Finding Sober Friends After Rehab
As you leave rehab and re-enter society with your sobriety intact, it’s natural to reconsider your circle of friends to ensure the healthiest life possible: after all, before rehab, it’s likely that you were spending a lot of your time with people who abuse drugs and alcohol. While some relationships can and absolutely should be maintained, you may need to distance yourself from some acquaintances and instead build new, sober friendships.
Making friends as an adult can be challenging. But it’s not hopeless! In addition to the bonds you formed during rehab, here are some good places to find new friends and connections:
Support groups aren’t just an essential part of your support network: they’re also a great place to meet people that you have plenty in common with! In 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Secular Organizations for Sobriety, you’ll meet people facing similar struggles who are also seeking to maintain a sober lifestyle.
Not only will they know what you’re going through, they’re easier to plan social outings with, as you’ll also all have the same goals and boundaries —you never need to explain to your friends from AA why you’re not having a beer at the baseball game, or why you’d rather go bowling than to a bar.
Exercise More (and Join Groups That Exercise)
Exercise is important for everyone, but for people in recovery, it can be a key part of their routine. It relieves anxiety and stress, improves mood, and helps the body heal from the damage caused by drugs and alcohol.
But gyms, fitness clubs, yoga studios, and running groups serve another purpose: they’re great group work. These places and activities are excellent for meeting other people who are interested in wellness and living healthy. Though they may not all live sober lifestyles, fitness-conscious people can encourage you to take care of yourself and help you enjoy healthy activities.
Online and Social Media Groups
There are more options for support groups, and just regular clubs, online and in social media now than ever before. Online groups allow you to reach out to others at any time, with people going through similar experiences, but without geographical limitations.
As useful as online groups can be, they aren’t complete replacements for in-person groups or licensed professionals. Ideally, you can engage in a healthy balance of in-person and online interaction, but having easy-to-access support and people who share your interests can be a powerful option that opens a lot of doors — so long as you take everything you read online with a grain of salt!
Extra Mile’s Aftercare & Alumni Program
These are all great ways to meet others, but here at Extra Mile Recovery, we’re proud to offer an easy and meaningful way to connect with like-minded people and rebuild your circle of friends: our Aftercare & Alumni program.
Our team and your peers are readily available to support you, help you manage potential triggers in the “real world” after rehab, and even help you find other welcoming ways to meet sober friends. And, of course, our alumni love to make plans! This program also includes a private online support group, planned events, follow-up meetings, and opportunities to mentor or sponsor current clients.
You never have to be alone in recovery. Contact Extra Mile Recovery today to find out how our staff and alumni can be a part of your life in recovery!