Addiction recovery is about far more than choosing to abstain. Quitting drugs or alcohol entails a series of essential life changes. Although addiction can be successfully treated, it is a chronic disease that cannot be cured. This lifelong illness must be carefully managed over time. In recovery, you should always proactively mitigate the risks of relapse. More often than not, this means severing ties with people who are still actively abusing substances.
No matter how enjoyable certain social connections may seem, maintaining friendships with those who still abuse drugs or alcohol isn’t in your best interest. This is especially true during the formative stages of recovery. Although it’s certainly possible to keep in touch with other addicts throughout your journey, it’s vital to make sure that they’re fully supportive of your efforts to get well, and that these connections aren’t putting you at-risk. This includes maintaining a commitment to avoiding high-risk environments and high-risk activities.
Being Strong in Your Recovery
Addiction treatment teaches recovering addicts to make their own well-being a top priority. After all, if you aren’t healthy, happy, and stable, there’s very little that you can do for anyone else. If you aren’t meeting your own needs and making sure that you’re mentally, physically, and emotionally okay, you cannot have mutually fulfilling relationships with anyone else. This is why many recovering addicts choose to seek treatment outside of their home states.
They know that immediately returning to high-risk environments and high-risk friendships could be their downfall. It’s important to make sure that you’re strong in your recovery before restoring any of your former social connections. This is why inpatient rehab facilities operate on closed, secure campuses. You can work with a sober sponsor or an accountability partner to determine whether restoring these connections is a good idea. You can also set up meetings in safe spaces where the risk of drug or alcohol use is minimal.
Changing Interests and Changing Relationships
If you’re just starting treatment, your life and general outlook are soon to change. You may find that many of the people you once spent time with actually share very few of your interests. As you move closer towards your treatment goals, you’ll discover entirely new interests and aspirations. Who you were as an active drug and alcohol abuser is guaranteed to be far different from who you are when you’re completely sober.
For people who are still addicted to drugs or alcohol, getting high is the top priority. Much like you did before receiving addiction treatment, they may think about finding, acquiring, and using substances obsessively. Although many addicts in your life might tell you that they’re supportive of your recovery, addicts cannot be loyal to even themselves. Their first loyalty and first priority is getting high. This is simply the nature of addiction. You are the only person in your life who can make sure that staying sober and staying on target with your recovery goals remains your top priority.
Learning to Establish Healthy Relationships in Addiction Treatment
Relationships that are forged on the basis of common addictions aren’t guaranteed to last. In fact, they rarely do. When one person gets better and the other person does not, it often becomes difficult to maintain earnest conversations or have meaningful interactions of any other sort. As a person in recovery experiences major, positive life changes, an individual who has yet to seek treatment often remains the same. In addiction treatment, people have the opportunity to learn how to establish healthy and mutually fulfilling relationships that endure.
These are social connections that are based on meaningful ties. They are friendships between people who share common interests, beliefs, and goals. They are also friendships in which each person is always rooting for the health, success and general well-being of the other. These are attributes of relationships that active substance abusers rarely enjoy. Sometimes, letting high-risk relationships go is the best way to protect yourself. As you grow and become stronger in your recovery, you may find that you’re inspiring old friends to seek good health by example. Keeping your well-being as your top focus is the surest way to avoid both relapse and other painful setbacks on your journey. If you need help finding a rehab center or need new options in post-treatment support, we’ve got you covered. Call 772-266-5320 now to speak with one of our counselors.