Finding the Right Gift

closeup of gift giving - package with red ribbon - giftsThe holiday season is often difficult for people in recovery, especially if they’ve only recently graduated from Mountain Laurel Recovery Center’s Pennsylvania drug and alcohol addiction treatment program. If you’re searching for a way to show your love and support for a friend or family member in the early stages of recovery, this guide can help you select the perfect holiday present.

1. A Beautiful Journal

Journaling is often recommended in recovery as a way to process trauma, safely express painful or uncomfortable feelings, and document the recovery process. Although there’s nothing wrong with journaling in a simple composition book, a beautiful journal shows your loved one that you believe their thoughts and feelings are valuable.

You can buy decorative journals at any stationery store or bookstore. Moleskine notebooks are widely praised for their quality and durability, but you can find options to fit any taste or budget. Another idea would be to order a personalized journal from a site such as Shutterfly. Adding a special photo and inscription turns the journal into a cherished keepsake.

2. Inspirational Artwork

Life in recovery is full of challenges, so it can be a struggle to stay positive. Inspirational artwork can help your loved one keep focused while personalizing his or her living space.

Although inspirational artwork doesn’t necessarily need to be recovery-themed, Etsy has some interesting handmade recovery artwork featuring the serenity prayer that can be personalized with your loved one’s sobriety date.

3. Recovery Mug

If your loved one in recovery is known for his or her sense of humor, consider pairing a funny recovery mug with a selection of gourmet coffee or tea. Amazon has a wide selection of sobriety mugs to choose from, with designs that are suitable for both men and women.

If you’re feeling crafty, you can personalize a plain mug using oil-based Sharpie paint pens. Learn more on the Glued to My Crafts blog.

4. Meal Kits

Good nutrition is viewed as a vital part of a lasting recovery, but people who’ve recently completed residential treatment may still be struggling to become fully comfortable in the kitchen. A gift that encourages their culinary efforts shows your support for all aspects of their recovery journey.

If you’re on a budget, assemble the ingredients to make a simple meal such as an Italian Gift Basket with whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce, tuna or anchovies, parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil, and biscotti for dessert. If you are able to splurge, meal kits from Hello Fresh or Blue Apron offer a chance for your loved one to learn how to make a wide variety of meals with no shopping and easy-to-follow instructions.

5. Hobby Supplies

People with substance use disorders are encouraged to explore new hobbies while in recovery, since hobbies provide stress relief and alleviate boredom. However, gathering the necessary supplies can sometimes be difficult for someone who is currently not working or only working part time.

If your loved one in recovery has expressed interest in a particular hobby, assemble a box with some of the items they’ll need to enjoy the activity. For example, you could gather together canvases, brushes, and acrylic paint for someone who wants to learn to paint. Or, for a loved one who has taken up yoga, pair a new yoga mat with instructional DVDs or a trial membership to a nearby studio.

6. Something to Look Forward To

It can take some time for people in recovery to get the hang of socializing while sober. Often, they may be secretly worried that their new sober lifestyle will be boring and uneventful. You can help your loved one discover the joys of a drug- and alcohol-free night on the town by providing tickets to a concert, a play, or sporting event that you can attend together.

Giving the tickets in a creative way will make this gift even better. Try hiding the tickets inside a helium balloon, in a jar filled with the recipient’s favorite candy, or in the pages of a book. You could also create a scavenger hunt that leads to the hidden tickets as the end prize.

7. A Reminder of Your Love

Struggles with depression and low self-esteem are common among people in treatment for substance use disorders. If your loved one is dealing with these concerns, a concrete reminder of your affection may be the perfect holiday gift.

Find a pretty glass jar and some decorative paper. Cut the paper into thin strips, then write reasons why you care about your loved one on each strip of paper. Roll the strips around a pencil so they curl up, then place the curled papers into the jar for your loved one to read whenever he or she needs a pick-me-up. Alternatively, take a cue from The Dating Divas and write your reasons on stickers attached to a favorite candy.

You can include as many paper strips as you’d like in this thoughtful DIY holiday gift. If the gift is from a group of people, have each person add notes in their own handwriting.

Whatever you decide to give your loved one in recovery, know that it’s your continued support and encouragement that they value most, especially during the holiday season.

If you or a loved one are in need of help from addiction, including heroin, please contact us for PA heroin treatment today.