Are Your Friends Holding You Back From Getting or Staying Sober?

By Jennifer McDougall

You’ve finally decided to get sober. You’re ready to live a healthier and happier life, but you’re worried that your friends will think it’s boring or lame. The truth is, your friends can make all the difference when it comes to staying sober. If they party as much as you did before getting sober, if they still drink or use drugs, or if they support your bad habits and make excuses for them, those people need to go away for you to be successful in recovery. Here are some signs that indicate whether or not someone is a bad influence on you:

They set a bad example.

  • They are not a good role model.
  • They are not setting a good example for their children.
  • They are not setting a good example for you or your peers.
  • They are not living an authentic lifestyle.
  • They encourage you to drink or use drugs even though you have set boundaries and tell them you are trying to get or stay sober.

You drink or take drugs together.

Many people turn to alcohol or drugs to bond with others. This can be especially true if you and your friends have a similar addiction history or if everyone in the group has been using it for a long time.

But when it comes to sobriety, this kind of “bonding” is dangerous and unhealthy behavior. You may feel tempted to drink or take drugs because you want the same closeness with your friends before you got sober—and if they’re still doing them, there’s a good chance they’ll pressure you into doing so too.

They support your bad habits and make excuses for you.

A bad influence will do everything in their power to help you avoid the consequences of your actions. They will make excuses for you when you engage in risky activities; they will support your bad habits; they won’t care if you get fired; they won’t care if your relationships suffer.

They enable you to drink alcohol or use drugs regardless of your goals or health concerns. They want you to participate in drinking or using, so they aren’t doing so alone. You participating along with their toxic antics help them feel less guilty about the choices they are making.

This is not a good person to have around. Some would say anyone who disregards your needs is selfish. They are not taking into account your wishes or boundaries. Their motives are self-centered, self-serving, and very toxic.

Your reputation depends on being the life of the party.

The good news is it’s never too late to change your reputation. You’re more than what others make of you, so why not find new ways to be the party’s life? If being wild and crazy isn’t your thing, that’s okay. You can still have a great time without turning to alcohol or drugs. Maybe you jeed more alone time (who doesn’t?). Maybe invite some friends over for dinner parties where everyone cooks their favorite dishes and plays charades or trivia games together.

Whatever it takes, get creative and remember: no one else has to know all about what goes on behind closed doors as long as they see an outgoing person who loves spending time with others in public settings.

They don’t have healthy habits of their own.

  • You need a support system that understands why you want to get sober, and the fact that your friends aren’t sober will make it harder for them to understand. If they don’t understand your desire to change, then they can’t help you through difficult moments when temptation strikes.
  • Having someone in your life who doesn’t share similar goals and ambitions as yourself means that there’s no reason for them to encourage you—they won’t care about what’s going on in your life because they won’t value it themselves.

Relationships are an essential part of life, but when it comes to your friends, you should be able to trust that they have your best interests at heart. If this isn’t the case, it is time to let go of those that may be holding you back from achieving a happier and healthier life.

If you are like most people, you would agree that having good friends is extremely important in life. Friends can be a great source of support and encouragement when things are difficult. In addition, the good ones usually offer advice that can help us to make better choices regarding our lives and future goals. However, if your friends are holding you back from achieving your goals or being happy with yourself or others, it may be time to let go of them. If any of these situations apply to you, then this article will hopefully give some insight into what signs your friends might be bad influences and how best to deal with them moving forward.


We hope you can use this article as a tool to help you decide if your friends are holding you back from getting sober. If so, make sure that they don’t negatively influence your life and instead support each other in achieving their goals for a better future.

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