People may complete intensive rehab programs that teach them not only the reasons behind addiction, but also ways to stay sober. Some ways to stay sober include avoiding tempting locations and engaging in substance-free activities, but one of the most effective ways to avoid relapse is to have friends who encourage sobriety. Many people abuse substances in social situations, so it’s important for recovering users to find friends who support the goal of long-term sobriety.
Aspects of Sober Living
Millions of people each year go through substance drug rehab, but many are unsure how life in recovery will look. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains that a sober life includes the following aspects:
- Home: Recovering addicts need a safe, comfortable and secure place to live that encourages recovery
- Purpose: To start a substance-free life, users must engage in activities that provide meaning and fulfillment. These activities can include working, going to school, volunteering and exploring creativity.
- Health: Maintaining sobriety depends on good health, so recovering addicts should take care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally
- Community: Positive relationships that offer encouragement, support, hope, and love contribute to a recovering user’s wellbeing
If you consider the advice listed above, you may have a better chance of maintaining long-term addiction recovery.
How to Avoid Friends that Abuse Drugs
Perhaps the most important component in addiction recovery is community. When people begin new, substance-free lives, they may find that some of their friends do not approve of a sober lifestyle, so they encourage relapse. SAMHSA offers the following advice on how to deal with people who threaten recovery:
- Say no immediately and firmly: Users should state their response in a clear way that explains they do not want to use the substance now or in the future. They might need to practice conversations with trusted friends if they have trouble saying no.
- Suggest alternatives to using drugs: Since users will engage in drug abuse, recovering users might recommend sober activities, like watching a movie or cooking dinner
- Change the subject from drugs: The sooner the topic changes from drugs, the less stressful it will be for recovering users, so people should learn to steer conversations away from substance abuse
If you take the aforementioned advice, you might resist relapse.
Help Finding Sober Friends
A great way to have positive relationships in recovery is to find people who are sober, so consider joining a support group. As SAMHSA’s Introduction to Mutual Support Groups for Alcohol and Drug Abuse explains, people who participate in support groups are more likely to remain substance-free, and that “abstinence rates increase with greater group participation.” In support groups, users can find friends with the following characteristics:
- Experience with similar substance-related struggles
- Understanding for the complexities of both addiction and recovery
- Participating in substance-free activities that may interest other members
- Encourage the recovery process
If you have support, you have better chances of staying clean.
Help Finding Sober Friends
Recovery is easier when recovering addicts have support. Everyone who attends treatment at one of our facilities becomes a member of our alumni program where you will receive ongoing support in your new life in recovery. If you are interested in seeking treatment please call us at 615-490-9376.