Ways to Make Friends Without Alcohol

Written by | The Lens

When you’re the only one in your group of friends who doesn’t drink, it can be challenging to want to go out with them. This is especially true if you are in recovery. Most professionals recommend not spending time around alcohol when you’re in recovery because the temptation can be too much. This sometimes means that you’ll need a new group of friends to spend time with regularly. Heading out for a weekend away with friends who want to enjoy the desert is more enjoyable when alcohol is not the central activity. The great news is that it’s possible to make friends who don’t spend all their time drinking. Here are some tips to help.

Find a New Hobby

A great way to meet people is through your hobbies. It’s easy, you can learn new things, and it doesn’t require alcohol. You can make friends who will go hiking with you in Joshua Tree, or who will head to the beach to go surfing in Long Beach, or who will learn pottery with you at an art studio in LA. Finding a new hobby opens up many opportunities to make new friends without finding friends at a bar or nightclub.

Sign up For a Class

Another way to make new friends is to take classes. Not only will you have a fun time, but with any luck, you’ll meet people who share your interests. You can take classes at a local college, through a community center, and even through small businesses that can teach you new things. You can learn anything from cooking to accounting to software programming and more. Having people to talk to in your classes and setting up study groups will help you connect with the people you’re learning with.

Take up a Sport

Playing sports has numerous benefits. In fact, a treatment center in Rancho Mirage often recommends that their patients get involved with playing sports or being more physically active. This is because they know that exercise helps people who are recovering from alcohol addiction stay sober. It’s partly because they get dopamine hits in their brains, but also because it can help the patient form new friendships and connections that don’t center around alcohol. It’s a great way to meet new people, get active, and have fun. Who says you need a drink to have a great time?

Join a Club or Meetup Group

We know how popular the area around Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs is. There are groups that meet up in the area to hike, explore, and enjoy all the fun things to do in the region. Since there are formal clubs that require membership, you might enjoy some of the activities they put on. Meetup groups are less formal, but just as helpful when you want to make new friends. Whether you find a group that enjoys business, training for marathons, or creating art together, these groups have a lot to offer. And none of the require getting drunk.

Try Volunteering

Giving your time is a powerful way to recover from alcohol because it puts the focus on helping others. You can easily use your skills or your strength or your passion to help out. Spending time in an animal shelter, helping clean up neighborhoods, and participating in a food bank are all great ways to volunteer your time. Contact local charities to see how you can volunteer. Some places need office help while others need people who are strong and can lift heavy things. You’ll meet other people who have similar interests and care about the same things as you. Plus, you can volunteer with your family or friends.

Take Yourself on Dates and Do Things Alone

While it’s great to enjoy things with friends, you can also enjoy your free time alone. Make plans to go out, whether it’s to a movie, museum, or concert. After doing this a few times, you might see the same people and be able to strike up a conversation. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make a friend or two. Going on dates with yourself will help you feel better about yourself overall, improves your confidence, and you don’t have to worry about compromising on where to go. You get to pick every single time.


Setting healthy boundaries with friends sometimes means you need to find new people to hang out with. It’s possible to find friends who don’t drink alcohol if you go looking for them in the right places.

Last modified: October 21, 2022