How Constructive Friendships Can Support Your Rehab

How Constructive Friendships Can Support Your Rehab

When someone is addicted to a substance like hydrocodone, her primary relationship often becomes the one she has with the drug. Like any relationship with any other person, an addict’s relationship with the drug is give and take: the drug provides comfort of some form, but it also requires a great deal of time, energy and money to maintain addiction. As people go down the destructive path of drug addiction, their relationships with sober people are neglected and can eventually disappear altogether. In other words, an addict’s primary source of relational comfort comes from her drug of choice, while actual human interaction is often limited to other drug using, addicted individuals.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains the importance of constructive, healthy relationships with sober individuals when it comes to addiction recovery. Positive relationships with sober friends and family are so important to recovering addicts that the NIDA suggests it should be a major topic for professional therapists and addiction counselors to discuss during treatment. In fact, treatment should spend considerable time determining which people can provide positive, sober support and when they can be available.

Within the same realm of finding and promoting healthy, sober friendships, a recovering addict also needs to identify and change unhealthy relationships that are likely to keep him in an addictive lifestyle. In fact, the NIDA points out to that codependent and enabling relationships are two main examples of unhealthy relationships that can undermine addiction recovery.

Codependent relationships are characterized by someone being completely dependent upon the addict for love, security and acceptance, and she believes that those aspects are contingent upon the addict being taken care of in the way he wishes. This dysfunction causes the codependent person to engage in excessive care-giving methods that only enable further drug abuse and thereby addiction. On the other hand, enabling relationships are characterized by people who either directly or indirectly help, encourage or make it easier for an addict to continue abusing drugs. Enablers are often codependents, like parents who allow their children to continue living at home for free without major consequences for drug use, or children who continue to take care of their addicted parents without demanding sobriety.

When addiction stops and recovery begins, the relationships and activities that other drug users and drug use once filled must now be filled with supportive friendships and healthier activities. Social interactions in recovery are essential to maintaining sobriety and overcoming relapse triggers as they arise. For instance, when a relapse trigger arises, people need help to resist, so being unable to contact or draw upon a sober friend at this time makes it much more likely that the addict will relapse. The NIDA explains that recovering addicts need not only healthy, sober relationships, but also people to have fun with so they do not fixate on relapse. In other words, recovering addicts need sober friends and to do fun things with those people.

A lack of healthy relationships and healthy recreational activities can result in boredom and stagnancy, which are both detrimental to an addict’s recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains the following essentials to living in recovery:

  • Health – Overcoming addiction and living in physically and emotionally healthier ways
  • Home – Having a safe and stable place to live
  • Purpose – Having a meaning to life and daily tasks that support recovery and that benefit society
  • Community – Relationships and social networking that provide support, love and encouragement

One of the essential aspects to recovery that SAMHSA touches on is the need for community and healthy relationships that support recovery.

How to Find Supportive Relationships with Sober People

Joining support groups and social networking groups are the best ways to find supportive friends who understand the complexities of addiction and recovery. People in support groups have experience with addiction and recovery, so they can provide sober, safe activities to engage that distract users from relapse. Being supported and looked out for by people who have already succeeded in recovery greatly increases one’s chances of success in recovery. In addition, relying on close sober friends and family members who understand your situation and need for support can add to your social network and increase your chances of long-term sobriety.

Help Finding Professional Treatment for Substance Abuse and Addiction

Hydrocodone abuse and addiction are diseases that can be treated with medical help. People can and do recover from drug addiction everyday with the help of professional treatment services; you can get and stay clean from drugs if you seek help from a licensed rehab facility.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find professional treatment that will work for you. Begin your road to recovery now and call us today.