Positive Friendships in Addiction Recovery
Having sober friends that are supportive is essential in recovery because they provide the backbone you can count on when you’re struggling.
When someone has transcended from addiction to recovery, their lives look very different. They are responsible and can be trusted. Their relationships are either on the mend or entirely new. The former drug and alcohol-using friendships that often hold tight to an addict or alcoholic are no longer an issue.
Still, it can be challenging to part with substance-using friends. Alternatively, recovery is strengthened by positive friendships where each person has a similar drug or alcohol abuse background, while both are now clean and sober.
Recovery is not attained by one person achieving it all by themselves. Instead, recovery requires input and support from other people who understand how to heal from addiction.
What is Important About Having Sober Friends?
Having sober friends that are supportive is essential in recovery. Sometimes, someone will miss using and drinking and might even make plans to do so when they feel an intense craving for a substance. Knowing a fellow former addict/alcoholic to talk about triggers is very helpful in times like these. Clean and sober friends share the same emotions about their drugs and their headspace.
They can also relate to strained family relationships or practical issues like new jobs and finances. Recovery is indeed complex but even more complicated when someone attempts to figure it out all by themselves. Sober friendships are meaningful as they help each person feel accepted regardless of where they came from, who they harmed, what drugs they are recovering from, and how they are coping today.
How Do People Make Friends in Recovery?
The principal place recovering individuals begin friendships is at recovery-centered support meetings. For example, the 12-step fellowship offers over 100 different types of 12 step programs. From alcoholics anonymous, shopping-anonymous, sugar-anonymous to meth or cocaine anonymous, and more. These meetings urge attendees to have fun and to communicate regularly with each other on how their recovery is doing each day.
Another way someone in recovery makes connections is through church or a different spiritual setting. Not all, but most people in good recovery have dedicated their new lives to a spiritual will instead of self-will. Successful recovery focuses on building a unique character which means letting go of the old self.
Recovery meetings are free and provide social connections. They are open to anyone who wants to remain clean and sober.
How Does A Recovering Person Say Goodbye to Friends Who Still Use?
The day will come for someone in recovery when they have to part ways with their former drug and alcohol-using friends. If the friends are indeed friends, they will understand and not hold it against the person. Others might need addiction help themselves and be angry about the separation. Still, the ideal situation is when a person in recovery can tell their former friends why they cannot hang out anymore.
Recovery is about an internal change that must be cared for to achieve. Someone in recovery must surround themselves with people who are after the same thing. The possibility of ending a friendship for good over drugs and drinking is genuine. All recovering addicts and alcoholics have friends they wish were clean and sober like them, and often they do come around if that is where they are headed. Saying goodbye to a drug-using friend may also become saying hello once that friend gets clean.
Do Addiction Researchers Acknowledge Friendships As Part of Recovery?
The National Institutes of Health researchers support that sober people with friends are more likely to remain clean and sober.
Social support has long been identified as vital to sustained recovery for individuals with substance use disorders. Research has repeatedly found that those with stronger social support networks remain in treatment longer and have better recovery outcomes with a decreased likelihood of return to use. The type of social support also matters; having even one person supportive of continued drug use may have a stronger influence on recovery than having one person supportive of abstinence (NIH)
Why Do Addiction Treatment Centers Offer Alumni Programs?
Treatment programs provide alumni groups and events to their graduates and are specifically for social contact and fostering friendships. To see people return to drugs and alcohol who were once sober is devastating. Alumni programs celebrate the success of recovery by keeping everyone together through monthly and yearly on-site gatherings and zoom. The alumni programs at Evoke Waltham offer numerous events that include current treatment participants so that they can make friends and have even more contacts to support them once they complete their treatment.
On-Call Treatment Provides Social Events for All Recovering Graduates
Do not let addiction or alcoholism ruin your chances at a new life with new friends. Our patients’ friendships are as vital as the counseling and group therapy they receive at our center. Every patient has access to the Alumni program, where they can re-connect with each other frequently. We provide same-day admission and priority acceptance with one phone call. Call now to begin now.