How does one support a friend in residential treatment?

by Tommy
(Albany, NY USA)

I have a female friend who has been in a residential treatment program for heroin addiction for approximately 2 months. At this point in her treatment she is not allowed contact with friends outside the program.

I have been sending cards with support messages and jokes to lift her spirits and flowers on mother's day. It is a difficult as it is one way communication. The essence of my messages is to stay strong and I have confidence in her. I also show support by occasionally going to her drug court appearances. I guess I should add that there is no romantic involvement, just friendship.

Should I address her future and career choices or just continue the messages of support as she continues to remain clean?

Comments for How does one support a friend in residential treatment?

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Keep being a GREAT friend!
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Tommy,

Wow, what a great friend you are! I wish everyone in addiction treatment had someone like you to support them.

I'd recommend that you contact the treatment center an ask them what they think would be the most helpful for her on her path to recovery. That way they'll know you and hopefully allow you to be as supportive as possible and to actually visit her as quickly as possible.

In the mean time, I would continue to encourage and support her and avoid any discussion of career choices until you KNOW for certain that she is ready. Just staying clean every day is often all that a person can handle while they're in treatment and your understanding of that can be so very beneficial for her:)

Good Luck,

Debbie

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