How Kindness and Compassion Play A Role in Addiction Recovery

The book Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change raises some interesting points on why family and friends should avoid the typical “tough love” strategy when dealing with a loved one’s addiction. Instead, the authors suggest that using kindness, positive reinforcement, and motivational and behavioral strategies to help their loved ones during addiction can be more effective. Now, this approach can be complicated for some to consider. When dealing with a loved one in addiction recovery, in many cases, the substance abuser has caused a significant amount of damage to relationships, finances, friendships, and so much more. 

This damage can make it incredibly difficult to even consider a positive approach when dealing with a loved one in recovery. However, kindness and compassion are often considered essential components of the healing process during treatment. Here are some thoughts to consider on kindness and the powerful role it can play during your loved one’s addiction recovery process.

Recovery and Vulnerability

Recovery is the most vulnerable time in an addict’s life. Before recovery, those dealing with substance abuse disorders were often treated as though they are horrible individuals with low moral standing. And they already have low self-esteem and plenty of negative thoughts about themselves and what they have done. They are fully vulnerable during recovery and every flaw is exposed. Try to take this into consideration and realize that kindness can go a long way during this critical time.

A recovering addict in treatment has been removed from their home, family, friends, and anything that was once stable and familiar. Their old life is over, most of their relationships are probably severed – if not, shattered, and they are going through physical withdrawal. It may not be easy or comfortable, but try to show more kindness and understanding during this phase of recovery. It may help your loved one realize they have one person who cares, and that could make all the difference. Looking down on, casting blame, or talking down to a person in recovery will cause more harm than good. Remember, addiction is a disease, just like any other medical condition. Every disease requires proper treatment for a full recovery. 

Addiction, Treatment, and Hope

Kindness and compassion shown by family, friends and treatment teams can go a long way in aiding a loved one’s journey toward sobriety. Negativity, indifference, and judgment will not help him or her and will only serve to make recovery more unpleasant – and may even lead to relapse. If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction or substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, get help now. Addiction does not discriminate and can happen to anyone. Addiction is isolating but you are not alone. There is no cure for addiction, but it is treatable and recovery is possible. Take the first step and contact us today at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT.