Staying Sober and Keeping Friends
Staying sober after treatment, the goal shifts to sticking with recovery and avoiding relapse. Being around friends who drink is one of the challenges and triggers you might face in everyday life that could lead back to alcohol abuse and addiction. In early recovery, it is wise to avoid drinking situations and drinking with friends. However, this may be unavoidable due to work. Or eventually, when you are ready, you may want to socialize but be nervous about it. It is possible to stay on track with sobriety while keeping friendships with people who drink.
Principles to Stay Sober
One of the greatest goals for those in recovery is to stay sober. Staying sober is a lifelong process, and we understand that cravings can be an obstacle for patients during the recovery process. When you learn how to break addiction habits and identify cravings, you can manage and avoid the urge to relapse.
It’s important to note that experiencing cravings is not a sign of weakness – it’s a natural part of recovery and is deeply rooted in your psychological association with addiction.
A person struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD), formerly called alcoholism or alcohol addiction, has a chronic brain disease that affects the reward system, leading to compulsive behaviors around alcohol, increased abuse of the substance and riskier behaviors while intoxicated, and other side effects.
People who seek help to overcome AUD have many options for evidence-based treatment, which focuses on safely detoxing from the drug and changing behaviors through counseling at ARCA’s rehabilitation program. However, one of the aspects of addiction as a disease involves relapse, which is a feature of many chronic illnesses, including hypertension, asthma, and diabetes.
People recovering from AUD will benefit from naltrexone to lessen cravings after they have successfully detoxed from alcohol. Reducing cravings helps the person focus on changing their behaviors around alcohol and learning new coping mechanisms.
Thankfully, there are many practices you can put in place to help you stay sober, and by implementing the following tips, you will reduce your risk of relapse.
What To Do When You Want A Drink?
- Find a non-alcoholic beverage that works for you (Something you enjoy)
- Remove temptation by changing your surroundings
- Phone a friend or relative for support
- Take a buddy along who is aware you are in recovery
- Set a time to leave and stick to it
- Getting social support through a peer support group
- Befriending positive people who can help to elevate one’s mood
- Minding HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, or tired), as these, can influence stress levels and bad decisions
- Learning new coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness
- Knowing relapse symptoms and keeping a diary to monitor for them
- Reaching out for help in the event of a lapse or relapse
Do You Want To Stay Sober & Keep Your Friends?
Are you looking to stay sober and keep friends? If yes, here are core principles to help navigate the alcohol-fueled world that we live in:
- Ask yourself, Why do you need a drink?
Ask this question whenever you reach for a drink. Alcohol looks to be integrated into our lives such as sparkles for celebration, wine at dinner, and spirits for the dance floor. People often use alcohol as a support to enhance their confidence. However, one of the very common reasons many people use alcohol is as a distraction from the range of feelings. So there is a need to change your mindset about drinking. Before just trying to avoid drinking, ask yourself why you need a drink. You will notice a real motivation when you start doing this.
- Dealing With Pushy Friends
If someone is not drinking due to health reasons or pregnancy, none of your friends will bug you. However, if you don’t feel like it, turning a drink down can be difficult as friends will often try to persuade you to drink.
Just request an alternative beverage, if you want a harmonious evening. When others feel that you and your decision is not fully aligned, many of them will try to force your hand and trigger you. You can make an excuse such as: “I have to drive”, or you can say that you cannot drink due to health reasons. Protecting your sobriety must come first.
This is also a good time to assess which friends are supportive of your sobriety and which friendships are not.
Socializing Without Alcohol
Start finding activities you enjoy that don’t require alcohol. Go out more in the daytime, find activities or hobbies that interest you, or spend more time with your loved ones. Things will get easier once you have decided to stop drinking. You will start to notice how easy and lovely it is to have fun without it. Due to the addictiveness of alcohol, we can get so dependent on alcohol as a social lubricant that we forgot how to socialize without it, but it can be refreshing and delightful.
The Benefits of Quitting Drinking
- There are so many benefits to stopping drinking. You will start enjoying waking up without a dusty mind. The evenings will become more enjoyable, meaningful, and entertaining.
- Your confidence and intuition will increase in ditching the bottle.
- The work you do will be far more intuitive, and your whole life much aligned with the natural rhythms.
- Most importantly, your clarity will be enhanced beyond measure through self-awareness.
- The phenomenal increase in productivity and physical energy is another benefit to mention here.
It will be a release when you are sitting among your friends without needing a drink. If you are looking to go to weddings, celebrations, and birthdays, you have to get used to being a person not drinking where everyone else is drinking. Be calm and committed to your new sobriety. Talk to your support system and counselor about how you feel and devise a strategy for these events.
For anyone who struggles to manage drinking and for whom alcohol has become a problem that cannot be controlled, rehab is the best option for successful and lasting recovery. It allows patients to focus on their treatment in a safe environment free of drugs and alcohol while building a supportive community of treatment professionals and peers.
ARCA Treatment Goals for Alcohol Rehab
ARCA’s Recovery Programs provide a superior medical detox treatment for alcohol addiction. Our unique therapeutic approach and expert staff ensure you or your loved one receives the treatment and support needed for lasting change.
During your stay at ARCA, you will be prescribed a customized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, as it is not uncommon for one to suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder. During rehab, you can focus solely on recovering and reaching these goals:
- A safe and successful detox
- Reducing and eliminating withdrawal symptoms
- Learning the skills and tools needed to prevent future relapses and staying sober
- Addressing any co-occurring mental health disorders
- Gaining control of your life