The bad news is your friend has a substance abuse problem. The good news is they wanted to get help and they got it. You miss your old friend and want them to be themself again and get healthy. You are supportive of their decision to seek treatment and you want to be there for them when they get out so that they can stay on the right path. The problem is, you don’t know how to interact with them, and you are feeling uncomfortable in their presence. What do you do?

When your friend comes out of treatment, they may have a different perspective on life and different boundaries. Rightfully so. It may take getting to know them again from a different point of view than before, but that is OK because, at the end of the day, they are still the friend you knew before their addiction took hold. The problem is, maybe alcohol is their substance of choice and you used to enjoy time together drinking. Now you aren’t sure what to do together, what to say to them, or how they will respond to you.

These are normal and natural feelings for those of us waiting for our loved ones on the outside. 

Let Your Friend Make The Calls

Your friend is going to be assessing his or her life and those who they have previously surrounded themselves with. Their fresh new perspective on what will work for them will determine who they will want to continue to socialize with. If they choose to reach out to you and connect, that is a good sign that they trust your friendship and your part in their life.

If it takes a while, give it time. They are adjusting to a new way of thinking and behaving in an environment that was once where they engaged in toxic activities. They may even want to potentially leave to start new somewhere else so as not to fall into old habits. Environments pose many triggers. 

When they first get out, it can be overwhelming starting back again on the other side of treatment. Reach out to your friend and let them know you are here for them if they want if they need it. Then let them determine if your friendship will continue by allowing them to make the call on who they will continue to be associated with.

How To Relate To A Newly Sober Friend

How Support Your Newly Sober FriendWhen your friend has connected with you, getting back together again isn’t entirely different than getting together with any other friends. When they are first out of treatment, you will want to just keep in mind that they are sober and learning how to be sober on their own in everyday life. So just keep that in the back of your head. The good news is that after some time you won’t even have to think about it before you hang out with your friend, you will just act naturally around them because you will have learned how to do so. Try the following:

  • They are your friend regardless of their sobriety journey, treat them with love and respect like you would any other friend.
  • Unless they want to talk about their substance abuse issue, there is no need for you to bring it up. Everyone that knows them knows that they had an issue, don’t assume that because they are out of treatment that is the topic of conversation they want to talk about.
  • Engage in fun, healthy activities like hikes, yoga, movies, and cooking classes.

Building Strong Relationships

Recovering addicts aren’t fragile or damaged.  Treating newly sober individuals with the love and care that you would anyone else will make them feel more comfortable at home. If you have a friend that isn’t quite there yet and needs help, Discovery Place’s alternative medical detox and alternative addiction treatment center have programs designed to help those dealing with addiction who want to get sober. Our facility is located in the beautiful rolling hills of the Tennessee countryside. Discovery Place’s alternative Tennessee addiction treatment center is a place you can heal and overcome your addiction.

Call our Tennessee alternative detox treatment center anytime day or night at 1-800-725-0922 to discuss your situation.



  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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