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How To Build Your Sober Social Support Network

sober social support network

Early in recovery it’s important for individuals to develop and strengthen their sober social support network.

Social support can be a group or person an individual feels they can openly communicate about personal experiences.

A desirable person would be someone who may be able to offer trustworthy advice or has relatable experiences.

Who Should Be Part Of Your Social Network

1. Recovery Groups & Self Help Programs

Community based support programs and mutual aid groups are free and allow anyone to join who is struggling and wants to stop an undesired behavior.

2. Group Therapy

Led by therapists and trained counselors, group therapy draws on different techniques to help individuals recognize thinking and relational patterns, develop problem-solving skills, set goals, and discuss topics and concerns important to the group.

Beyond group therapy, aftercare and alumni groups promote healthy discussions while continuing to support recovery including looking at building trust in relationships, navigating new social circles and making new friends.

3. Individuals You Feel Open & Honest Sharing Recovery With

Social support is not just limited to formal recovery groups; it can be family members, loved ones, trained professionals, doctors, friends or colleagues. Anyone who an individual can truly feel open and honest in sharing their recovery with is a suitable social support.

Recovery can be a very uncomfortable and sensitive subject. Therefore, a person should seek supportive relationships that provide trust, compassion and confidentiality.

How To Build Your Social Network

1. Meeting New People

  • Take a class

  • Join a club or gym

  • Volunteer

  • Join a religious community

  • Participate in a local walk/run for a cause

  • Approach someone who is alone at a gathering and start a conversation

  • Participate in activities organized in your neighborhood like a farmers market, picnic in the park or trivia night

  • Put your phone away when you’re out around others - staring at a screen means it’s unlikely anyone will try to talk to you

2. Building Social Skills

  • Nonverbal communication style: Do you look approachable - smiling, direct but not intense eye contact, angling your body and face toward others you are talking to? Make your nonverbal messages friendly and approachable.

  • Have 1-2 open-ended questions ready: the best questions can’t be answered by “yes” or “no” and can get a conversation going

  • Work on listening skills: look at the person talking and allow them to finish without interrupting. Ask follow-up questions to show you’re interested in what they said.

3. Getting Closer To People You Already Know

  • Talk to one trustworthy person about your feelings.

  • Offer to listen to someone else’s problems, without jumping to advice (unless they directly ask)

  • Call or text someone you haven’t talked to in a while

  • Do something nice for a friend, roommate, or relative

Getting Help For Addiction

If you or somebody in your life seems to have an issue with alcohol or drugs, or is suffering from addiction, professional help may be the best option for recovery.

At Care Addiction Center, we offer treatment plans that address every facet of your addiction, serving individuals in Geneva, Batavia, Sycamore, St. Charles, and Kane County, with online addiction treatment available anywhere in Illinois. 

To get started on the road to recovery, or if you have questions about helping yourself or a loved one, call us today or schedule a confidential assessment online and begin treatment.


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