Addiction is a very isolating disease, one that often causes riffs between friends, family, and other colleagues. As substance abuse becomes more problematic, individuals will look for ways to separate themselves from loved ones in an effort to hide problematic alcohol or drug use. As a person takes steps toward recovery, however, rebuilding relationships becomes critical. Friends and family can become the source of support and unity that many suffering from addiction need. Understanding friendship in addiction recovery is important.
If you’re in need of support, AspenRidge Recovery provides treatment options for individuals suffering from substance use disorder. Through our compassionate rehab programs, we help clients find strength and sobriety. Contact us directly at 855-281-5588.
Relationships & Addiction
The hard truth about addiction is that it can impact all facets of life. Marriages, friendships, and even work relationships can suffer as the result of ongoing substance abuse. There are various signs and symptoms that reveal just how detrimental alcohol and drugs can be to the connections we make in our everyday world. Some warning signs can include:
It’s not uncommon for addiction to operate in secrecy. A person may not be open to sharing their struggles with substance abuse as there’s still an incredible amount of stigma surrounding the disease of addiction. Additionally, many who are battling with substance abuse feel guilt and experience addiction shame.
Signs of secrecy can include the following lies about:
- Detrimental friendship
- Inexplicable behavior
- Missing money
It’s likely that as substance abuse becomes more problematic, isolation will increase. These tendencies can wreak havoc on existing relationships.
Another harmful aspect when it comes to friendships and addiction is the line between support and enabling. A friend may wish to help with recovery. As a result, they may unknowingly enable further destructive behavior. Enabling behaviors can include:
- Accepting blame
- Making excuses
- Taking responsibility for your addicted loved ones issues
- Working to minimize consequences that come with substance abuse, especially concerning legal troubles
Enabling behaviors can increase issues of substance abuse and create more damage in a relationship.
Importance of Friendship
On the flip side, friendship is an invaluable part of life. Friends can help with mental health and provide an outlet for everyday struggles. According to the Mayo Clinic, friendships help increase a sense of belonging and purpose, boost happiness, help with self-confidence and self-worth.
It’s important to understand that not all friendships provide a support system. Unhealthy friendships can lead to other issues such as poor mental health, poor decision making, and peer pressure.
Creating a network of positive friendships can actually help with preventing substance abuse. But if addiction is already an issue, rebuilding friendships can help in the recovery process.
Positive Results Of Friendship In Addiction Recovery
Friendships in recovery can help boost morale and provide support when it’s needed most. Recovery is a grueling journey and can take on many forms. Friends can help ease the burden and serve as a positive reminder of what life can be away from alcohol and drugs. Friends who encourage finding fun or productive activities can help provide an outlet that takes away mundane routines that are often established in early recovery.
The struggle of balancing friendships in addiction recovery is recognizing which relationships are doing more harm. If friendships stem from bad habits, chances are they will be detrimental for long-term sobriety. It’s important to establish boundaries for unhealthy relationships and understand why trusting friendships can actually aid in establishing new norms.
Benefit of Friendship in Recovery
Addiction is characterized as a relapsing disease. There can be setbacks while undergoing addiction treatment, but the importance and benefits of friendship in addiction recovery can help you feel more confident in exploring the possibilities of life beyond alcohol and drugs. With new possibilities, life can feel out of control. Starting new jobs, setting goals, finding routine changes without substance use. Strong friendships can provide a sense of reprieve from everyday responsibilities.
A newly sober person can experience negative emotions such as feelings of:
All of these can be triggers for relapse. Having peers in addiction recovery can help. Recovery friends often understand the difficulties of the process.
Friendships can serve as a support and source of encouragement. On the other hand, they are also there to help you say “no” to offers and provide guidance or corrections when you’re feeling lost.
How Can A Sober Person Stay Sober?
Sobriety doesn’t come overnight. Even with guidance and relapse prevention strategies, it’s possible that an individual may still battle with urges to use alcohol or drugs. Resisting temptation is no easy feat.
To help in recovery, an individual should feel supported through mental health treatment as well as programs that directly address substance abuse. Outside of that, sober living communities and friendships can help with accepting the hardships that come with addiction and integrating back into the community.
Treatment programs usually integrate different treatment options to give individuals and families a sense of belonging. Friends play a vital role in ensuring long-term addiction recovery. With their help, people can better prepare themselves for their new lifestyle, viewing sobriety as rewarding and even fulfilling.
AspenRidge is dedicated to tailoring treatment as much as possible to each client. With many different treatment plans and programs, we are certain that we can find one for your and your loved ones’ needs.
AspenRidge has developed part of their treatment to properly train and prepare supportive family and friends. The challenges that occur due to mental health and substance abuse are challenging and impact several components of a family. It is the hope of AspenRidge to provide a safe environment for all members of a family to experience long term sobriety and recovery.
Prospective clients may contact AspenRidge Recovery Centers at 855-281-5588 to schedule an assessment or to speak to staff about various programs.