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Who Do I Associate With Now That I Am Clean Of Opiates?

When you are living a life addicted to opiates, all things revolve around the drugs. Every thought and action you have has to be approved by your "addicted mind" before you can proceed. Everything in your life comes second to using because if you do not use, you will get sick physically from the withdrawals. This scares many addicts to continue using due to their fear of withdrawals.

When you take the necessary steps to finally get your life clean, it is extremely rewarding. Over time, all of you emotions and feelings will be restored to normal and you will be happy waking up clean each day. It becomes a mission in your life to never use painkillers again.  You take precautions to make sure that you never fall back into your old habits. While many people become vigilant in their recovery, they may start to feel lonely. A common question I'm frequently asked is, "Who do I become friends with during recovery, since all of my old friends still use?"

Being lonely in recovery is very common. It becomes an issue for many recovering addicts, because most of the the people they associate with also abused opiates. They became “friends” because they had similar interests and want the same things as you (more drugs). How do you move forward in recovery if everyone you know uses?

This question comes up very frequently. Recovering addicts become excited that they are healthy and clean, but feel as though they have no friends. They feel as though their friends look at them differently because they are drug free.

You should never downplay your recovery or worry what people think of you. Most importantly you should never put yourself back into a situation where you may be vulnerable to using again. Unfortunately this means finding a new group of people to hang out with. You never know if your old friends may be a trigger for you to use again.  They may even try to peer pressure you into using with them.  The last thing you want to do once you are clean is to fall back into addiction.

This same rule applies to two people (good friends, or even a couple) who used to use together. Spending time together in recovery can be very dangerous because many of your memories and “good times” may be when you were using together.  The memories you have together may be triggers for the both of you to want to use again. Taking some time apart to focus on sobriety might be a good idea. This rule of course is not set in stone. Some people can be just as good of friends in recovery, but it's important to use common sense. If you ever start to feel vulnerable, it may be time to part ways.

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