As you’re going through addiction treatment or trying to rebuild a life, one thing that may be difficult to understand is that you’re going to need a social group. Friendships are important, and it will help tremendously if you have someone sober to talk to and go places with, who can help you stay in line. Maybe you managed to hang on to some true friends while you were using, and if so, that’s great. However, if you look at the people you spent the most time around and realize that they all did drugs with you, provided the drugs, or even didn’t try to get you to stop, it’s time to look for new friends.
Being around people you did drugs with or going to places where you used to get high are both huge triggers for cravings and can lead to relapse. If you only ever went to a certain person’s house to get high together, odds are that trying to drop by for a simple visit won’t end well.
What did you do with your so-called friends while you were using? Were you able to talk to any of them about the important things in life? Could you go to them for advice? Did you even have anything in common besides the drugs? How much do you actually even know about them? When you’re sober, you might look back and realize these people were nothing but a bad influence. Even if no one was doing any stealing to finance their habit or getting involved in violent activities, you were still breaking the law together by using illegal drugs. It might not be easy to let these people go, especially if you feel that you don’t have anyone else to turn to, but keep in mind that these people are likely to derail your recovery and drag you back down with them.
The good news is, there are plenty of opportunities to make friends in and after treatment. If you’re attending meetings, get there early and stay late, and take the opportunity to talk to people. You know you already have at least one common life experience. Boredom is another trigger for relapse, so take people up on any offers to socialize. Even if you’re shy or nervous around new people, keep in mind that if you’re getting to know someone through a meeting, they’re the last person who is likely to judge you.
Some other ways to meet new people are: find somewhere to volunteer; if you start working, get to know your co-workers; look for online forums or groups for people in your area; if you’re religious, start attending activities at church; and take a class or join a club.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504.