How Will Relationships Change In Recovery?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

couple unhappy with each other sitting down

Our relationships with others will change during recovery.  These relationships can include family members, other relatives, spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, and people we work or go to school with.  As one begins recovery from alcohol or drug abuse, there may be relationships that end.  One reason for this is that some of the people we associated with are still using drugs or drinking alcohol.  It is good practice to venture away from these friends, as they can jeopardize recovery.  If there are family members using drugs or alcohol, it would be a good idea to limit contact with them. Recovery should never be at risk.

Addictions and even recovery can break up marriages or relationships.  There might be a spouse or significant other who continues to use drugs or alcohol, while the other wants to maintain sobriety.  This typically does not work well until such time as the person using drugs or alcohol decides to stop and begin a recovery program.  Work or school relationships can change as well.  Maybe work friends like to go out after work for happy hour or there are friends who meet after school.

Recovery involves lifestyle changes including developing relationships with others that are positive and which support your recovery.  Sometimes it can be difficult to sever friendships during recovery; however, you will have opportunities to develop new relationships.  You may meet someone at a 12-step meeting or discover that a friend at work is also recovering from drug or alcohol abuse.

An important part of recovery is understanding that friends and family members might have issues with trusting you. Some relationships may end simply because of the hurt experienced by the family member or friend.  Trust is usually the first thing to be affected in a relationship, and the last to get back.  If you have friends or family members that you want to have in your life during recovery, remember that trust is not easily restored.  Over time and with continued recovery, family members will slowly begin to trust again but it will take patience.


Relationships are damaged in addiction and struggles with mental health. During your stay in one of Avalon Malibu’s residential treatment programs, you will have access to family therapy and relationship counseling to heal old wounds and build a foundation for the future. Call us today for a confidential assessment and more information on our programs: (888) 958-7511

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