how to make sober friends
Reading time: 2 min

If you’re starting a new phase of your life in addiction recovery, you’ll need to break some unhelpful habits and look at life from a different angle. Having a team of sober supporters can be invaluable as you relearn how to navigate the world without drugs and alcohol clouding your judgment.

However, perhaps you damaged beneficial relationships beyond repair when you were in active addiction, or had to cut ties with old drinking and drug buddies when you realized your entire friendship revolved around getting drunk or high together. As a result, you might have realized it’s time to make sober friends, but don’t know where to begin. This guide is for you.

Finding Like-Minded People  

The older you get, the more difficult it will probably become to forge and sustain friendships, and sobriety adds a new challenge to that goal. In recovery, some of the tried-and-true ways you used to meet people – like going to parties or a neighborhood bar – are now off-limits to you. Here are some ideas you can try instead.

1. Volunteer

Volunteering for a worthwhile cause is an excellent way to get involved in your community and meet new people who share your passion for a deserving nonprofit like a food pantry or homeless pet shelter. Or, if you are politically inclined, you can sign up to work for your favorite local candidate, doing things like canvassing or staffing phone banks.

2. Take a Class

Whether you sign up for a painting class or join a local intramural sports team, learning something new can help you make sober friends who share similar interests.

3. Join a Support Group

Being part of a recovery support group is one of the best ways to make sober friends. While 12-step programs are the best-known example of this, there are plenty of other support groups for people working on their addiction recovery. Some of these organize substance-free activities for members that will fill your spare time. And besides being an ideal place to meet other sober people, participating in a recovery support group will keep you accountable to your goals.

4. Search Online

The internet has facilitated links between people worldwide. Social media platforms can help you find connections within specific communities, participate in conversations and virtually meet others who have committed to a healthy, substance-free lifestyle. You can make sober friends on Facebook or Meetup by searching for your interests.

5. Travel

Traveling is an excellent way to expand your horizons, try new things and meet new people. When you plan an itinerary, your choice of destination and activity can be essential in helping you maintain your recovery goals. Consider planning a sober vacation around an interest like camping, rock climbing or yoga, where you will likely encounter less stress and fewer triggers.

Accessible Addiction Services for You

Hope by the Sea is a leading family-owned treatment center for substance abuse and mood disorders in sun-kissed Southern California. We will work with you to create a recovery plan that meets your needs, drawing from our levels of care, specialty programs and specialty tracks. We are available to take your confidential call 24/7 when you’re ready to learn more.