Friendship is one of those concepts most people take for granted. And, yet, it heals and uplifts us. In it, we find comfort and support when we’re at our lowest. True happiness and joy when we’re at our highest. It motivates and inspires us to be the best versions of ourselves. Friendship defines us. It is a force powerful beyond our wildest imagination. With so many upsides, the question naturally arose in medical circles. “Can friendship be used as a way to treat addiction?” Unsurprisingly, the answer was yes. Today, the role of friendship in Palm Beach rehab programs is more pronounced than ever – and with a good reason.
Friendship in Palm Beach Rehab programs
Historically, Boynton Beach rehab centers used every tool at their disposal to treat SUDs. From various forms of therapy to fun activities – if it can help a person, it’s fair game. One idea stood out in that pursuit of healing: using camaraderie to boost the recovery process. It worked. Today, no rehab doesn’t insist on some form of relationship-based therapy. Some prominent examples include:
- 12-step programs;
- Group therapies;
- Family therapies;
- Couples therapies.
Said methods all vary in their approach to problematics. However, they rest on the same principle. Humans have an innate ability to connect and empathize with others. We soak up the info and the feedback and, in doing so, better ourselves in every way. And that trait can (and should) be used to expedite recovery.
In all honesty, this idea is so simple that it is almost ridiculous. But, you cannot deny its effectiveness. That is the main reason why this approach is so widespread. And not only in addiction treatment but in virtually every aspect of life.
How does the role of friendship in palm beach rehab programs translate into therapy?
Relationship-based therapies work – that’s a fact. However, to understand why, first, we must take a step back. We need to take a look at two factors that contribute to addiction-forming. These are:
- The influence of the environment and;
- The need for closeness.
So, let’s break them down.
The environment is among the factors that influence the forming of a SUD. Social circles that promote drug or alcohol use and peer pressure can lead to a view on substances that is just plain wrong. Such an environment normalizes substance abuse. It paints them in a positive light, thus concealing their true nature. And, we all know the natural face of addiction. It is one of mental and physical deterioration.
On the flip side, we need closeness. Even all the downsides of drug and alcohol abuse cannot stifle the need to be accepted, loved, and appreciated. That need is too ingrained in our very core. Unfortunately, addiction’s social stigma makes it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve that healthily. Which further leads to forming a social circle that supports this nasty habit.
The connection and breaking of the chains
Now, it’s time to put the above two factors together. As a result, you get a skewed view of closeness, substance abuse, and the world in general. “Friends” made this way aren’t friends. They are but accomplices—partners in crime, in it only for selfish gain. Yet, even knowing this, breaking that fake bond is hard. And therein lies one of the biggest dangers of addiction. Because, deep down, a person knows that it isn’t real. That isn’t right. Which, again, leads to an even heavier feeling of loneliness and isolation. Pushing a person deeper into the gutter and denying them even a thought that there is a way out.
Fortunately, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The role of friendship in Palm Beach rehab programs is to straighten up this twisted worldview. To help a person learn the true meaning of friendship. To give them tools they can use to clearly define the difference between a true friend and an accomplice. By doing so, rehabs ensure they never again take to the former. And this goal remains the same, regardless of clinic or therapist. It can be a partial hospitalization program Florida clinics offer or any other. The focus is, and always will be, raising one’s ability to form healthy relationships.
What does rehab teaches patients about friendship?
Addiction is a disease that may as well be the definition of selfishness. Craving takes precedence – everything else is secondary. Be mindful, though, that this is not a person’s fault. It is how this vile disease works. Friendship, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. Sure, there is some give-and-take in every relationship. But, whereas unhealthy friendships drag the person down, healthy one uplifts them. That is precisely what OP and IOP Palm Beach programs teach their patients.
Through various means, rehab helps a person realize what true friendship means. The kind that emphasizes selflessness transcends the need for drugs or alcohol. As such, bonds made in drug rehab Florida are among the healthiest. Mainly because they are unconditional. It is all about people, sharing their experiences, growing as persons, and overcoming addiction. And, in doing so, healing one another. That is why friendships made in rehab, in most cases, last for life.
Friendship is a powerful force
Over the years, many studies about friendship’s influence on recovery. But, of course, they weren’t all about addiction recovery. Instead, they covered virtually every sphere of medicine, from psychology to post-op. And each one, without a difference, showed something astounding. Men and women with lots of healthy friendships recovered significantly faster. They recovered more than two times faster than those with less or no friends. So, concluding here is beyond easy. Friendship is a healing force—the one to be reckoned with. But, let’s see exactly what it can do.
How does friendship reflect on a person’s mental and physical health?
The role of friendship in Palm Beach rehab programs is not only to help a person overcome addiction. Instead, it is to improve their overall mental and physical health. Building friendships in recovery carries many benefits, such as:
- Reduced stress and increased happiness level;
- Boosts dignity and self-worth;
- It makes a person feel connected and purposeful;
- Providing support when dealing with traumatic events;
- Reliance on the journey to a healthier lifestyle in recovery;
- Helping a person avoid relapse;
- Reduce the likelihood of severe health issues.
Looks impressive? That’s because it is! And, yet, this is not even close to a complete list. True friendship positively impacts every aspect of life. Therefore, it is worth it to go the extra mile to build it up. It brings us to the next point.
Making friends in rehab 101
Building friendships in rehab is a rocky road; we won’t lie. It will take rediscovering social skills that were suppressed by addiction. At first, this will seem borderline impossible. Luckily, though, it only seems so. As you progress, it gets much more accessible. And then – it becomes beyond enjoyable. Still, most will struggle with this in the beginning. So, here are a few steps to help you down the road.
#1 Focus on recovery
Recovery is a gradual, lasting process. As such, it takes time. And, during that time, your well-being must remain the priority. That means attending therapy as prescribed and sticking to your plan during drug or alcohol rehab Florida. Building friendships can (and will) help in this endeavor. It will be a crucial factor on the road to lifelong wellness. But, while friendship is a powerful force, it still cannot replace medicine.
#2 Let the walls fall – you don’t need them anyway
For someone who went through the hell of addiction, making friends may no longer come as naturally. SUDs are often followed by fear of judgment and low self-esteem. Both are critical hurdles on the road to recovery. They make one build walls within walls, surround them with moats filled with alligators, and throw in a few angry pit bulls inside. You know, just for good measure. Those walls must be taken down for a friendship to not only form but thrive. And that is hard. It makes you bear your soul and make yourself vulnerable. But, it also means that your new friends will accept you for who you are – flaws and everything. And that is what true friendship is based upon.
#3 Be the one to make the first step
Everyone in rehab carries the world on their shoulders. Addiction drives the person to the ground, stomps them, and makes them feel like they’re worth nothing. As such, approaching someone in this state may not seem like a good idea. However, it is quite the opposite. Remember, you’re working toward the same goal: healing. That means you already have something in common. So, don’t be afraid to take that first step. Approach someone, introduce yourself, and start a casual conversation. It doesn’t have to be super deep. You don’t have to dive into the meaning of life, the universe, and everything else. For starters, small talk will more than do the job. And, sure – it might be awkward. But, considering how it can lead to something beautiful, a bit of awkwardness is a small price.
#4 Listen without judging, share without holding back
After a while, small talk will eventually grow into something more. Both you and your new friend will start opening up. The topics will become heavier and more emotional for both of you. At this point, listening to what the other person is saying is essential. More importantly, it is critical to drop prejudices. Instead, try to understand and emphasize with them. Sometimes, you’ll succeed. Others, you won’t. Either way, you’ll appreciate each other more for trying.
On the flip side, sharing is as important as listening. However, the most important thing to remember is to let your guard down. Yes, it isn’t easy, especially in the early stages. But, it is the only way to show the real you and receive invaluable feedback and support. It is at this point that true healing and friendship begin.
#5 Have fun together
Despite popular opinion, rehab is not all about an endless streak of therapy sessions. Most rehab clinics offer a wide array of therapeutic activities you can take part in. And, you definitely should! A chill atmosphere makes people more relaxed and open. That means that bonding becomes much more manageable. It can be a perfect time to discover someone’s interests beyond that of beating addiction. And, of course, fun is always better when with friends. So, no matter how awkward some of these activities seem to you, be sure to try them out. You may even discover a new passion you didn’t know you had. And there’s another conversation topic!
A healthy friendship creates a whole world of opportunity
Dan Peña said: “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” And, we must say – he nailed it. The role of friendship in Palm Beach rehab programs is not only to teach a person how to socialize. It is to give them a glimpse into a healthy future everyone strives for. And with friends who work toward the same goal, your journey will be much easier and more enjoyable. Therefore, don’t be afraid to reach out and open up. Because, often, all we need to heal is compassion and understanding.