Risky Social Settings and the Recovering Addicts
In the weeks and months following a stay in rehab, recovering addicts are particularly vulnerable to relapse. When it comes to an addictive substance like alcohol, the rate of relapse during the recovery period averages anywhere between 50% and 90%. Recovering meth addicts face a staggering 93% rate of relapse.
Warding off relapse is a top priority for recovering addicts and alcoholics. One of the best ways to avoid coming into close proximity with drugs and alcohol is to avoid precarious social settings where drinking or drug use is likely to occur.
No Friends May Be Better Than Old Friends
One of the biggest challenges recovering addicts face is leaving their old friends behind because of the negative impact their lifestyle choices could have on the recovery process. If your friends continue to abuse drugs and alcohol, it’s essential for you as a recovering addict to refrain from interacting with these individuals in spite of the close friendship you may have once enjoyed.
Sober living in the beginning of recovery can be difficult enough without stopping by a friend’s to find them surrounded by a cloud of pot smoke or making plans to attend happy hour at a nearby bar. Quite frankly, a recovering addict cannot afford to maintain friendships with those who continue to drink or use drugs in their presence during the long recovery process. Their health and sobriety depend on it.
Avoid Bars and Clubs
Another vital way to protect your abstinence is to avoid going to bars and clubs. These settings spell high risk for relapse. Although many recovering addicts can eventually enter bars or pubs without feeling tempted to order a drink, there is little sense in tempting fate during the initial recovery phase post-addiction treatment. For the sake of your sobriety, it’s essential to spend time in low-risk settings where drugs and alcohol are not likely to be found.
People in recovery should also plan to avoid parties or any gatherings where addictive substances will be present. This may mean saying no to that annual Halloween party you always attend or speaking to family members about enjoying an alcohol-free holiday gathering this year. It’s not that addicts shouldn’t socialize, but it’s essential for them to begin to acquaint socializing with sobriety; and that means socializing where drugs and alcohol are not present. Parties can be particularly precarious for recovering addicts because they may have forgotten what it’s like to have fun without abusing drugs or alcohol. If these substances are on the premises, it may be too tempting to avoid them.
Avoiding Volatile Situations
For many addicts, negative emotions form the triggers that previously led them to abuse an addictive substance. Part of the recovery process is learning to manage these emotional triggers; however, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to go looking for them. It may be easier to prevent relapse by avoiding people and situations that bring out the worst in you, at least for a time. The recovery process takes time, but early on, it’s ideal to steer clear of emotions like anger or sadness until you are truly able to cope with their onslaught without turning to a drug or a drink.
“Stress of any kind can accelerate the relapse process,” notes David Dequa, Program Director at Discovery Transitions, an outpatient drug treatment center in Los Angeles, California. “Regular participation in a recovery support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, can help recovering addicts recognize signs that they are moving away from recovery mode and quite likely toward a drink or a drug.”
For the recovering addict, avoiding risky social settings is a must. By staying focused on the recovery plan and sticking to the goals set in therapy, you can nurture yourself by avoiding high-risk settings. If you feel as though you are on the verge of relapse, however, be sure to seek help. Relapse is normal, but you can avoid it when you obtain the support you need to maintain your long-term goal of sobriety.
Discovery Transitions in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, offers outpatient treatment programs for men and women seeking either to initiate or to continue recovery from alcoholism and/or drug addiction. Discovery Transitions utilizes a variety of treatment programs that allow each client to receive the individualized care they deserve.
The Southern California rehab center offers a range of outpatient drug treatment programs to help drug addicts and alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety. Each client at the San Fernando Valley’s Discovery Transitions receives customized care to end their dependence on prescription drugs, cocaine, heroin, and other opiates and/or alcohol to live a sober life.