How Do I Know Which Friends Will Hinder My Recovery?


Achieving sobriety can be an amazing first step on the path to recovery. Whether it be through inpatient or outpatient services like Choice House’s rehabilitation program or on your own through an independent support network, the decision and initial work that goes into acknowledging that you have an addiction disorder and are willing to take the necessary steps to address your substance misuse is commendable in its own right. 

Newly sober recovery patients generally report feeling an immense sense of gratitude and relief in what is often referred to as the pink cloud of euphoria that follows in the wake of sobriety. This is just one of the first of many benefits recovering addicts receive once they begin addressing their addiction disorder. It is okay to take a second to enjoy the euphoria of sobriety as long as you also acknowledge the real world risks and work that still await you in recovery.

Recovery programs like Choice House and extended support networks like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery are set up to not only help you achieve sobriety but also to provide you with the necessary tools and skill sets to maintain that sobriety by dealing with triggers and avoiding potential relapse. 

Probably one of the biggest triggers you will have to navigate, especially early on in recovery, will be the people you surround yourself with once you return to your independent life. Just as you have taken steps to acknowledge and deal with your addiction disorder, you will have to begin to acknowledge which people in your extended network will either help or hinder your recovery in the long term. 

Below we will provide you with some guidelines on how to recognize those individuals who may harm your recovery efforts, as well as the steps you should take to surround yourself with the positive support network of people who will help shape your recovery efforts into a long term success story.

Individuals Actively Impeding Your Recovery

An eventuality for all individuals in active recovery of addiction disorder is reframing their previous lifestyle to fit their current one. That means making some hard decisions about who you decide to include in your new life. Returning to your daily life can come with a multitude of triggers, but none so risky as the connections your subconscious makes with old habits surrounding substance misuse and the individuals associated with those old habits.

It probably goes without saying, but anybody with whom you actively took part in substance misuse is going to be an ongoing threat to your sobriety. The safest bet, especially in early recovery, would be to cut these people out of your life completely. Obviously, this is not always an easy solution as some of these individuals may be co-workers or even loved ones who cannot be avoided on a daily basis. The best option in these scenarios is to openly discuss your newfound sobriety with these individuals and place strict limits on what you can and cannot be around. 

You can not control what others do or how they approach your newfound sobriety, but you always have the power to walk away and not involve yourself in those activities. Whether these individuals simply remain ignorant to the seriousness of your recovery process–or even worse, are attempting to enable or promote continued substance misuse–you can and must always take the extra steps to safeguard your sobriety. Limit any extra-curricular activities with these individuals and, if you must include them in your new sober life, make sure they are aware of the steps you need to take to remain sober.  

Importance of Your Support Network

Now that we have gone over the worst case scenario, we will leave you with the best and most likely scenario in which friends and family take an active approach to improving your chances of recovery. The majority of individuals in your extended network of friends and family will be willing to assist you in your recovery process. And even for those who do not understand the extent of what living a sober lifestyle means, simply keeping an open dialogue about your needs and wants will help alleviate any confusion and show them how to best support you and your recovery.

Choice House understands the importance of creating a positive support network and that is why each of our recovery programs is centered around creating a community of men who support each other in recovery. From group therapy sessions to the sober living campus, each of Choice House’s programs of recovery is set up to give you every opportunity and improve your ability to maintain sobriety in the long term. We provide the necessary outlets and activities, particularly in wilderness outdoor therapy, where men are placed in community sharing situations and encouraged to make the lasting bonds necessary to shape an extended network of support for long term recovery.


If you are looking to create an active support network to help put you on the positive path toward recovery, then Choice House is here to help. Located in Boulder County, Colorado, Choice House has the experience and extended network to help men in recovery create lasting bonds to support long term sobriety. From our 90 day inpatient services to our intensive outpatient programs and sober living campus, Choice House is uniquely set up to help men create a new foundation of love and empathy upon which they can build a new sober lifestyle. We use a variety of therapeutic modalities to provide men with the tools and skill sets necessary to not only achieve but also maintain sobriety in the long term. Within minutes from the bustling city life of Louisville and just a few steps from the Rocky Mountain State Park, Choice House’s campus is ideally situated to help recovery patients transition back into independant working lives while also being remote enough to allow them to find solace in a private sober community and even reconnect with nature. Our close proximity to the Rocky Mountains allows Choice House to focus on unique treatment methods like outdoor wilderness therapy where men create meaningful bonds through outdoor activity. If Choice House sounds like the support network you have been looking for, then give us a call at (720) 577-4422 to find out more information about how adding Choice House to your support network can create a long term sober lifestyle.

Table of Contents

Questions About Treatment?

Choice House is your comprehensive guide to lasting sobriety and wellness. Reach out to us today to see how we can support you on your journey toward sustainable well-being.

ready to choose a life worth living?

Don’t let addiction or co-occurring mental health conditions keep you from leading the happy, healthy, and empowered life you deserve. Contact Choice House today and embrace recovery.

"*" indicates required fields

Full Name*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Choice Logo