Finding recovery from drug addiction is one of the hardest, yet rewarding experiences people with substance use disorders may go through in their lives.
Creating community through a network of sober friends is one of the most important tools for many in addiction recovery.
But making sober friends isn’t always easy. Below we’ll explore ways you can find like-minded friends and discuss the benefits that friendships bring to addiction recovery.
How Can You Make Sober Friends?
Many people who live with drug and alcohol addiction live in isolation. Substances have a way of creating distance between yourself and the people you really care about.
In the first months of recovery, maintaining sobriety is of utmost importance. People may be experiencing psychological withdrawal symptoms, making them less willing to meet others.
As you become more comfortable in sobriety and gain more identity, it’s only natural to seek friends and allies who want to help continue your growth.
However, making friends isn’t simple for everyone, and doing it while trying to find a footing in sobriety can be even harder.
We’ve gathered some of the best ways to make sober friends to make the process easier for you or a loved one in recovery.
Attend 12-Step Meetings
12-step program meetings bring people together to share stories of hope and strength.
One of the main principles of 12-step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, is to welcome newcomers. Members with several years of sobriety want to know your story and connect.
Meetings are also great ways to meet others new to sobriety, and introducing yourself as a fellow newcomer can create a bond.
Even though all 12-step meetings have the same purpose, there are many to choose from. Try going to 90 meetings in 90 days to get an idea of which ones feel most comfortable.
When you find stories, personalities, and messages in meetings you can relate to and admire, keep attending those meetings.
If asked to share with the group, you can mention you’re interested in getting to know more members and creating a sober community.
This opens up the floor for other members to share their contact information and start building a connection.
Go To A Sober Event
Sober events can be held by 12-step groups, treatment centers, or hospitals. They can include many activities, but the purpose is for sober people to come together to have fun and connect.
These are great opportunities to meet sober people who may not frequent meetings as much.
Sober events can be based around a:
- open mic contest
- guest speaker
Some events involve people working in teams to accomplish a goal. Combining efforts for the greater good can create lasting connections and new friends.
As perhaps the most used form of communication, there are plenty of forums, Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, and blogs for sober individuals and groups.
Many of these sites post daily reflections to spark dialogue amongst people with similar goals. They can also bring sober people together and share ideas on how to stay sober.
Social media accounts post events, meetings, and video chatting opportunities to meet other sober members.
Getting active in an online group can open up new connections with people in your area, across the U.S., and all over the world.
Benefits Of Making Sober Friends
Attempting to get sober isn’t easy, and doing it alone can be more difficult. There are several benefits of a sober friend group while in addiction recovery.
One of the gifts sober friends can give is being part of your support system. Early in recovery, thoughts of using may linger in the psyche. If you have no one to turn to, you may be more likely to relapse.
When picking up a drink or drug sounds appealing, calling a trusted friend with similar sober goals can be just what you need.
Your support system can relate to how you feel and remind you of how far you’ve come in your sobriety.
This is often one of the most important aspects of a relapse prevention plan. These plans identify triggering situations when relapses may occur and enact safe and efficient actions to avoid substance use.
Like-minded sober friends also provide you an opportunity to be a support for someone else. Being there for friends who are contemplating relapse can help you stay sober.
Knowing sober friends may give you more opportunities to get involved with sponsoring and speaking at or leading meetings.
Often, people in recovery benefit from finding purpose outside of themselves. Being there for other members in a recovery group or regularly checking in with a sober friend can help you to find meaning in feeling needed and valued.
Assessing Current Friendships
Just as important as making new sober friends is creating distance from friends still in active addiction or heavy substance use that’s triggering for you.
If you have friends who often go out partying or always use some sort of drug when they’re spending time together, it’s more than likely not going to be a healthy space for you to be involved with.
And assessing this type of friendship does not have to mean you need to cut them out of your life entirely. You can create a healthy distance without letting them go entirely.
You may choose to keep some communication with these friends who may need your help if they decide to get sober. Your sobriety and new life can be a positive influence on them.
Addiction Treatment In Massachusetts
There are plenty of opportunities to create sober friends at our New England drug rehab center.
Reach out today to learn more about recovery.
- Ways Addiction Can Affect Your Friends
- How To Help A Friend Overcome Addiction
- The Link Between Addiction & Codependency
- Staying Sober With Depression
- Are 12-Step Meetings Effective?
- 7 Ways To Maintain Recovery
- Common Topics In Group Therapy
Greater Good Magazine — Can Helping Others Keep You Sober?
National Library Of Medicine — Relapse Prevention And Five Rules Of Recovery
Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration — Recovery And Recovery Support