The consequences of drug addiction and alcohol addiction can be overwhelming, devastating and long-lasting. Drugs and alcohol can so overwhelm an individual or overtake his/her life that the person starts living in a world of his/her own, away from everything and everyone. It can separate him/her from loved ones, and take precedence over everything else. As the addiction progresses, one may become secretive, isolated and defensive. The compulsive drug-seeking habit and subsequent tolerance and dependence on the substances often lead to an addiction, by which time the user may be beyond rescue.
In spite of available treatment options, it requires a great deal of effort to recover from an addiction and build a successful life. Treatment is a process, full of various challenges that one has to overcome to stay on the recovery path. Though one cannot completely avoid these challenges, dealing with these circumstances can be made easier and almost effortless by identifying the problem first and finding a way out.
Following are some of the challenges faced during recovery from addiction:
- New coping strategies: Recovery from addiction often involves finding new and meaningful coping strategies. Giving up addiction often implies abandoning one’s primary coping mechanisms, but the challenge lies in finding a healthy and life-affirming replacement to those strategies. Some of the new coping strategies may involve practicing meditation, an attitude of gratitude, therapeutic writing, exercising and even deep breathing techniques.
- Difficulty transitioning to normal life: In spite of the treatment, a transition from a rehab to a normal life can be stressful for individuals not prepared to handle the change properly. In addition to adapting a new sober lifestyle, one often encounters the challenge of leaving the protective rehab environment and rebuilding one’s relationships with the outside world, both personally and professionally.
- Fear of losing identity: After a long stint with addictive substances, one might start associating oneself with those substances. Recovery from addiction can instill the feeling of a loss of identity. This often leaves a gap or a void in one’s life, leading to anxiety, stress, depression and even low self-esteem. Instead of looking at recovery as a loss, one can look at it as a unique opportunity to redefine oneself, develop new passions or new hobbies, and even revisit old interests. By looking at recovery in a positive light, one will be able to hasten the recovery process and figure out one’s true identity.
- Boredom: Boredom can be a potential relapse trigger. Individuals often use alcohol and drugs to fill the gap of boredom. On the path to recovery, an individual may find it difficult to fill the space that might trigger a relapse. However, with plenty of extra time on hand, one can indulge in activities like exercise, some kind of sport or can take up new hobbies.
- Fear of sobriety: Fear is often a major obstacle to meaningful and long-term recovery. The process of replacing unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthier alternatives might make the person frustrated and bored to such an extent that he or she might even question the very purpose of recovery. Getting sober can be difficult for some people, with the fear of change and unknown acting as major hurdles. In such circumstances, staying with family members and loved ones can help in the long run.
Recovery is possible
Possible but not simple, recovery gets easier as one wrestles the self-destructive habit, reaches out to others and uncovers the lies that one often tells oneself. One must not avoid the difficult path to recovery or resist what is challenging. To make recovery an easier process, one can follow certain tips like knowing about the trigger points, distracting oneself to manage cravings and setting recovery goals.
Sovereign Health’s Recovery Management Program helps our patients’ transition back to normal lives, maintain progress during recovery and avoid any chances of relapse. Our continuing care program comprises chapter meetings, continuing education, community activities, continuing care process groups, and life skills courses. For more information about our alumni and recovery management program and how you can benefit from it, call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-501-9425 or chat online with our representative for further assistance.