Making Sober Friends

sober friends

Recovery can often necessitate meeting new people, as you may realize some of your friendships revolve around the substances you are working to avoid. But meeting new friends is hard, especially in sobriety when you may be more focused on your recovery than meeting new people. Because friendships can impact not only your happiness but also your health and overall well-being, it is important to build a community and make friends in sobriety. 

 

Sober friends are essential to recovery not only because they can help you avoid drugs or alcohol by replacing activities that involve these substances with enjoyable sober activities, but also because they can encourage you on your path to recovery through support and helping you heal emotionally and spiritually. At Soba Texas, we hope all of our clients can build a sober support system post treatment. 

 

What Are Sober Friends?

Friendships in addiction may center around drugs or alcohol. These types of relationships unsurprisingly tend to fall apart if one friend decides to become sober. Friendships rooted in addiction may even be damaging to your psychological well-being if you are trying to get sober. Healthy friendships are an important part of recovery, which is why a crucial component to sober living is often finding new sober friends. Sober friends are friends who are supportive of your sobriety, which often means they are also sober. Sober friendships aren’t rooted in the consumption of drugs or alcohol, instead they revolve around enjoyable sober activities. 

 

How to Meet Sober Friends

Meeting new friends can be intimidating and meeting sober friends can be especially intimidating if you don’t know where to look. However, there are countless ways to connect with sober friends.

 

Support groups and sober communities

One of the most sure-fire ways to meet sober friends is to join a support group, because everyone in attendance is pursuing similar goals of sobriety. The traditional Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have helped countless people because they offer great resources and help build a community of support. However, these groups aren’t for everyone and there are a number of other sobriety support groups that may be the right fit for you. Some alternative sober communities to the traditional AA include: SMART Recovery, which is open to both substance addictions and activity addictions and focuses on mutual-support and self-reliance; secular support groups like LifeRing or Secular Organizations for Sobriety; the Phoenix, which integrates physical activity into recovery; women-led communities like Women for Sobriety; or LGBT-friendly communities like Gay and Lesbians in Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

Non-alcoholic/drug-free events

One great way to meet sober friends is to attend events where addictive substances aren’t involved. These events could range from activities that don’t normally involve substances, like fitness classes, hikes or free museum days. There are also substance-free events that deliberately remove alcohol and drugs to create specifically sober events like pop-up non-alcoholic bars or alcohol-free early morning dance parties, such as those put on by Daybreaker in cities all around the world. 

 

Online groups

Sober communities or even mission-focused groups that revolve around a shared hobby can be difficult to find locally if you don’t know where to look. In the digital age, online groups through Facebook Groups are a growing resource for connecting people over a shared interest. There are Facebook Groups for an assortment of hobbies and you can find a local group and attend events put on by the group. Meetup is another online forum that connects people—you can look for groups in your local area with sober-centric interests or use search terms like “sober” or “sobriety” to find a sober meetup.

 

Tips to Maintain Sobriety

Sober friendships are beneficial to the maintenance of sobriety. Not only do sober friendships help you avoid substances by partaking in sober-centric activities, sober friends are an invaluable support to recovery through encouragement. In addition to meeting sober friends and building healthy relationships, here are some other tips for maintaining sobriety:

  • Take sobriety one day at a time.
  • Identify your personal triggers and create plans to prepare for and avoid them.
  • Practice healthy living with regular exercise, getting ample quality sleep, and eating regular well-balanced meals.
  • Develop hobbies and make time for them. Hobbies improve mental wellbeing and prevent boredom.
  • Take advantage of aftercare. Whether its local recovery support groups, AA meetings, online forums or aftercare offered by a rehabilitation facility.
  • Celebrate milestones in your recovery. Sobriety is hard work and it is important to acknowledge and celebrate that work to continue to stay motivated.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

Reaching out to people and building new relationships can be daunting, especially when you are navigating meeting new people while working on your recovery. But healthy relationships are fundamental to addiction recovery and building sober friendships will be worth putting yourself out there. At Soba Texas, we are committed to your long-term recovery and we know sober communities are a part of building a healthy sober lifestyle. We integrate social interaction into our custom treatment to help build socialization skills and remind you that you are not alone in your journey to sobriety. Reach out to us today to take the first step on your road to recovery.

Support Groups for Parents of Addicts

support group for family

Addiction is currently a serious public health problem in the United States. Addiction has been better understood in the past few years as a disease, but addiction is not only a disease that the individual addict struggles with—addiction is a family disease. Addiction hurts everyone with a relationship to the addict. Parents of addicts especially are confronted by the challenges of navigating relationships with their children struggling with substance abuse. However, the increased recognition of addiction as a family disease has resulted in an increase of resources designed to not only help parents find their loved one help to tackle addiction, but also to help for parents of addicts themselves. 

 

Addiction Is a Family Disease

At Soba Texas, we can’t stress enough that addiction is often referred to as a family disease because it doesn’t only affect the individual struggling with substance abuse, it also impacts the loved ones of the addict. Parents of addicts in particular struggle with a complex mix of emotions when faced with the realities of their loved ones’ addiction, whether their child is a minor or an adult. Parents of addicts may take on the guilt, blame, or shame belonging to the addict, or experience these emotions as a result from embarrassment.

 Parents of addicts can also easily be engrossed in the behavior of an addict, hyper-focusing on their child’s addictions and trying to fix them. If they are close to their loved one, parents of addicts may bear the brunt of unpleasant behaviors their loved ones exhibit as a result of their addiction. Addiction can also affect the marriage of parents of addicts. Most of all, like any parent, parents of addicts are faced with a situation where their child is facing a dangerous disease that they may feel powerless or hopeless against. If you have a child struggling with addiction, you are not alone—there are several resources that offer help for parents of addicts. One of the most invaluable resources is support groups for parents.

 

Support Groups for Parents of Addicts

Parents of addicts may feel alone in their experiences with their child’s addiction, but support groups for parents of addicts can help combat these feelings. It is common for parents of addicts to focus on the addicted loved one rather than themselves, however, support groups for parents can offer them emotional support in navigating their loved one’s addiction.

 

Al-Anon

Al-Anon is one of the oldest support groups for family members of someone with a drinking problem. Al-anon offers free family groups open to any family member of an alcoholic looking for support. Meetings are usually one hour where attendees are encouraged to listen, learn and share, if they’re comfortable doing so. All meetings are anonymous and confidential is a foundational aspect of the groups. Al-Anon uses an adapted version of the Twelve Steps of Alcohols Anonymous as a tool for healing and growth for family members of addicts. Though Al-Anon family groups are not specifically for the parents of addicts, they are often among the family members of addicts that attend the meetings. The meetings can offer help for parents of addicts in finding validation of their experiences by individuals who have intimate understanding of the same issues through their own experiences. If you are interested in attending an Al-Anon Family Group, you can begin by looking for a group in your community on their webpage. 

 

Nar-Anon

Whereas Al-Anon is for family and friends of individuals with dependency on alcohol, Nar-Anon is for the family and friends of those with dependency on drugs. Though the stories of how addiction to alcohol impacts families are similar to those of addiction to drugs, the stories at Nar-Anon focus specifically on drug use rather than alcohol. Nar-Anon similarly uses a Twelve Step Program to help family and friends of addicts find strength and hope. Nar-Anon does not require dues or fees and though its membership is not limited to parents of addicts, many attend the meetings. If you are interested in joining a Nar-Anon group, you can begin by looking for a family group in your community. 

 

PAL (Parents of Addicted Loved Ones Group)

Unlike Al-Anon and Nar-Anon, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, or PAL, is a support group specifically for parents of addicts. PAL was created based on the recognition that parents have a different relationship to the addict than a sibling, friend, or spouse. When confronted with a loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol, parents have the tendency to revert to treating adult sons or daughters like younger children. PAL acknowledges this reaction to addiction is unique to parents and uses nine individual non-sequential lessons in meetings that teach about addiction both from an addict’s and a parent’s perspective. 

 

How to Get Your Loved One Help

Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and PAL are all useful support groups for parents of addicts. But it is important to remember these are non-professional support groups, meaning they offer a space for members to share their experiences, hope and strength—they do not offer professional treatment for addicts. If you’re seeking help for your loved one’s addiction, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, is the agency leading the public health effort to combat substance abuse and offers a range of resources. 

 

Get Help With Addiction at Soba Texas

If you’re looking for professional treatment for a loved one’s addiction, Soba Texas is also here to help. We offer companionate, quality addiction treatment services in San Antonio, Texas. Please contact us for information about how we can help. Our professionals are here to help individuals and their families get through drug and alcohol addiction.