Past vs. Present: Reasons You Can’t Keep Friends that Refuse to Get Clean While in Recovery
Friends from before the recovery can be hard to shake and more than that, they can cause triggers that will begin a relapse. It is essential to keep those who are going to support the recovery as opposed to those who would lead the individual back into the life of drug use.
There are many reasons why an addict cannot keep friends who refuse to get clean while they are in recovery.
No Drug Rehab Experience
The friends who still use have not been through rehab like the one the addict did. It is more likely that they will still be in the routine to use, even when their newly reformed friend is around. It is highly improbable that they will tell the recovering addict that it is not a good idea to hang out with them because it will trigger the addiction.
If anything, some may even pressure the addict to come back into the fold, which would cause a relapse and may even begin the addiction over again. According to a study by the NCBI in January of 2011, 70 percent of adolescents were found to be more likely to relapse due to peer pressure and 37.2 percent of adults experienced a relapse when they gave in to temptations in the presence of cues.
Warnings of Consequences
No one who uses drugs will explain the consequences of using to someone who has recovered. Especially those deep in the addiction who do not want to get clean will not warn that the continued use of the drug will kill the user.
When an addict becomes addicted, they have the knowledge of the consequences but because they have not reached acknowledgement of how the drug is affecting their lives, they are not likely to want to stop using.
They either do not care or cannot help themselves to stop the damage that is being caused by the drugs, which leave little chance that they will be watching out for their recovered friend and a large chance that their presence will trigger a relapse.
Reminders of the Past
When an individual recovers from an addiction, it becomes hard for them not to dwell on the past. By hanging around with old friends, the individual will be held back and unable to move passed the addiction.
It is far more likely that they will reminisce about the “good times” and try to drag the addict back into the life with “one more time,” which will lead into a relapse.
According to the NIDA, if an addict begins to use again even once, it can cause him or her to feel a strong compulsion to use again and become hooked on the drug just as strongly as before the treatment they received.
Do not Trust Them
Many addicts have been known to steal from one another in order to get their next high out of desperation. While not all of them face hardships during their addiction, if the addiction progresses far enough, many can lose their jobs and even their marriages.
To compensate, they will be tempted to steal from their recovered friend if he or she has finally managed to straighten up their lives after recovery.
Recovery is a rough journey to begin with from withdrawal to outpatient services, but it can become that much harder when he or she allows the wrong people into their new lives.
Friends that refuse to get clean can trigger a relapse, cause the recovering addict to dwell on the past, and be untrustworthy when the individual needs supportive, trustworthy people in their lives.