While it’s easy to say that you don’t go to drug and alcohol rehab to make friends, it’s bound to happen when you share the same living space with someone for weeks, engage in treatment together, and share the destruction that addiction has caused in your life.
Some people discourage making friends during inpatient drug and alcohol treatment, but others recommend it, saying it gives you clean and sober people you can meet up with after treatment. So which is it? Should you make friends during rehab? Or should you avoid encouraging friendships? If you need help finding a rehab center, call 800-481-6320Who Answers? today.
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The Pros of Making Friends During Rehab
There are some positives to making friends with other patients during rehab. First, it makes the whole stay more enjoyable. Having a few new friends makes the time pass better and gives you someone to talk to while eating breakfast and folding your laundry. It also allows you to form camaraderie, as your sharing a similar experience together. New rehab friends give you someone who understands what you’re going through once inpatient is over. You’ll both be doing IOP, then outpatient. Even if not at the same facilities afterwards, you’ll still have someone to talk to who understands. Sober friends from rehab also give you someone to go to meetings with, or utilize for support when you’re feeling low or at risk for using.
The Cons of Making Friends During Rehab
Setting boundaries prior to making friends in rehab will help you stay focused on your recovery.
There is another side to the coin. Making friends during rehab can take your focus away from recovery, which is, after all, the real reason you’re in inpatient treatment. Buddying up allows you to take the whole situation less seriously and pull your thoughts away from yourself and your own addiction and gives you a distraction from dealing with what you came there to deal with. It’s also important to understand the frequency that people relapse, and by making a new bff in rehab, you may be setting yourself up, relying on the other person’s recovery to support your own. Others warn that sometimes those new to recovery are energy suckers, and that they may burden you with their woes, when you should be dealing with your own.
If You’re Going to Do It, Do It This Way
If you decide to make friends while at a rehab center, that’s your decision. If you’re going to do it, do it smart. Here’s how.
Set boundaries beforehand. And hold to them. This way, the other person’s bad decisions won’t have as much impact on you and you’re awareness will keep you from getting dragged down.
Remember, rehab is about recovery, so make sure it stays that way. Friends can be made at any time, but getting sober needs to occur now.
Avoid romance. No one ever needs to be involved in a rehab romance, but they happen easily. Avoid new relationships with the opposite sex and wait at least a year before getting into an intimate relationship with someone new.
Are You in Need of an Addiction Rehab Center?
Is addiction making your life unmanageable? Are you ready to get the drug and alcohol treatment you need? Call 800-481-6320Who Answers? for help today and start down the road to recovery.
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Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: ARK Behavioral Health, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.