As of 2017, nearly one in thirteen Americans over age twelve needed treatment for a substance use disorder. If you’re one of the courageous people who have decided to take their first step and seek help, congratulations! You’ve started a journey that can give you a new lease on life. Sobriety is rarely a linear path, and it’s normal to hit some bumps in the road along the way. Thankfully, being aware of common addiction recovery mistakes can help you avoid some major pitfalls.
Ready to learn more? Here are seven mistakes to watch out for in early recovery.
1. Keeping the Same Social Habits
As much as we hate to admit it, we’re creatures of habit. We’re also vulnerable to social pressures, especially when they’re coming from people we spend a lot of our time with. The combination of those two traits can spell disaster for your recovery if you aren’t aware of them.
An important part of getting sober, be it from drugs or alcohol, is avoiding the situations that resulted in your past substance use. For a recovering alcoholic, that might mean steering clear of social gatherings at bars or nightclubs. You might also need to cut ties with friends and family members who enable you instead of supporting your sobriety.
Changing your social habits is tough, but if you can replace destructive activities with constructive ones, you won’t feel the loss as strongly. Try joining an exercise group, becoming active in a church or spiritual center, or taking an art class with a friend.
2. Falling Into the Comparison Trap
It’s all too easy to compare your recovery with that of others and feel like you’re falling short. If they were able to stay clean despite temptation, why are you still struggling? Are you not trying hard enough?
Comparison thinking is also dangerous in the other direction. If you look at others and believe that you’re progressing “better” or “faster” than they are, it’s easy to become complacent in your own recovery. This can lead to backsliding and relapse if you let your guard down for too long.
These thought patterns are a false and dangerous trap. For one, addiction and genetics are closely related to each other, meaning your DNA could make you more susceptible to addiction than someone else. The social environment you grew up in can also affect your brain’s tendency to crave drugs and alcohol.
Pay attention to your progress, and when comparison sneaks in, be quick to recognize and dismiss it. Be patient and don’t rush the process, and things will get easier with time.
3. Not Seeking Medical Help
Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol after quitting isn’t just uncomfortable. In some cases, as with delirium tremens, it can also be dangerous. If the side effects are bad enough, you may even find yourself relapsing just to stop feeling ill.
Instead of trying to quit cold turkey on your own, talk to your doctor about any potential medical treatment you’ll need. You may also want to check in at a drug detox center in NJ to get 24/7 support during your first few weeks of sobriety. Detoxing is never fun, but a rehab center can help you stay as safe and comfortable as possible while setting you up for future success.
4. Not Addressing Your Mental Health
Addiction has a major physical component, but it’s also tied to your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s why mental health treatment is a crucial part of any good addiction rehab program.
Mental illness and unmet emotional needs are huge triggers behind many substance abuse problems. Likewise, using drugs and alcohol can have a huge negative impact and make existing mental health problems worse.
This vicious cycle makes it hard to break free from the grasp of substance abuse. With the right help from licensed mental health professionals, though, you can escape and end up stronger.
5. Not Building a Strong Support System
Recovering from a substance abuse disorder isn’t something that anyone should try to do by themselves. The secret to success is building a strong, reliable support system of people who will encourage you.
This support system may include family members, friends, mentors, or religious leaders. It can also come from the professionals at an addiction treatment program and others who are walking the road to recovery with you. Whoever you choose to have on your team, make sure they’re reliable, support your positive changes, and don’t try to hold you back.
6. Assuming All Drug Rehab Centers Are the Same
Every drug detox center is unique, and not all of them will be the best fit for your recovery needs. When you’re researching drug rehab centers in New Jersey or elsewhere in the United States, pay close attention to the services they provide and testimonials from past clients.
Different rehab centers specialize in different types of addictions and offer various methods of therapy. Take the time to read through their websites, talk to a representative, and even visit in person if possible before committing to one.
7. Believing That Recovery Has an Endpoint
Finishing your addiction treatment program doesn’t signal the “end” of your recovery. Neither does your first month, first year, or even tenth anniversary of sobriety.
Recovering from a substance abuse disorder is a lifelong journey, but don’t let that scare you away from embarking on it. Things do get easier, and over time, the coping strategies you learn will make it easier to resist old habits.
Don’t Make These Addiction Recovery Mistakes
While every sobriety journey will have its ups and downs, learning more about these addiction recovery mistakes can help you avoid making them yourself. Find a good support system, exercise healthy coping strategies, and trust the process to make your way toward a drug-free future.
Looking for rehab centers in NJ that offer drug detox, alcohol rehab, and mental health treatment? Contact SOBA New Jersey online. Our admissions coordinators are standing by to answer any questions you may have about starting the process of recovery.