drug addict in recovery is exceptionally fragile. A small deviation from the proper path and he or she could relapse or spiral in the blink of an eye. A minor misstep and the addict and everyone’s hard work could unravel really quickly. Fortunately, there are some helpful hints and tips from professionals on what to do and what to avoid


Don’t: Allow an addict to experience social stigma

Addicts are targets of stigma. This is a natural occurrence. Communities make addicts feel the shame and disgrace of their choices. People who are helping these addicts should protect them to a degree. There should be light at the end of the tunnel, which should be emphasized by their friends and their loved ones.

Do: Research on addiction and the addictive substances

Knowledge is a huge part of treatment and recovery. When people are armed with information, it’s easier for them to understand what an addict is going through.

Don’t: Give tough love

This is a very debatable rule, but again, let’s assume that everything is fragile. Pushing, nagging, or forcing the addict in any way could foster negative feelings, which could push him or her back to old habits.

Don’t: Preach about what they should be doing

Nobody likes being preached to. It feels and sounds condescending, and truth be told, unless the person actively helping the addict is a priest or a pastor of a church, it never helps.

Dr. Curtis Cripe heads the Research and Development department of NTL Group. He is a neuroengineer with a multi-disciplinary background. One of his specializations is drug addiction treatment and recovery. For more about him and his work, subscribe to this Twitter account.