Having reached a point of comfortable sobriety is a huge milestone for a recovering addict. While it’s always a daily process to maintain your sobriety, you should be able to look back at your journey so far with great satisfaction. You might have friends who you knew while you were using and wonder if you’ll be able to help them. This is everything you need to know about assisting your old friends while keeping sober.
Turning From Sin
Staying away from friends who use drugs is important when you’re first getting sober because it’s very easy to be led back into temptation. Even if you swear that you’re completely finished using drugs, you still need to be careful with the company you keep. Like how Satan has tempted good people to do evil, so can your old friends tempt you back into your old ways. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that we are “new creatures” in Christ, and that “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” If you must see them, you might request that you meet them in a controlled, public environment, such as meeting at a coffee shop for lunch. That will greatly reduce any chances of them being able to use drugs or offer them to you.
Prison of the Soul
Convincing someone to stop using drugs can be more challenging when they haven’t had a truly eye-opening experience to show them how bad things have gotten, such as going to prison. With so many inmates being in prison on drug-related charges, it is far too common to find that friends have found themselves in worsening circumstances. Do an inmate search for friends, and see if you can reach out for them, possibly by mail or even by visiting. When they see how concerned you are for their welfare, they might realize that they need to get their act together.
Bring Them to Meetings
If you’re part of a recovery group, you could invite an old friend to a meeting. This will let them process the many feelings and thoughts that come with accepting the truth of their addiction. You might consider sponsoring them if you’re eligible to do so. However, it might be best that they find a new person to sponsor them so that you don’t have to worry about your relationship with them clouding your sponsoring.
If you’ve learned nothing else from your own journey out of the darkness of addiction, it’s that people need to be willing to help themselves first and foremost. You can extend a hand to your old friends, but whether or not they reach back in acceptance is up to them. Show Christ’s understanding and mercy as best you can, but make sure you’re putting your health first. You can’t help others if you don’t stay sober and healthy yourself.