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Why Your Friends Cannot Stay Sober and What You Can Do

Sobriety is an important milestone, whether it is the first day or many years. Recovery is a journey which has its own ups and downs. Temptations to use will always be present and the recovery path will be filled with obstacles and barriers. The best way to deal with staying clean comes down to choice. The power to stay sober lies only in the hands of the person in recovery.

Avoiding People Who Are Not Sober

It is difficult to be honest with oneself about recovery and substance use. The earlier in recovery a person is, the more helpful it becomes to stay away from others who are using drugs, drinking or having access to places where this occurs. Temptation will happen but sobriety will get easier with time (and less distraction). Unfortunately, if an individual is at the point where it is difficult to be around people who use drugs or alcohol, proceed with caution. Hanging out with friends who use drugs or drink is risky and may lean into old habits. A friend may put pressure on to have ‘just one drink.’ It is generally best to avoid people who use drugs or alcohol from one’s life in recovery.

Tips for Sober Living

If an individual chooses to hang out with friends who use drugs or drink, some ways exist to bolster will power and sobriety. Learning to stay strong against temptation can be very good for long term recovery.

Make an ally

Power lies in numbers so enlist a friend or family member to attend events together. When weakness is at its peak, that person can be there to offer support. This may be critical to avoiding relapse.

List pros and cons

Willpower gets a big boost from logical thinking. When a person feels tempted by others who use, treat the question of sobriety as an exercise in critical thinking. Think of benefits to giving in and having a drink. Then, list all the negatives. Use the logical perspective to harden resolve.

Have (sober) fun

Learn to have clean fun without drugs or alcohol. Parties and social events are often fun for people because it involves getting drunk or high. Leave this behavior in the past and learn to engage individuals in interesting conversation. Go to more events which involve:

  • Art gallery openings
  • Movie screenings
  • Book clubs
  • Other sober experiences

The more fun a person has in sobriety, the less an individual will want to drink or use drugs.

Keep a full stomach

Although this may seem odd, it really helps to have a full stomach filled with food to keep from getting cranky, feeling lethargic and searching for something to boost energy and mood. Eat a little before a party or event, avoid triggering cravings which sometimes can turn into cravings to use a substance to fill the gap.


Learning how to cope in recovery requires developing a new set of skills. The Villa is equipped to help support you in developing and honing skills in recovery from addiction. If you are struggling and need help, call us to find out how we can support your journey back to health.