4 ways to keep sober in the face of bad influences

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In the early days of your addiction recovery, one of the most difficult challenges to your continued sobriety will be the friends, family, and acquaintances who still use or abuse the same substance you’re struggling with. Alcohol and other drugs are very easy to use socially, which makes this a danger few others can compare with. Keep these four options in mind as you take on this challenge:

1) Keep your distance. The simplest way to avoid the problem posed by acquaintences who use is, of course, to avoid those people entirely. The more you can stay away from them, the better your chances of recovery will be. However, this isn’t always an acceptable option; you might be dealing with family, very close friends, etc. In these cases, you’ll still want to keep some distance if possible, but you’ll need to emphasize other solutions.

2) Be honest. Sometimes it will be enough to honestly share your concerns with the people in your life that still use, and have them keep their habits out of sight and out of mind. You can, of course, come up with excuses such as allergies, medical concerns, etc., if you prefer, but building your sobriety on a foundation of dishonesty can be very dangerous to your long-term prospects.

3) Stay in a sober home. If you need to stay away from family or roommates for a time while you firm up the foundation of your sobriety, time in a sober home can be an excellent solution. Not only does it help you commit to long-term sobriety in a tangible way and offer you the positive peer pressure you need most, it gives you space without requiring you to directly confront friends and family—something which can be quite difficult early in recovery.

4) Find different activities to share. If you need or want to spend time with people who you previously drank or used with, you need to discover new activities to share—preferably ones as far from any possibility of relapse as possible. Go do something far away from drinking or drugs. This is also a good idea even if you do it alone, as a way to find new friends, keep busy, and keep positive.

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