From when you were very young, your parents probably warned you about being careful who you spend your time with. “Choose your friends wisely,” they would say. Although what they were saying was probably annoying at the time, they were just trying to help. As you grew up, your friend group may have changed; for some people, your friend group may still be the same. What can be difficult, no matter your age, is setting boundaries when it comes to your friends. Peer pressure isn’t just limited to adolescence. Peer pressure can come into play, making you feel like you must act a certain way or else you will become an outcast among your friends. When you are recovering from an addiction, however, you must be mindful in making sure that who you hang out with does not drive you back to your addiction. The people around you contribute greatly to helping you use, or better yet, helping you stay sober.
Risky behavior leads to negative impacts
Using drugs and alcohol can be extremely risky at times. When under the influence, your brain’s decision-making abilities are not at its peak. If you have an audience, you are probably more likely to use for a couple different reasons. It may feel rewarding for you to use a substance when you have an audience around you. If other people are also using, you may want to act a certain way in order to fit in. This is where peer pressure comes in. The combination of an additional reward, because of the audience, as well as the peer pressure may fuel you into thinking that falling back into using is a good idea. In this case, you may want to reconsider who you are hanging around with. Setting boundaries with these relationships may be a good idea when you are in recovery.
Positive peer pressure leads to positive impacts
There is a common misconception that all peer pressure is negative. Although a lot of peer pressure is negative, there are times when your friend group may push you to do the right thing. If your peers know that you have a problem with substance use, they may encourage you to stay strong and avoid using the substance. For example, if your friends know you have a drinking problem, they may avoid going to a bar with you because they know that is probably not the best atmosphere for you. If they know you want to go to the bar, they may try to convince you otherwise. Friends who help to keep you sober and on the path to recovery are the types of friends who you want in your life.
At Pinnacle Recovery, we want to help you differentiate between healthy and unhealthy friend groups. If you have a friend group that is negatively impacting your recovery, we want to help you learn to set boundaries. If you think you have a substance use problem, we are here to help. Call us today at 1-866-301-0573 for more information. Pinnacle Recovery cannot wait to hear from you!