Sobriety means you must give up weed altogether. It also means you must drop your old weed buddies. You need real help to stop smoking weed. You need new sober friends who’ll keep you on track, and help you through the bad times.

But how do you find these friends? How do you attract them during early recovery when your self-esteem is so low?  But find them you must, believe me. They are crucial if you want to effectively learn how to stop smoking weed. Without them you’ll only be lonely and bored. Soon you’ll be right back with your weed addiction. Of course you shouldn’t force yourself on anyone. Let things develop naturally. Here are 5 ways to help you attract friends spontaneously.

1. Be Yourself

Take time to establish who you are and what you want going forward. Accept your authentic self so you can attract the right type of friends. I suggest you open up about your weed past. A worthwhile friend won’t be intimidated by this.

Try out a variety of activities till you find the exact fit for your personality. Real friends will come gradually and as a result of any activities you’re doing that reflect your true self. But give any potential friends some serious thought. If they’re unlikely to have a positive effect on your life, forget about them and keep pursuing different activities till the right match comes along. For other strategies on how to quit smoking weed, see our guide.

2. Join a Recovery Group

This is the most natural way to make great friends. You’ll all have the same aim – to sustain your sobriety. So you’ll be giving each other practical help to stop smoking weed and to stay focused. And when you swap information in an open, candid manner, you create a bond between you.

Try to gravitate towards those who’ve been sober for 12 months or more. They’ll teach you how to quit smoking weed in a healthy and fulfilling way. Listen to them and apply what is useful. If they share your interests outside of the group – jogging perhaps, or cycling – all the better. Invite them to your sessions. It’s a great way to consolidate your friendship.

3. Avoid Being Needy

Avoid befriending someone just so they can look after your needs. Few people will agree to be on stand-by for your every whim. It’s emotionally draining. Friendships should have an even mix of give and take. And always remember that to effectively learn how to quit smoking weed, you have to be more responsible for your recovery than any friend. Your friend should intervene during the rare crisis moments.

To stop being needy, absorb yourself in other people’s problems. Volunteer your services at a soup kitchen, or at an old people’s home. Watch and listen to how your volunteer colleagues conduct themselves. Write down anything that stands out and try to cultivate it. As your considerate nature starts to shine through, your volunteer colleagues, and potential friends in your other activities, will see the value of a friendship with you.

4. Challenge Yourself

While it’s essential to make friends among your recovery peers, you don’t have to confine yourself to just those friendships. You can make friends from doing something out of the ordinary.  Remember that it’s easier to learn how to stop smoking weed when you have good friends.  A shy introverted friend of mine decided to adopt a puppy. Training it was hard work but he was able to meet and befriend other dog owners while out on walks with his pup. He made even more friends when he began attending dog shows, and participating in dog training and nutritional classes.

Similarly, a young lady friend whom I’d never known to read a book in her life, suddenly developed a passion for thrillers. Before long she’d joined a book club and was meeting regularly with other thriller enthusiasts to discuss plot and characterization. She made firm friends through this shared interest. It took her mind off weed so it also offered practical help to stop smoking weed.

5. Go Online

Another way to meet friends is online. Start a blog about your recovery efforts. People will respond supportively if they identify with your struggle, and if you offer practical advice. They won’t necessarily be recovering weed addicts. They could be facing some other form of stigma. So your blog will become a motivational sphere for a range of people. You can make lots of friendships that will ultimately help your strategy of how to stop smoking weed. You’ll also attract authority sites in the motivational and recovery spheres. These are quality friends you can’t pass up. You don’t even need your own blog to attract them and their clients. Simply go to their social media pages and make intelligent and insightful comments. Sign up for their newsletters and email notifications for workshops and other events. You can meet new friends there. These sites could even invite you to join their exclusive group of online friends.

Another great way to make friends online is to sign up for a course. Each course has a discussion forum where you swap ideas and consolidate your learning. You can continue these friendships after the course. I took a course in screenplays once. I simply wanted a better understanding of what I was watching in films. It was free and consequently oversubscribed. But it allowed room for great debates.  I made some great friendships that I continued to foster offline.