Talking to Friends After Treatment

Talking to Friends After Treatment

When an individual goes to treatment for addiction, many things will change once they come home. Almost every aspect of life changes, including friendships. One of the hallmarks of addiction is that an individual’s social life changes as they isolate themselves from friends and family in favor of people who use. This could make navigating old friendships tricky once you are home from treatment. Luckily, there are a few helpful tips for talking to friends after treatment and repairing your bond while still keeping your sobriety a priority.

Set Your Boundaries When Talking to Friends After Treatment

One of the benefits of going to residential treatment is that individuals spend a lot of time learning about themselves, their triggers, how they process stress, and how things in the past are affecting them today. Now that you are more in-tune with your mind and body in this way, it is important to set boundaries when talking to friends after treatment. These boundaries can include:

  • Don’t pressure me. Make sure you let your friends know loud and clear that you are sober now and that you have worked hard to get there. Nothing they do or say will “break” you to use again, so don’t try.
  • Don’t invite me to parties just yet. If you are early in your recovery, a good boundary to ask for is to not invite you to parties, bars, or late-night celebrations yet. This can wait until you are more comfortable.
  • Don’t use in front of me. This can include drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, or anything that might be tempting for you in early recovery.

Tell Them Your Triggers

It can also be helpful to tell your friends what your triggers are so that they can be more mindful of your boundaries. Make sure you let them know if it is triggering for you if you go to bars, walk by a liquor store, visit a certain place or to be around certain people. Use this opportunity to educate your friends about recovery and your treatment process. The more your friends know, the better they will be able to help you avoid a potentially triggering situation or help you if you end up in one with them.

Find New Things to Do Together

Another conversation to have when talking to friends after treatment is about new ways to spend time together. Instead of exchanging life updates over a bottle of wine, start going out for coffee instead. If you usually grab drinks after work to spend time together, grab ice cream instead. Making simple little changes like these to set a new normal can go a long way. More suggestions include:

  • Find a new exercise class to do together
  • Plan a spa day full of massages and relaxation
  • Volunteer your time and service together
  • Go hiking and explore the nature around you together
  • Visit museums or art galleries in your area
  • Plan a movie night, whether in the theater or at home
  • Take an art class or cooking class together
  • Find a local comedy show or trivia night
  • Take your dogs to the dog park together
  • Indulge your sweet tooth and eat like a kid at a froyo spot
  • Window shop at the mall
  • Go play golf, bowling, or try ax throwing
  • Get a pedicure and manicure together
  • Find a local meet up to watch a sports game at with other fans
  • Try an escape room

Consider if the Friendship is Healthy

If you have been talking to friends after treatment about boundaries, respecting your triggers, and attempting to get them to try new activities with you to no avail, it might be time to reevaluate your friendships. There will be many people along your road to recovery who won’t understand your new lifestyle and, unfortunately, some of those people might be the ones closest to you.

It is not healthy if your friends are pressuring you to use again, are disregarding your new lifestyle, ostracizing you, doubting that you will stay sober, or are overall not supportive of your sobriety. Your recovery and sobriety are your number one priority and, as you learned in treatment, you are not alone in recovery. It’s just a matter of surrounding yourself with like-minded, positive influences. People are the summation of the ones closest to them so if the people closest to you aren’t supportive of your sobriety, it could be a red flag for a possible future relapse.

About Pinelands Recovery Center

There are so many new changes that happen once you return home from treatment and talking to your friends can be one of them. Make sure they are well-informed about your triggers and boundaries and find new ways to spend time together. The friends who want the best for you will stick around and your life will get that much better.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit pinelandsrecovery.com

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About Jaclyn Uloth

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