For some people, drug or alcohol use began in a social setting. Maybe they first tried one of the various club drugs while out partying with friends. Maybe what started as a simple ritual of meeting the gang after work for a drink now and again developed into something far more serious. Maybe they noticed that drugs or alcohol seemed to make their pals more confident and successful players in the hook-up scene and they decided to try to up their game that way, too.

When a person is in recovery from a substance use disorder, it can seem like every social situation is fraught with danger. After all, you go back to clubbing with your friends or head to the bar after work or use drugs as a way to lower your inhibitions to make it easier to approach someone you find attractive. 

As a result, sobriety can start to feel isolating. To avoid temptation, you might find yourself alone much of the time. But as we have detailed in previous blog entries, loneliness and boredom can be just as dangerous to your recovery as hanging out with the wrong crowd in the wrong places. 

So the trick is finding the people and the activities that support your sobriety rather than putting it at risk. We have a few ideas.

Get Together to Play Some Games

Whether you and your friends like classic party games like charades or Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit, card games like Uno or Phase Ten or Bridge, traditional board games like Monopoly or Life, more complex endeavors like Settlers of Catan or Wingspan, or multiplayer video games featuring Mario and the gang, a regular game night can be a great way to gather folks together. 

Ideally, the friends and family members you invite to game night will all be okay with the idea that the evening will not involve alcohol or drugs. If you are able to host these get-togethers, it might be easier to set and maintain that important ground rule. But even if you are not the host, those who are most supportive of your recovery journey will understand and want to support you.

One note of caution: Game night might not be the best option for you if you are extremely competitive. If you are likely to get wrapped up in whether you win or lose, you may want to consider a different option so that the strong emotions you bring to game night don’t put your sobriety at risk.

Get Together in the Great Outdoors

There are a range of health benefits—both physical and mental—to spending time outdoors. And getting out into nature with your friends can be a wonderful way to spend quality time together. 

There are all kinds of options. You and a friend (and your dogs, if you have furry friends) can go on walks together. A bunch of folks might get together for a weekend camping adventure or an afternoon of hiking. You might have a picnic in the park or hit the local bike trail or spend an afternoon tossing a Frisbee or a ball around. 

As we have noted, your closest friends and family will be supportive of the idea that drugs and alcohol should not be part of your outdoor endeavors. 

Get Together in the Theater or Gallery

The local arts scene can provide wonderful opportunities for you and your friends or family members to spend time together. You can, for example, visit a local gallery or art museum. You could take in opening night at the local theater. You can get together to attend a concert by a favorite band that’s on tour. You could head to the movies to see the latest blockbuster or an acclaimed independent film. 

Odds are there are any number of arts experiences to be had in your community, and those experiences can be wonderful things to share with those closest to you. Whether you love or hate (or fall somewhere in between) what you have gone to see together, you will have plenty to talk about and shared experiences to look back on. 

You might even be inspired to try your hand at making art yourself, which can be a great way to boost your mental health and support your sobriety.

While many venues serve alcohol, attending with your close friends can help keep temptation at bay and your focus on what you have come to experience together. 

First Things First: Let Us Help You Reclaim Your Sobriety

If you are struggling with alcohol or drug use, the time to get help is right now. At Wooded Glen Recovery Center in Indiana, we offer personalized treatment plans that will allow you to regain your sobriety and give you the tools, resources, and support you need to maintain it over time. We will see you through medically supervised detoxification, a robust rehabilitation program that includes treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, and on to our continuum of care, which provides ongoing support as your recovery journey gets underway. 

When you are prepared to make a change, we are here to help.