06 JULY 2020

The right and wrong types of friendships in recovery

How to Make Friends in Addiction Recovery

The old saying “show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” is very true. People tend to become like their friends and pick up their habits. This is true for everyone, but especially people with drug and alcohol addictions. Having friends that abuse drugs and alcohol enables us to do the same in a space free of judgment. Very often relationships with people that do not partake in the same behaviors fall apart as addicts draw away from loved ones and further into that world.

When an addict decides to strive for sobriety and enter treatment, it is crucial to completely change the lifestyle, including the people in it. This is one of the most difficult parts of recovery because it feels like an alienating step in an already stressful process. However, people in recovery often find that their social circle that abuses drugs and alcohol is no longer welcoming when they stop their destructive behaviors.

Hanging out with old friends is also dangerous because it provides an environment where it is easy to succumb to temptation. When you see old friends, they may be using drugs and drinking right there, or open the door for you to easily access it. It is best to avoid all such temptation and situations.

However, it is important to have a solid support system and friends when in recovery. All people suffer without social connections, and recovery is no different. It is especially crucial during this time because this is when you are being tried and support goes a long way. Research also shows that loneliness during this time can be a relapse trigger. Instead of turning back to old friends and old ways, focus on building new friendships in recovery.

This may sound easier said than done because addicts characteristically suffer from low self-esteem so confidence and comfort in social situations may be lacking. The great thing about recovery is that it comes with a built-in friend circle in the people that you meet in group counseling and other treatment activities. The people that you meet here have the same goals as you while also understanding the depths that you come from.

Entering a drug and alcohol abuse treatment program is the best way to build a foundation for a future of sobriety because of the highly trained experts tasked with your recovery and the social circle that it offers. Like sobriety, developing friendships in recovery takes effort and an open mind.