7 Steps to Healthy Relationships After Drug Addiction

Based on the records by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, at least 2.1 million emergency visits to the hospital that took place in 2009 were due to the devastating effects of drug abuse.

Unfortunately, issues linked with drug and alcohol abuse continue to increase in United States, which makes it quite an alarming concern that needs to be addressed.

However, the road to recovery from drug addiction is challenging and painstaking. In fact, it can be a lifelong commitment, particularly among those who have battled against substance abuse and addiction for years.

Getting rid of the harmful substance in their body may be easy, but rebuilding their dignity, self-respect, reputation and relationships can take much longer.

Thus, it is quite common for these individuals to struggle when it comes to reconnecting with their loved ones after drug addiction.

What You Can Do to Establish Healthy Relationships

Although you may already be sober and drug-free, it is not easy for you or your family and friends to just forget all about the past. However, as difficult as it may seem to rebuild your relationships, this is still possible to do. The following are some steps that you can apply when you want to create a healthy relationship with others after going through drug addiction.

healthy relationships after addiction image

1. Don’t rush it.

It is common for some people to rush everything including building new or reconnecting with past relationships. For instance, you cannot expect your friends to instantly start trusting you again after the painful things you have said and done to them while you are hooked on drugs. Unfortunately, you can never make haste when you want to have a relationship that is solid, strong and made to last for years.

You need to take things slow as you try to regain people’s trust in you. Just keep in mind that if these people truly care about you, they will soon come around once they realize that you are sincere about your efforts of staying sober and banishing substance abuse from your life. This isn’t going to change just because you graduated from a Christian drug rehab center.

2. Choose the kind of people you go with.

It is important that you choose carefully who you go with or spend more time with since you are still at your vulnerable state even after completing your drug addiction therapy sessions. If you decide to go with those who are likely to influence or tempt you to going back to your old habits, then this is not something that you can consider as a healthy kind of relationship.

Your friends should be inspirational and encouraging enough when you find yourself battling with the intense craving to take drugs. Otherwise, if you opt to be with people who influence you to take illegal drugs again, then you are putting your life in greater danger instead of doing things for the better.

3. Get a support group.

Bill, a married man, has come out of a rehab in Florida clean and sober after years of drug addiction therapy sessions. However, re-establishing his relationship with his wife and kids was too difficult because of the painful memories he unconsciously gave to his loved ones. Thus, he ends up feeling frustrated about reconnecting with them.

No one else in the world can understand perfectly what you are going through than other people who have suffered from drug abuse and have gone through it after years of rehab and therapy. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense to consult these people when you come across challenges in reconnecting with the ones you love.

A support group offers you a chance to voice out your feelings and thoughts without being judged or ridiculed.

These people can also serve as your source of strength when you feel like giving up on your goal of reaching out to your loved ones.

4. Just remember that small steps mean so much.

If you think you are making too little progress in rebuilding your shattered relationships, then you should stop condemning yourself and let acceptance replace your negative thoughts.

Even if you are a mother who is slowly trying to do better after therapy, or a college student who is on your way to recovery, you need to believe in your capacity to stay sober and establish healthy relationships.

You have to admit that it is not quick and easy to re-establish people’s trust in you. So, give yourself some credit for every little achievements you make in terms of mending past relationships.

5. Get a source of inspiration.

When you continue to struggle with creating wholesome and deep relationships after drug addiction, it may help to find a sense of inspiration to help you deal with tough situations. It can be too easy to just give up and go back to drug abuse when things do not go as expected.

If you have someone who can continue to cheer you on during your path to recovery, then it can be much easier for you to work on repairing broken relationships. So, try to find that person who can keep you inspired even when times get a little shaky on your end.

6. Never put yourself down.

There will always be instances when things may not work your way. It may even appear to you that regardless of your efforts, your loved one are not reciprocating the love you give them.

No matter how tough things get in rebuilding your relationships, you should never pin yourself down to the ground.

Fixing everything about your life after such disastrous ordeal can take weeks, months or even years. So, just be patient with yourself and understand that regaining other people’s trust in you does not happen overnight.

7. Consult a specialist.

If you need professional support in repairing your relationships after your battles with addiction, then you should consider a specialist who can help you attain this goal. A psychologist, for instance, can provide you with concrete tips on how to develop and foster a healthier relationship when you feel it is nearly impossible to do so.

A one-on-one counseling and therapy session with an expert can help you come to terms with aspects within yourself that must be improved on. As you work towards self-development, you will be more capable of reconnecting with others. After all, you can never give what you do not have.

So, if you lack trust, love, and self-respect, then you can never give those to others, as well. You must strengthen these values within yourself, so it wil be easier for you to handle dealing with other people.

Bottom Line

Substance addiction can destroy numerous things in your life including your relationships.

At one point, you may feel that you are left with no one except yourself after your battle with drug abuse.

While regaining your loved ones’ trust can be quite difficult, this is certainly not impossible to accomplish.

By applying these steps to building a healthy relationship after drug addiction, you can be on your way to improving not only your physical or psychological health, but also your way of relating with others.

Life After Substance Abuse
Drug Abuse Recovery: Maintaining Hope and Health During Drug Abuse Recovery
Repairing Relationships After Addiction
Statistics and Outcomes


Do you know of other tips that might help someone, or that have helped you in the past?
Please share them with us and our readers below.

  • Joe A.

    I am trying to change my life after addiction. I am currently starting over again rebuilding my life after addiction ruined my life. It took two years after I got sober, just last week, for me to be able to come to terms with everything I lost and be willing and able to make a commitment to rebuild from scratch. I don’t know how to do it yet, I am scared to be honest with you and not having any friends still doesn’t make it any easier. (If you want to read about how it is going, I am writing a blog about it at http://rebuildingat30.blogspot.com )

    • Raylean L.

      Joe it’s definitely not an easy task but one of the keys is in establishing relationships with successful people. Successful has many different aspects. Connect with people who have been where you are and who are compassionate to what you are doing. Never give up no matter how many times you are shot down, and always set goals (realistic attainable ones) that you can measure your progress and that will make you feel a sense of accomplishment.