Human beings are social creatures that require the companionship of others to thrive in life. Many individuals in recovery will have experience with relationships that were damaged during one’s time of active substance abuse, and it is essential for an individual to learn to foster and nurture healthy friendships in sobriety. Creating a supportive network also reduces stress and contributes to other emotional, mental, and physical benefits. While finding ways to connect with others is an essential part of the addiction recovery process, sober socializing be challenging to navigate, particularly for those that are new to the sober lifestyle. The following tips on how to manage social situations and maintain sobriety can be helpful to keep in the back of your mind during the recovery process:
- Be honest: While there is no need to announce that you are in recovery to everyone you know, confiding in your closest friends and loved ones about your current sobriety can provide you with moral and emotional support.
- Stay away from drugs and alcohol: Rather than meeting up with people in bars and other establishments in which alcohol is served or drugs are often present, sober socializing can include trips to coffee shops, theaters, and other substance-free entertainment venues.
- Keep busy: Fill up your time with fun activities that do not revolve around drugs or alcohol and make time for recreational activities and hobbies where you can meet other people.
- Practice your responses: Rehearse saying no to someone when they offer you a drink or drugs. Preparing your responses in advance can help you feel more confident, comfortable, and better equipped to avoid succumbing to peer pressure.
- Have an exit strategy: Planning an exit strategy that allows you to leave gracefully if you are no longer having fun or if you are feeling triggered in certain environments or situations can help you navigate the world of sober socializing more effectively. If, for whatever reason, you feel that you need to remove yourself from a situation, give yourself permission to do so, do not hesitate, and leave before you make a choice that you will regret.
- Bring a friend: Entering a social situation with an ally can be comforting and allow you to socialize more freely. The person you bring should be someone who understands your goals and your recovery process.
Research has found that people who maintain social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Cultivating a healthy circle of friends can be uplifting and inspirational during one’s journey through recovery.
For Information and Support
Substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly dangerous and can result in severe short and long-term consequences. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. There is no reason to go through this alone, and we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org