When you first get sober, you’ll spend a lot of time working on yourself and learning to navigate the world without the use of alcohol or drugs. As a person new to recovery, you’ll want to avoid people you used to drink or use drugs with. That may sound like a frightening or lonely prospect, but making new friends in recovery is vital to your continued sobriety and growth as a person.
Why You Need Sober Friends
In recovery, you’ll need a support network. Other people who are in recovery and working the twelve steps understand what you’re going through. Your sponsor is also a person who will help you navigate the world sober.
While in drug treatment, you make friends with other people because it’s an intimate setting that feels like family. These friendships are valuable, but you might not live close to each other, or there may be other barriers to your friends. (Including, sadly, relapse. Sometimes it happens.) Making friends with people who have more time in sobriety is also essential because they have a lot of sober experience to share. You can ask for advice and lean on them. You can get their help choosing a sponsor as well.
Meeting New People
When you attend 12-step meetings, you’ll run into all sorts of people. The best way to meet new friends is to spend time with other people at the meetings. Is there an after-meeting get-together? Some people like to go to a 12-step meeting and then out to share some food. Ask people what they do for fun. Some 12-step groups have informal clubs for runners. Other meetings have a group of people who get together and surf. There are a lot of varied interests you’ll find among people in recovery.
Check 12-step clubhouses for flyers for events held in your region. Dances, potluck, and camping trips are just a few types of events advertised at 12-step meetings.
Exchanging phone numbers and going to social events can help you build a slow and steady network of friends and confidantes. As a newcomer, you should start out making friends with the people who identify as your gender. Of course, there are exceptions to every suggestion. Early recovery is one of the most dangerous times to start a new romance, so steer clear of people you might be attracted to.
Once you’ve got phone numbers from new contacts, follow up. Call people up or send a text and invite them to lunch or ask what they’re doing over the weekend. (If they can’t make it, don’t sweat it. )
Sober friends can help you learn how to have fun in recovery. They know what you’re going through and you can lean on them in tough times. Friendship is a two-way street. Don’t forget to offer a helping hand, either.
Getting Help for Addiction
Do you or somebody you love have a problem with alcohol or drugs? Do you need more information about detox and long-term treatment? We’re here to help you get back on your feet, learn to heal and reclaim your life from your substance use disorder. Please contact one of our treatment specialists at 888-959-3277.