These are just things that would have helped me when I was struggling.
Here are 10 randomly concocted tips that I have come up with:
1. Express empathy for them, directly to them.
2. Avoid arguments with them whether they are sober or not. (this creates a high-emotion situation and doesn’t do anything besides creating an urgency to use for the addict)
3. Be honest and direct -in a loving way.
(Don’t use their past mistakes to berate them and beat them to death emotionally. They’re already bankrupt in this area, and you cannot kill em’ twice.
Instead, use truth- encouraging and positive statements about how valuable and worthy they are of so much more.)
4. If you set a rules or boundaries, clearly state them during a sober time, and stick to them.
5. Help them create relapse trigger lists, (environments, people, places, etc) and help them understand how it connects.
6. Make them a list of meetings in your area. Have them choose at least one to attend regularly. Go with them if you can. (Show support)
7. Treat them like they are human beings. They may be making poor decisions and may not be trusted, but still deserve to have thorough explanations for rules, demands and expectations and respect.
8. Help them make the connection between their goals for changing their lives, and what they are doing to make that happen. (going to meetings is a good step in the right direction toward a goal, completing book work or step work is another example, changing their phone number, avoiding triggers etc.)
9. Sporadically hug them. (:-) ) They might hate it, but they will love it at the same time.
10. If you are more interested in their recovery than they are, something needs to change. If you are working harder and are more dedicated to what should be their work- reevaluate your approach. (Never ever give up on them. Offer support and kindness. Hugs, tear wiping, etc….but you are not to do work FOR them.)