Addicts who seek substance abuse treatment will need to make a choice – continue their old social lives, or make sacrifices for lasting sobriety. Some people who attend drug rehab will have to form new relationships, and almost all of them will have to end old friendships to stay clean. The people with whom addicts associate have enormous impacts on their abilities to avoid drugs. For rehab patients to make the best possible choices after substance abuse treatment, they need to understand the ways their recoveries will affect their social lives.
Cutting Ties with Old Friends
It is always crucial for people who attend clinical rehab to cut ties with their drug-using friends. Active addicts and casual users alike have enormously negative influences on people trying to stay clean. This is because any drug use in the presence of addicts is a powerful addiction trigger – a behavior which compels them to get high themselves. This is one of the most difficult aspects of rehab, but it is an essential step towards lasting sobriety. Fortunately, some addicts who lose enough of their rehabilitated friends will finally seek treatment themselves.
Avoiding Harmful Social Scenes
Substance abuse treatment can give people the tools they need to suppress drug cravings, but avoiding them altogether is the most successful sobriety strategy. Addicts who once maintained active social lies at bars, clubs, and other drug-heavy venues may need to find completely new groups of friends. Some addicts can handle these types of locations, but most will find themselves faced with uncontrollable urges to drink or get high when they see other people doing the same.
Making New Friends and Acquaintances
Health human connection is important for all people – especially for recovering addicts. Just as rehab patients must get rid of negative friends, they should also make new ones who will support their long-term recovery efforts. Sober, clear-thinking friends can provide invaluable emotional support and constructive criticism for people adjusting to new, drug-free lifestyles.
Reconnecting with Positive People
Addicts often destroy long-held friendships during periods of active drug use. Their destructive behaviors may alienate people, and they may even lash out at friends who attempt to intervene and help them get better. Thankfully, rehab specialists use reality-based therapies to help addicts repair relationships with these people.
Reality therapy is centered on the idea that everyone must interact and relate with other people to satisfy their own needs – without infringing upon the needs of others. Addicts who learn the skills to accomplish this goal become well-equipped to reconnect with friends they previously drove away. These reformed relationships won’t be perfect, but addicts going through tough times can use their clinical teachings to avoid hurting the people they care about.
Leaning on Family Members for Support
In some cases, addicts will lose almost all of their friends after they attend substance abuse treatment. People who abuse the most harmful drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines often live most of their lives amidst other users. When they finally seek treatment, they will have to stop association with all of the people who were present in their past lives.
Fortunately, family members can provide invaluable support for these people. Addicts who still live with spouses, parents, or other family members can make their homes into safe havens – places filled with supportive people and devoid of addiction triggers. Even if they don’t have many friends to help them through their recovery processes, they can rely on their family members to assist them as they wrestle with continued cravings.
If you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol, call the number at the top of your screen for a toll-free consultation about the type of rehab program that would work best for you. Addiction is life-threatening disease, and there is no time to waste. Let us get you started on a substance abuse treatment plan that will have you living the life you truly want – and deserve.