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What Not to Ask or Say to Someone in Recovery

When someone you know is in recovery it can be difficult to know what to say or ask. For most people you may think you are saying or asking the right thing, however it could be completely wrong. Constance Scharff Ph.D., a contributor writer for Psychology Today says there are six things to never ask or say to someone who is in recovery. 

  1. I had no idea that you had a problem. Are you sure you are an alcoholic (or addict)?
  2. I know how you feel because I know someone else who went to rehab. 
  3. Are you sure, you can't have just one drink, even for a special occasion?
  4. You seem to have it under control now, so how long until you are cured and can party again?
  5. Can you be the designated driver since you do not drink?
  6. I am so sorry you cannot drink anymore. How do you have fun?

Click here to read about why these things should not be asked or said to someone who is in recovery. 


Chris Massman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Chris' training includes Family Systems Theory along with numerous other theories. She believes therapy is an art and chooses the theory she feels will most benefit the individual sitting in front of her. Her specialty lies is in the field of Chemical Dependency and Addictions. Chris is currently seeing individuals, couples and families. Chris is a Clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists as well as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Chris has two locations including Tarzana and Agoura Hills, CA.