As someone with more knowledge than I ever wanted about the disease of alcholism I'm glad, for the sake of your former friends, that you let them know why you had to back off from the relationship. It's important that they were made to face a consequence of his drinking.
We tend to spend a lot of time with family when we're home and most of our couples friends are childhood or work friends of my husband's who, fortunately, married women that I like. Unfortunately, it often works out that one or the other of us will have a rip roaring great friendship with someone and our spouse doesn't like (or is lukewarm about) their spouse.
I agree that you're going to have to be pro-active about it and probably your best bet is going to be finding some kind of social activity that is for 'coupled' people. Depending on your interests: Board games, social dancing (take a class in swing!), tennis, volleyball, softball, language classes etc. Seems to me when you play a game and have fun together it's a natural lead in to "Hey, that was fun! Do you want to go for ______ (beer and pizza, glass of wine, coffee and dessert)?"
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say “I used everything you gave me.”