When you or someone you care about is in addiction recovery, it is essential to be aware of common mistakes that could occur. These “slip-ups” in recovery can happen to anyone because the disease of addiction requires ongoing care and a solid aftercare program to help reduce the risk of lapses and relapses. Find out more about common mistakes to avoid in addiction recovery and what you can do to help ensure long-term success.
What Is Addiction Recovery?
When someone has an alcohol or substance use disorder and has undergone medical detox and an addiction treatment program, they are considered in recovery. It is called recovery because the disease of addiction requires ongoing care and a commitment to maintaining one’s sobriety.
Recovery involves many different processes and changes to one’s former addictive tendencies, such as living a healthier lifestyle, putting one’s needs above others, and discarding old habits, friends, and locations in favor of new ones that will support one’s sobriety.
Mistakes to Avoid in Addiction Recovery
#1. Being overconfident in one’s recovery progress.
The biggest mistake many people in addiction recovery make is being overconfident in their recovery progress and abilities to remain sober. For example, they may believe they can handle stressful situations or settings where drugs or alcohol are available.
However, their triggers can overpower them because they are not yet ready to handle excess stress or be in specific settings. Unfortunately, they become overwhelmed and find their coping skills are not sufficient to help them.
#2. Setting too high of expectations and goals for oneself.
Some people attempt to set rather high expectations and goals they want to achieve as part of their recovery. However, because they have set the bar so high or anticipated meeting the expectation or goal within a specified time frame and do not, they are easily let down and can feel discouraged in their recovery.
As a result, they may start to question why they are in recovery when they are not making any progress. Therefore, it is essential to remember recovery is not a race. Each person progresses at their own speed. So instead, set expectations and goals that are easier to achieve, like making it one week sober, followed by another goal to reach two weeks, and so on. By taking little steps and progressing at your own speed, you will find your recovery will be long-lasting.
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#3. Not sticking to one’s aftercare plan.
Part of an aftercare plan includes a structured routine to help keep balance in one’s life. Another aspect of aftercare is attending meetings, therapy sessions, and other treatments to help maintain one’s recovery. Some people decide that they can start making changes to their aftercare plan and be fine.
For example, they may start missing meetings, stop exercising, or stop following their nutrition plan. While initially, they may be fine, the more they deviate, the easier it is to fall back into old habits. Eventually, they can start hanging out with people they used to associate with when they were addicted or frequent locations where they used drugs or drank.
Instead, it is better to stick with your aftercare plan. If you start to find it boring, talk to your counselor about making changes that can benefit you more. For instance, starting a new hobby or joining a sober sports league.
#4. Discontinuing or not taking medications as prescribed.
Some people will be prescribed certain medications, often during detox, as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). It is not uncommon for these medications to continue to be used during rehab and aftercare. However, some people decide they no longer need the medication and will stop using it or start skipping doses.
If you are prescribed medications as part of your recovery from your addiction, continue to take them as prescribed. Talk to your doctor first if you feel you no longer need them. They may agree or may decide to start cutting you back slowly until you no longer need them.
#5. Not maintaining a support system.
Having a solid support system is a vital part of recovery. A support system includes peer support from group meetings, supportive friends and family members, other friends in recovery, a sponsor, and so on. As someone progresses in recovery, their support needs and support system changes.
However, some people decide that as their needs change, they can start cutting people out of their support system because they no longer need them since they can manage on their own. As a result, their support system becomes smaller and smaller. Then, unfortunately, when they find they need support, it is no longer there.
So, as you progress in recovery and your support needs change, remember to constantly maintain a solid support system and change it to match your current needs.
As you can see, these mistakes many people make in recovery are easily avoidable when you take the time to take things slow, concentrate on your needs, and continue to stick to your aftercare plan.
Addiction Recovery Treatment in Murfreesboro, TN
At Tulip Hill in Murfreesboro, TN, we offer detox, rehab, and aftercare recovery treatment options to help you be successful in recovery. If you are ready to take the first steps in recovery or need help with your aftercare plan, contact us today.