Recovery from drug addiction is always going to be a difficult path. There are no shortcuts and there will always be those moments of weakness. The denial of that process is one of the most dangerous obstacles that anyone in recovery can face. But it’s not the only mistake that can lead to a failed recovery. Below, we’re going to look at some of the other challenges that might face those who want to leave behind their dependencies, and how they might be able to overcome them.
It’s something we see when dealing with addictions of all kinds. When people quit smoking, those cravings and the desire for oral sensation can often lead to overeating. While you might think that replacing a drug addiction with something less harmful is okay, the truth is that you’re still enabling the addictive behavior that can all too easily lead to ramping it back up when life takes a turn for the worse. To beat addiction, we have to beat addictive behavior. That means recognizing new dependencies in whatever form they take. Instead, you need to find healthy coping mechanisms. Taking on a new sport or a creative hobby, for instance, can be just the kind of stimulation that will get your mind of the urges.
You can’t force your way through recovery. After you’ve suffered through withdrawal and come out the other side, that doesn’t mean you’re all better. Instead, you need to look at what methods are necessary and how they’re organized. Even intensive recovery treatment for addiction involves a plan in steps and a strategy involving coping outwardly as well as further understanding yourself inwardly. The right companions are just the kind of thing that can be most helpful in enabling you to stick to those kinds of plans. One of the reasons that support groups are so helpful is that you can see the people further along the road than you and the people behind you. It gives you an idea of what the path ahead is as well as what is behind you.
Even when you’re not engaging in an addictive behavior, it’s easy for the wrong circumstances or environment to make it all too easy to relapse. Recognizing your triggers, such as certain people and certain social situations, is vital. If you can, avoid those triggers. When you can’t, you need to learn how to cope with relapse situations and come out clean on the other side. Know the emotional stressors that can lead to relapse, from stress from poor eating and sleeping habits. Practice self-care and think about your plans for the future and what you can achieve, instead of missing the parts of your life that can lead you back to addiction. Stopping the relapse early, before you get to the physical stages of picking up a bottle of discarded pills or driving to an old contact, is the most effective method.
To fully recover, you have to become self-aware. You have to know when you need to go to extreme lengths and know when you have to address the behavior and environments at the core of the addiction. Without that frank look at oneself, recovery will be all the more difficult a journey.