One of the main reasons people decide to finally get help for addiction is that they see how it has damaged their relationships. Addiction makes you prioritize substance use above everything else in your life, including friends and family. You may cancel plans, ignore family obligations, or spend the rent money on drugs or alcohol. Substance use may cause personality changes, making you irritable, angry, or depressed. It may even cause you to do things you might otherwise consider unethical, such as lying to your loved ones or even stealing to buy drugs or alcohol. All of this can take a huge toll on your relationships, leaving a huge mess to clean up after treatment. Here are some tips for getting started.

Reach out.

The first thing you have to do is actually reach out and let people know you want to patch things up. They may not know that you’ve been to treatment and that you’re trying to get your life in order. Start by saying hi and maybe seeing if they want to get together for coffee or something. Let them know that you know you acted badly and that you’re working hard to improve.

Make amends.

It’s great to apologize and ask forgiveness for the bad things you did. You can swear you’ll do better in the future but talk is cheap. You can demonstrate your sincere commitment to change by making amends in some way. This is part of the 12-steps, but you don’t have to be working the steps to try to set things right. Pay back money you might have borrowed or stolen and replace broken items. This may be a pretty big undertaking but just start with whatever you can manage. If you can’t make amends directly, consider volunteering.


Some of the people you contact are probably going to be angry. Accept they have a right to be angry and listen to what they have to say. Don’t get so caught up in your own spiel of how hard you’ve worked in recovery and how sorry you are for everything you did that you deny the other person the opportunity to say what she has to say. Some of it might be hard to hear but it’s important the other person feels heard. If she feels like you’re really listening to what she’s saying, there’s a chance have a relationship going forward or making amends some other way.

Be patient.

It might take a little while for people to forgive you. All they know is that you hurt them and they don’t want to be hurt again. It can take a long time to win back someone’s trust. Eventually, when they see how hard you work on staying sober and show you’ve really changed, they will probably come around. However, not everyone will. Unfortunately, some people will want nothing to do with you, no matter how strong your recovery is. You just have to file that under things you cannot change and move on.

At Alta Lama Transformational Services, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Lama uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.