How to Make New Friends in Recovery: 5 Tips

Written by Chloe Nicosia

5 Tips on How to Make New Friends in Recovery

Recovery from substance abuse requires that you make several changes to your life to help avoid the pitfalls that you may have had before. Substance abuse recovery can be difficult to manage with statistics showing as many as 40 to 60 percent of addicts who quit drugs and alcohol return to their use. Relapse can occur in many ways, one of which is through the influence of old drug-abusing friends. Finding new ways on how to make new friends in recovery can assist you in making the new social connections that can support your long-term sobriety goals and how you want to feel about your life.

Why is Making Sober Friends Important?

When a person achieves sobriety, they are going to be dealing with situations known as “triggers”. These triggers can cause a higher than usual craving for substance abuse and can be brought on by situations such as the loss of a loved one. Getting in touch with old friends that you used to abuse drugs with can be another trigger for drug use. Their continued drug abuse can cause you to slip in your recovery as old memories flood in and drug abuse becomes romanticized.

Another aspect that makes finding sober friends in your recovery important is to avoid loneliness. We are social mammals and the loneliness you experience when you don’t have sober friends to talk to can be another trigger. Early in recovery, the recovering person usually only has drug-abusing friends. Tips on how to make new friends in recovery are especially important during this time so that you not only avoid the loneliness but also to not get involved with people and situations where drug abuse is rampant.

1. Aftercare and Alumni Activities

Many rehab centers have an alumni program and various aftercare activities that recovering addicts are encouraged to be a part of. The beauty of these programs in recovery is that they provide a platform for you to meet several other people who are going through a similar experience and likely also want to make new friends and connections. Do not be afraid to make yourself available to others by offering support.

2. 12-Step Support Groups

12-step program support groups are an ideal place to meet similar minded people and making sober friends can be easy at such a support group. Become completely involved in the support group by getting a sponsor and then make yourself available. You can suggest coffee with your new connections before meetings or any other healthy activity.

3. Find New Hobbies

How to make new friends in recovery can be about taking on a new hobby and then meeting people with the same interest while doing what you enjoy. It could be anything from yoga to fishing as long as you enjoy doing it.

4. Be Honest

Honesty is the best foundation for any new friendship to be built on. How to make new friends in recovery after you meet a potential new friend is about being honest with them. Being open about your past substance abuse and your current sobriety goals can help in establishing the right footing for the new friendship.

5. Go Online

Finding sober friends in the age of the internet has changed the game somewhat. It is now easy to find people that share views and experiences online. Finding a new friend through the many services and sites that help to connect people is simple and safe.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/193144

https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/articles/term/108/relapse-and-recovery