Recovering Addict Etiquette: What to Say to Someone on Their Sobriety Anniversary

Do you have a recovering addict in your friend group or family? Ever wonder what the right conversation etiquette is when it comes to what to say to someone on their sobriety anniversary. The last thing you want to do is offend them or make both yourself and them uncomfortable.

What to Say to Someone on Their Sobriety Anniversary

Talks with a recovering addict aren’t always easy, but they are important conversations to have. In this article, we’re sharing tips on recovering addict etiquette. So, you can be there for your friend or family member as they continue on their journey toward recovery.

 “I’m Proud of You”

Recovery isn’t easy. In fact, between 40 to 60% of people treated for alcohol or drug addiction relapse within the first year. Recovery is a difficult, life-long process, and positive reinforcement can mean everything to recovering addicts. A phrase as simple as “I’m proud of you” can show remind them to be proud of how far they’ve come.

Go out of your way to let your friend or family member know how proud you are. Acknowledge that the battle isn’t easy and that they should be proud of themselves for staying committed to their sobriety. Sobriety anniversaries never get old for recovering addicts.

“You Are So Strong”

Living a sober life isn’t easy for addicts—especially if their addiction has destroyed their preexisting relationships and career prospects. Recovering addicts can often feel weak and tempted to slip back into old habits and relapse when things get hard. It can be tempting to turn back to your drug when other means of coping have failed.

Just because someone is staying sober, doesn’t mean they can’t feel weakness. Saying something like “you are so strong” can remind them of their own strength. It can also help them to find even more strength should more stressful situations arise.

“Let Me Know How I Can Help”

Sobriety is a struggle, regardless of whether or not you’ve been sober for one year or 10. That’s why it’s good to remind those in recovery that you’re there from them should they ever need it. If they’re not the kind of person to ask for help, find small ways to make their day-to-day sober living easier.

Offering up help shows the person in recovery that you care about their wellbeing. It reinforces the intimacy and relationships that make them less likely to relapse.

 Avoid Poor Etiquette

Sometimes not saying the wrong thing is more important than saying the right thing. Here are some examples of what you shouldn’t say to someone on their sober anniversary.

  • “I know how you feel”
  • “How long have you been sober?”
  • “I had no idea”
  • “I know someone in recovery”

Instead of these phrases, focus on how proud you are of the person. Focus on what is positive in their life and avoid getting overly personal or invasive with your questions.

Final Thoughts on Sobriety Anniversaries

Did you know that one in twelve Americans struggles with addiction? That’s why it’s important to know recovering addict etiquette, and what to say to someone on their sobriety anniversary. By following the tips in this article, you can be the best support system possible, and help your loved one through their recovery.

Do you know someone who is struggling with addiction or maintaining their sobriety? Looking for traditional and alternative treatment options? Schedule a tour with us to learn more about how we can help.


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