What People Should You Avoid In Addiction Recovery?
Recovery is hard work, and once you leave a treatment center it is important to minimize potential triggers and opportunities for relapse. This should include avoiding those who are continuing to abuse drugs or alcohol and reevaluating any negative or harmful relationships in your life.
Addiction is a complex disease, and those who suffer from it must be willing to make drastic changes to their daily habits and environment to fight for their recovery and well-being.
This often includes making conscious and sometimes difficult decisions to minimize contact with certain acquaintances, friends, or even family members who also use drugs or who are unable to support your sober living in the future.
Avoid Those Who Misuse Drugs & Alcohol
If you’ve abused alcohol or drugs for a long time, you may also have a social circle where alcohol abuse and drug abuse is common and expected.
These friendships may be old and deeply important to everyone involved, but when it comes to addiction recovery, spending time in close proximity to drugs, alcohol, and people who abuse them is unacceptable and a recipe for relapse.
These friends or family members may reject your new lifestyle, minimizing the importance of recovery, making jokes at your expense, or actively trying to convince you to drink or take drugs again.
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Even if they are respectful and genuinely supportive of your sobriety, spending time around them may make you feel left out, remind you of how fun getting high can be, and trigger severe cravings and ingrained habits.
If this is the case, you may need to put these people in your past or else avoid spending face time with them until you are ready, and then only with certain safeguards and healthy boundaries in place to reinforce your new sober lifestyle.
Avoid Toxic Relationships
There may be other relationships which need to be reevaluated during your recovery, not because the other person abuses drugs or alcohol, but because of the way they make you feel and the way those feelings have contributed to your substance abuse or mental health issues in the past.
These toxic relationships can take many different forms and, unfortunately, are common in both workplaces and dysfunctional family structures. Warning signs of a toxic relationship can include:
- constant arguing, disagreement, or hostility
- frequent negative criticism
- manipulative or controlling behavior
- gaslighting (making you doubt your own feelings, perceptions, or memories)
- insults, threats, or physical abuse
Living in a toxic relationship can deeply damage your self-esteem and harm your physical, emotional, and mental health, making it more and more likely that you will continue to abuse drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism in the future.
Build Positive Friendships
If and when you do encounter toxic people and those who engage in drug or alcohol use, you should be assertive and set clear boundaries for your interactions. And, in some situations, you may need to end those relationships entirely in favor of your own wellness and sobriety.
But loneliness and isolation can also be harmful, and you shouldn’t try to go through your recovery journey alone.
Do your best to instead build positive relationships and spend time with those who value you, who don’t abuse drugs or alcohol, who understand what you have gone through, and who can help you to avoid substance misuse in the future.
In other words, spend time with people who will use fun and peer pressure for good, to stop you from going back to alcohol or drug use in the future.
Cultivate A Support System
Sober friendships are important for cultivating a successful and long-lasting recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. But a proper, full-fledged support system should also include a variety of others, including:
- local family members or other loved ones who you can count on to be there for you when you need them, no matter what
- peer support group partners or sponsors who understand the recovery process and who can keep you accountable
- your healthcare providers, including your doctor and/or therapist
- supportive classmates, co-workers, or other confidants you can talk to and turn to for emotional or practical support when needed
Consider Starting With Residential Treatment
Inpatient/residential treatment programs provide some of the most intensive and effective addiction treatment services available, including detox services and treatment for common co-occurring mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and others.
One of the greatest advantages of residential substance abuse treatment is the distance that it creates from your normal environment and social connections.
While it can be hard to be so far removed from your home and loved ones during your early recovery, this distance can allow you to focus 100% on your own needs and issues, helping you to quickly build up positive coping skills and motivation for a long-term recovery.
Ohio Recovery Center
If you or someone you love has been battling with a drug or alcohol use disorder, it may be time to reach out and get professional help to make your recovery a reality.
At Ohio Recovery Center, we host inpatient substance use disorder treatment programs at our comfortable, modern treatment facility located in Northwest Ohio.
This includes treatment for opioid use disorders, alcohol use disorders, stimulant use disorders, cannabis use disorders, and a wide range of other serious mental health conditions. Contact us today to learn more.
- Indian Journal of Psychiatry https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5844157/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction
- Youth.gov https://youth.gov/youth-topics/teen-dating-violence/characteristics