Dealing with the Speed Bumps of Recovery

Dealing with the Speed Bumps of Recovery

Recovering from a substance abuse problem is a rewarding experience. Achieving recovery offers a host of benefits, and it can even save someone’s life. Recovered individuals experience better family relationships, more meaningful friendships, increased success in the workplace and an overall improvement in both physical and emotional health.

However, despite all the benefits, recovery can be a difficult process. The road to recovery is often riddled with speed bumps that can be discouraging, but these challenges can also enrich recovery. Overcoming obstacles helps people feel secure in their ability to remain sober and autonomous.

How to Approach Addiction Recovery

Having positive but realistic expectations for recovery can help people cope with difficult situations. People in addiction treatment programs must work hard and dedicate themselves to their treatment plan to succeed. Patients who are halfhearted about treatment are less likely to remain sober long term. People should never expect treatment to be easy, so they should enter treatment prepared to fight for recovery.

What Happens in Addiction Treatment?

Addiction treatment often requires patients to explore emotions and past experiences that may be unpleasant. However, getting to the root of a substance abuse problem leads to long-term sobriety. Patients must be willing to talk through their issues with counselors and other recovering users. They must also be willing reorganize their lives to avoid substance abuse.

How Recovery Changes Addicts

Recovery requires a great deal of change, which can be difficult even in the best circumstances. Recovering drug users usually have to take the following steps to avoid drug use:

•     Build new relationships with sober individuals

•     Learn new tactics for coping with stress

•     Find new hobbies and other ways to spend free time

Leaving behind an old lifestyle presents many challenges, so recovering users need strong support systems in place. A support system offers users help when their situations become overwhelming.

What Happens When a Recovering User Relapses?

Relapse is a common setback for recovering users. People who relapse may become depressed and think they have failed, but relapse in no way equates failure; in fact, it is relatively common among recovering users. Many individuals can bounce back after relapse, reestablish patterns of sobriety and achieve long-term recovery.

People who relapse should reach out to their support systems to decide what steps to take next. Counseling and other forms of addiction treatment can help people regain strength after relapse.