Recovery from substance abuse can be a long, arduous journey. Without the proper guidance, it’s often difficult for you to go through it alone. Before committing to recovery, the person usually hits rock bottom first and is surrounded by many negative emotions. It’s easy to make mistakes, but they generally result in relapse. Bad decisions and lack of motivation are often the main reasons why people quickly fall back to their old habits. It’s also important to understand that it takes more than just willpower to stay away from toxic substances. That’s because drugs alter the brain’s chemical processes and develop compulsions. Thus, it can be tricky to stay away from them in the long run. Another thing to know is that the drug recovery journey is different for everyone because of the variations in lifestyle and habits. Every person belongs to a unique social group and has different circumstances. What works for someone else might not work for you. So you need to figure out what benefits you and follow it through. Let’s go through some common mistakes that you need to avoid for successful substance recovery:
Not putting enough effort to find a good rehabilitation center
One of the most integral points you must pay attention to is finding the right rehab center. Of course, the vast number of options can be mind-numbing and selecting just one perfect rehab center to guarantee successful recovery is confusing. A lot of rehab centers fail to meet the proper standards, while only a handful offer remarkable treatment programs and facilities. To make the process of picking the right program easier, ask the staff about their qualifications, types of therapies and their duration, financial plans, length of stay, and the quality of their facility. You can also inquire current and ex-members about their reviews and thoughts.
Hanging out with friends who drink and use substances
Leaving your old friends behind is also a real challenge. However, if you wish to be 100% successful in your recovery journey, it’s necessary to quit socializing with your old buds who’re into substance abuse and alcoholism. Being around such people for a long time can have debilitating effects on your sobriety. If you avoid substances amidst your friends for too long, chances are you might feel an odd one out soon and would be easily influenced. They will likely coax you into going back to your bad habits rather than changing their own selves to accommodate your new lifestyle. Additionally, staying away from drugs in the initial days of recovery is more difficult because that’s when you’re particularly vulnerable.
Not setting realistic goals
High expectations are also a big mistake you might make in the early days of recovery. Although it is necessary to motivate yourself to be the best version of yourself, at the same time, you need to set realistic milestones. You have to remember that change doesn’t come easy and doesn’t happen overnight. So expecting too much can have the opposite effect on your willpower to alter, and in turn, demotivate you from your goals. You might be exposed to negative thoughts such as worthlessness, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence. That’s why you must set small achievable targets. Give yourself ample time, around two months or more, to see proper results. You have to learn to adapt to new behaviors, form new social groups, and adjust plenty to fit in a new life. Also, because of the neural changes in the brain, the change will be gradual. Your body needs time to create internal homeostasis after long-term substance abuse. So don’t be frustrated, relax, and just do your best.
Starting a new relationship early on in recovery
Many people make the mistake of starting a new relationship in the early days of their journey to recovery to fill in the gaping holes in their new life. While the prospect of a trusted companion is undoubtedly tempting, it is also accompanied by a whole plethora of emotions – mostly negative. You both might struggle with understanding each others’ lives and have arguments. If you have not yet found a solid emotional balance, these negativities might push you back toward your old habits. Take this time instead to rediscover yourself. You need to put in the effort to create a healthy personality and be in a suitable mental space first before committing to a person emotionally.
Thinking you are cured after you get out of treatment
Yet another common mistake to avoid in recovery is thinking you are cured right after you’re done with the treatment program. After detox, you may be subjected to a series of treatments to help adjust to the changes and withdrawal. It includes starting a new job, finding new friends, and getting educated. You might need to go for therapy as well to build stronger coping skills. In short, nobody ever fully gets cured of addiction, as the triggers are always present. Successful recovery depends on how you live your life after getting out of rehab and the habits you adopt.
To ensure a healthy recovery process, you need a safe, nurturing, supportive, and caring environment. The people around you should be understanding and non-judgmental, as they will be the ones who remain by your side through thick and thin. Make sure you have a good support system you can trust. It’s also essential to stay away from other unhealthy addictions such as smoking or processed foods, as they can meddle with your recovery journey.