Determining whether you have to avoid your old friends after drug rehab can be tough, and unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. In the end, it comes down to you, your ability to manage triggers and temptation, and the effort you put into building healthy relationships and new habits. The short answer is that no, you don’t necessarily have to completely avoid your old friends once you get out of rehab, but it might be best to stay away for the first while to give yourself time to adjust to your new, clean life.
The Importance of Avoiding Temptation
When you first leave rehab, one of the hardest adjustments you’ll have to make is getting used to life in recovery because this means saying no to the temptations that you once gave in to. Saying no to drug or alcohol consumption is a choice you have to make every day, and you can make it easier on yourself by avoiding the temptations in the first place.
For people in recovery, a trigger can be a person, a place, a feeling, or anything else that tempts you to start using again. It’s a lot harder to say no to a glass of wine when it’s right in front of you, and this includes being at parties at your old haunts, and around old friends that are drinking or using. In early recovery, you’re very vulnerable to a relapse, so avoiding the people and things that you associate with drugs or alcohol can help get you through the hardest adjustment period.
How to cut ties: If you’re finding old friends difficult to resist and want to make it easier, you can avoid places where you might run into them, block and delete their numbers from your phone, unfriend and unfollow them on social media, and avoid people they might hang out with.
Making New Friends and New Habits
One of the keys to aftercare, recovery, and rebuilding your life is developing healthy new relationships and habits, and this will be easier to do if you stay away from old friends and old habits for a while. This means making sober friends, reconnecting with friends and family who support your sobriety, and finding new hobbies and ways to spend your time that don’t involve getting drunk or high.
What are good sober activities? There are lots of healthy and productive ways that you can spend your time, and many of them will help you meet new people. Activities you can do include:
- Taking up a sport
- Joining a club
- Getting involved in the community
- Taking some courses
When You Want to See Your Old Friends Again
If you get to a point where you feel you’re ready to see your old friends again, it’s still important to take steps to protect yourself from triggers and temptations.
- Avoid the same old places. If you’re going to meet up with old friends, do it in a new place, and one that you don’t associate with the good old days of drinking or getting high.
- Take people you trust. During recovery, it’s always a good idea to surround yourself with supportive, sober people, and this is especially true when you’re around triggers like old friends.
- Set a time limit. Having a set amount of time to see your old friends will help you to stay in control of the situation, and prevent you being from exposed to more temptation than necessary.
Going through a rehab treatment program and getting your life back together doesn’t mean you have to give up all aspects of your old life, such as your old friends, for the rest of your life. But when you leave rehab, it’s important to focus on yourself and rebuilding your life, and this includes rediscovering what it’s like to have sober friends and engage in healthy activities.
If you need extra help along the way or want to inquire about help for a friend or loved one, call Beachway Therapy today at 877-284-0353.