It is not uncommon for teenagers to experiment with alcohol or drugs. While most will never go on to have any problems with these substances, some may develop an addiction that could threaten to destroy their lives if left untreated. For those who have become addicted to drugs or alcohol and who have been through a rehabilitation programme, the fear of how to fit in socially with their peers may be a major worry.
Worrying that you will be unable to fit in at college or university because you are a recovering addict is understandable, but it is important to remember that not every student drinks or takes drugs. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common for young people to abstain from chemical substances completely. Many students these days prefer to spend their time studying or taking part in activities that do not involve alcohol or drugs, such as sports, dancing or going to the cinema.
Fitting in Without Alcohol or Drugs
There are many things that you can do to help you learn how to fit in with others now that you cannot drink alcohol or take drugs. One of the best things to do would be to stay away from your old crowd and to look for new friends who do not spend their time partying with chemical substances.
It would be wise to change your phone number so that you are not tempted by invites to parties. Also, make a point of cleaning up your online profile. You are probably like most other young people who spend much of their time on social media. If this is the case, it may be time to create new accounts and delete the old ones. Staying away from temptations at this stage is crucial, so looking at photos of friends drinking at parties is inadvisable.
Now is the perfect time to get involved in sober activities and develop new interests. Build your social life around your sobriety by working on finding things you enjoy that do not involve drinking or drugs. Sport and exercise is an excellent way to keep yourself fit and healthy and to take your mind off what others are doing.
If you find a sport you enjoy, particularly a team sport, you will likely make a whole new set of friends and can begin to compete.
Achieve Your Goals
It is important to consider what your goals in life are and work hard to achieve them. You may have felt as though your life was ruined when you became addicted to drugs or alcohol, but this is not the case. It is never too late to get your life back on track, and you are young enough to reach all your goals.
Think about what you want from life and do everything you can to make it happen. If you are studying, then work on getting the best grades you can so that you can put your drinking or drug-taking days behind you.
Take Care of Yourself
Now that you are no longer damaging your body with alcohol or drugs, it is time to really begin taking care of yourself. Make sure you eat healthily and pay attention to your personal hygiene. This is something that you may have neglected while you were using drugs or drinking. If you take care of yourself now, you will look and feel better and others will want to be around you.
Be Alert to the Risk of Relapse
No matter how long you have been sober, the risk of relapse is always present, and particularly for those who are in college or university. If you are worried that you may be in danger of returning to alcohol or drugs, speak to someone immediately. Call a trusted family member or friend, or contact us here at Middlegate.