First of all, let’s agree that no matter what led people to abusing drugs in the first place was (depression, peer pressure, habit etc), the recovery process is anything but easy. In other words, it is a total 180 change of thinking, way of living, and even people around sometimes. At this time, people needn’t hear certain things, such as:
1- “I think I can understand what you are going through.” No, you CAN’T, unless you’ve been through the whole dilemma of abusing drugs, and he hellish process of recovery, you can’t be even close to understanding what those with history of drug abuse feel. Saying this is condescending and belittling of their efforts.
2- “I would never have guessed that you had a problem.” What? You never would have guessed that they have critical flaws or life shattering problems that ultimately led to abusing drugs? This is another thing that can undermine drug abuse and the efforts people have to do to admit it.
3- “My college at work is at recovery too.” First, it is rude to speak so openly about what many people consider an embarrassing problem, and it is privacy invasive. Second, you make it seem like some sort of hobby or trend people easily go through.
4- “why don’t you have a little for old times’ sake?” The question means that you are one of the people a recovering person should avoid to succeed in the process of recovery. You might drag them back to what ruined them in the first place.
5- “how long have you been clean/sober?” this is another questions that invades privacy. Moreover, even though relapsing happens often when recovering from drug abuse, it deals a major blow to patients’ self-esteem none the less.