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Best Gifts to Give Someone Who Is New to Addiction Recovery

Finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list may not always be easy, but if you have someone who is new to recovery on your list this year, there are a number of great choices. Whether you are looking for more of a gesture than a gift, you would like to go big and demonstrate your support for their ongoing recovery, or something in between, you’ll find what you are looking for on our list of great gifts for people in recovery:

  • Your phone number

    : Of course, your friend or family member in recovery probably has your phone number. But is it clear that they can call you if they are struggling with the urge to relapse, feeling isolated or alone, or just in need of someone to talk? One of the greatest gifts you can give someone in recovery is your ongoing support, and being there for them if they feel like they need someone to lean on is a great start. Make it clear to them this holiday season that you are committing to being there and will support them in their recovery.

  • An amazing experience

    : If you’re not sure what “stuff” will best fit the bill for someone who is still trying to define themselves in recovery, why not give them a great experience? If you live close to a theme park, you can give them tickets, or if you near the mountains, some lift tickets might brighten their winter. Passes to the movies, a museum, or a local sightseeing destination may also give them a fun way to spend the day. For the more adventurous type, passes to go ziplining, skydiving, or racecar driving might be a perfect fit.

  • Groceries

    : Finances are often tight in early recovery, and everyone needs to eat. While you do not want to give someone in recovery a cash gift for any reason, you might want to create a gift basket that has some easy dinner items in it (e.g., pasta, sauce, etc.) or put together a theme basket with a spices, condiments, or breakfast food items. Include a small gift card to a grocery store so they can purchase some fresh items to augment the items in the basket.

  • Insurance

    : Depending on the options available on your insurance policy and how much it costs to add one more person or how much they pay for personal insurance, you might consider taking on their payments or otherwise providing for their insurance in the coming months.

  • Treatment

    : Similarly, if you have the means, you may offer to pay for their addiction treatment services, especially if they are taking advantage of outpatient support services following more intensive rehab. If your friend or family member is taking maintenance medication and pays monthly, you may be able to connect with the company who provides their meds and pay for a few months’ worth of medication in advance.

  • Books

    : There are a number of great books on recovery that can inspire and guide your loved one as they navigate recovery. Whether you opt for a novel about someone who made their way into sobriety after active drug use, an autobiography by someone currently in recovery, a memoir written by someone who lost a loved one to addiction, or a self-help book designed to help them manage stress, depression, or other issues, a book can be an inspiring gift.

  • Your friendship

    : Offer to go to a 12-Step meeting with your friend or to be their “sober buddy” at a party or event that they are nervous about attending on their own as a newly sober person. You could also invite them to a standing coffee date you have with friends, to your book group, or to start working out together in the new year. Showing up can be a great way to support them in staying sober.

  • Health-related gifts

    : A Fitbit, a new set of weights, a yoga mat, a membership to a gym, or a new pair of running shoes – whatever is most appropriate and will encourage your friend to begin a healthy habit in the new year. These gifts have the dual effect of not only helping them to get healthy but also improving their ability to stay sober.

  • Games

    : When it doubt, some games may be a positive, neutral gift. You can keep it simple with a funny deck of cards or a Rubik’s Cube, or get creative with a gift basket that includes those plus a question-based group game, a book of Sudoku puzzles, and an Uno deck.

  • Gift cards

    : Again, cash is never a good idea for someone new to recovery, but gift cards can be fun. If you are concerned about the possibility of someone selling a gift card in order to get the cash for it, consider doing a small amount on a handful of different cards. If you gift $5 at a coffee place, $5 at Target, and $5 at a grocery store, all these will come in handy if your friend or loved one shops at these places, making for a unique gift.

What will you give your friend or family member in recovery this year?

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