How will friendship help you with recovery?
Friends from Twelve Step or other therapy groups can offer support and advice while you recover. They often will be able to sympathize and understand your problems, because it’s likely that they have been through a similar situation. They can join you in sober-fun environments and activities that don’t involve alcohol or other drugs.
What about friends who still use?
Let your friends know that you are in recovery and be prepared to give reasons why you no longer use alcohol or other drugs. Let them know what would happen if you continued to use: for example, “If I drink, my job will be in jeopardy.” You could ask your friends to spend time with you in ways other than drinking or using drugs.
You should also be prepared to realize that most of your friends will not understand the disease of addiction. You may want to explain what addiction is and how it has changed your life. This will help them understand why you can no longer drink or use other drugs—why using is a matter of life and death for you.
If your friends do not value your recovery and continue to pressure you to use substances, it may be best to avoid them or end these relationships. Sometimes you may associate alcohol or other drug use with a particular friend, so being with that person can threaten your recovery. Cultivating friendships with people in your recovery program and/or nonusers can be beneficial and help you to avoid relapse.