Last Edited: 01/27/2021

Author: Angeline Gormley Angeline Gormley

Friends for Life: The Importance of Socialization in Addiction Recovery

Having a solid support system can be crucial for people recovering from substance abuse. One key source of support comes from positive friendships, which can lead to a fulfilling life. This National Friendship Day, let’s discover how socializing with supportive friends can assist addiction recovery.

Supportive friends can be guiding lights in our lives. They share in our sorrows, but they’re also there to celebrate victories. The best people we can lean on are those who don’t judge or compete with us, but those who see us at our cores and appreciate us for who we are. 

National Friendship Day (August 1st) is a good time to thank true friends who have been with us through thick and thin. There may be people in your life for whom you are deeply grateful, maybe friends who helped you during challenging times such as addiction recovery. If you’re new to such journeys, it can be useful to discover how forming positive friendships can help you overcome substance abuse.

Friends hold you accountable

When you’re socializing with friends who are on the same journey, you can discover the importance of accountability to help you keep track of your recovery goals. One reason why support organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have been successful is because they serve as sources of accountability.

While they’re gathering, people have the opportunity to

  • Listen to each other’s experiences. Gathering allows people to listen to other individuals and their experiences dealing with substance abuse. Through their stories, you can learn what worked for them, and you can use this knowledge to hold yourself accountable during challenging moments.
  • Gently advise and motivate when needed. When meeting with supportive friends, you might have the opportunity to receive and give advice based on what you’ve all learned. You will also have the opportunity to gently motivate people who may be struggling.
  • Report to each other. The simple act of reporting your day, how you overcame obstacles, or how you are struggling, can work wonders for accountability. This honesty can keep you strong during times you might be close to relapsing and provide the strength to face another day.

Friends empathize with your struggles and celebrate with your victories

Have you ever heard of the saying Happiness shared is happiness multiplied, and a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved? The statement is true in substance abuse recovery. When you have friends who understand what you are going through, the load becomes lighter and it is easier to proceed through life.

When your support system celebrates your personal achievements to recover from drug or alcohol abuse, you can multiply your joy. It’s comforting to know that there are people who see and hear you.

Friends can give your life meaning

If we’ve experienced difficult phases in our lives, we might carry some deep wounds that make us question the meaning of our lives even when we are trying to recover from an addiction. Having friends who need us and support us can help us answer our questions and find meaning. 

Friends can help you see the brighter side of life. Their insights, inspiration, and motivation may be just what you need to keep you going. When you take time to see life through other people’s perspectives, you could realize that there is more to everything than just your viewpoint.

National Friendship Day: give friendship a chance

This National Friendship Day and beyond, we encourage you to find support through friends. Whether it’s finding peer groups from an addiction treatment center, school, religious denomination, or other local meetup, you can make friends that can help you improve yourself and your life.

Sources

nationaltoday.com – International Day of Friendship

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – About Us

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Substance use, childhood traumatic experience, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in an urban civilian population

theartofsimple.net – The value of accountability for achieving your goals

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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