Why You Need To Ditch Old Friends After Rehab
Peer pressure is a powerful force. The need to conform to the crowd and go along with what seems normal is a natural part of being human. We know it from experience and we know it from scientific research.
If you have worked hard to get through rehab, get sober and are determined to stay sober, you have to make important life changes. One of those changes is getting rid of old friends.
In fact, having a strong support group is crucial to your recovery. But, if any one of your old friends is still using or doesn’t fully support your sobriety, it’s time to say goodbye.
Reasons To Cut Old Friends Out Of Your Life After Rehab
Here are the best reasons to make the difficult choice to cut old friends out of your life:
- Old friends will try to tempt you with false memories of happier times. The truth is that while you were using, your life was in the toilet. Some of your old friends, however, will try to convince you that life was better then, that you had more fun and were fun to be around. The reality is that these friends don’t want to live in the toilet alone. They want someone to justify and validate their lifestyles. Don’t listen. They are wrong and you are better off sober.
- Putting yourself in high-risk situations will cause you to relapse. It just makes good sense, but research has also proven this fact. Recovering addicts are far more likely to relapse if put into risky situations. These include being around people who are using drugs or alcohol. Facts don’t lie. If you surround yourself by people who use, you are more likely to use as well and to undo all the hard work you put into your recovery.
- Your old friends do not have your best interests at heart. If you have an old friend who is still using, his daily motivations for nearly everything he does revolve around his addiction. Every choice he makes, and how he interacts with people, is related to his need to drink or use drugs. This means that, even if he sounds like he is supporting you and cares about you, your well-being is low on his list of priorities.
- Poor support will cause you to relapse. Another finding from research about addiction and relapse is that support is crucial to staying sober. One of the leading factors in people who go back to using after treatment is a poor support system. Friends from your past do not constitute a strong support system. You need people who truly care about you and your health and well-being. These are friends and family members who are sober enough to care.
Recovering From Addiction? Put Yourself First
Overcoming addiction is a huge challenge. By getting help, going through rehab and working to avoid a relapse, you have already put in a huge portion of the work. Now you just need to live your life as a sober person and resist those nagging urges to use again. They will lessen with time, but there are few things more detrimental to your resistance than old friends.
If you abused drugs or drank too much with someone in the past, those habits will be even more difficult to resist when you are around him. If these friends really do care about you they will understand that you can’t be around them.
Put yourself first, stick with your sober support group and learn to make new friends. You won’t regret it in the long run.