However, peer pressure can occur in any age group. Dealing with peer pressure in recovery can be especially difficult. You may be unable to avoid people with active addictions. It can be difficult to disconnect from old friends, even if the relationship puts a strain on your sobriety. As a drug and alcohol treatment center, we know it’s hard not to fall in line with what your friends are doing, regardless of your age.
Everyone is different. You may have certain addiction triggers that may not bother someone else. However, everyone undergoes a certain level of change after they’ve been in an addiction rehab program. Many of these changes occur in your social life and can affect your relationships with others. A lot of the time, you may have to be cautious of who you spend time with to avoid any threats to your sobriety. Handling peer pressure in recovery is possible if you follow the tips below.
Before you accept an invitation to an event or party, think about who will be there first. If you know your old buddies might be at the event, it’s better to politely decline the invitation and avoid their attempts to get you to use again.
Having back up when you go out can help you stay focused on your sobriety and stay firm against peer pressure. Dealing with peer pressure in recovery is much easier when you have someone to help. Bring a sober friend – maybe one you made in an alumni program – to keep you accountable.
Saying no can be hard. It may be difficult to deny a person you never used to say no to. This can apply to a friend, spouse, or parent. However, in situations where you feel pressured to succumb to substance abuse, it’s important to put your foot down. This doesn’t mean you have to be aggressive or rude. Keep in mind that many individuals with addictions struggle with shame and guilt. If you refuse them too roughly, they may assume you feel superior because you’re in recovery. Just be honest and clear about your reasons for refusing.
Setting boundaries is important in recovery. Although you may have to cut off certain people in your life, setting healthy boundaries can help others around you understand that certain behaviors aren’t acceptable. You can’t control the people around you, but you can let them know what behaviors make you uncomfortable and try to find common ground.
Peer pressure is dangerous because we tend to mimic the habits of the people we constantly surround ourselves with. When you surround yourself with sober people, you may experience a positive and beneficial form of peer pressure. Sober friends can keep you accountable.