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Help a Friend

It’s difficult to watch a friend struggle with a substance use disorder. There are ways you can help if a friend is ever in need.

A Friend Who Needs Recovery

Congratulations on being a supportive friend and reaching out for information on how to best help a friend who needs recovery. One of the best ways that you can help your friend is to help yourself first. Check out an Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous or Families Anonymous meeting. When talking with your friend, it’s good to let them know that what you are saying is coming from a place of love. You can always offer to go with your friend to an open recovery meeting, walk with them to the counseling center or support them in anything else that they need to do for their recovery.

How to Be a Supportive Friend to Someone in Recovery

Supporting someone’s recovery is one of the truest forms of friendship. How does one support a friend’s recovery on campus? Here are a few suggestions to being the support one in recovery on campus will need:

  • Offer your support. Don’t wait for them to ask.
    • If you have a friend on campus in recovery and want to be supportive, let them know. Offer to go with them to meetings, church, or other sources of recovery for them.
  • Be willing to have fun–without alcohol and drugs.
    • It is difficult being in recovery on a campus when it feels as if no one else is sober. You can help your friend by giving them someone they can have a good time with SOBER.
  • If your friend seems to be struggling–SPEAK UP.
    • Talk with them about any concerns you have. Offer to go with them to seek help or guidance. Contact your university counseling center and ask for general information for support services.
  • Understand that recovery is a PROCESS.
    • Recovery is not a destination, it is a journey. Stick by your friend through the highs and the lows that they will encounter.


Be sure to check with your university hospital for treatment services, or contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Hotline to find a treatment center near you. 1-800-662-HELP

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