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How To Overcome The Challenges of Early Recovery

Whether you are newly facing life in the outside world after beginning your addiction recovery at a treatment facility or are trying to take the first step towards staying sober on your own, navigating early recovery is likely to present many challenges. In fact, some of the biggest challenges of addiction recovery are those that recovering addicts face in their first few weeks of sobriety.

However, maintaining sobriety and reclaiming your life still is absolute possible. This article will examine some common challenges faced by recovering addicts in their early sobriety, and will offer some advice to help you to overcome them as you work on developing the skills to happily live life substance free.

Learn New Coping Strategies And Explore New Hobbies

For surviving early recovery, finding new coping strategies that you can use to manage stress without resorting to drugs and alcohol abuse is vital. Along with engaging in self-care, connecting to others, and distracting themselves from urges to use drugs, many addicts find it beneficial to spend time taking up new hobbies to suit their new lifestyle. This will mean that their free time is occupied with things other than drugs and alcohol and to help them develop a sense of self esteem and identity unrelated to their addiction.

One new hobby that could be particularly useful to you as you learn to cope with life in recovery may be exercising. Exercise provides a physical endorphin rush that can help combat feelings of depression and cravings for drugs and alcohol, and can serve as a healthy way to challenge yourself and to connect with others if you choose to play a social sport or to find an exercise class.

Find Support From Friends And Family Members

Having healthy relationships and having dependable support from others is incredibly important when it comes to early recovery. You should always have a person to call in case you feel the urge to relapse, and you should make an effort to invest in your relationships to ward off the depression and loneliness that can fuel cravings for drugs and alcohol.

If you lack people in your life who are supportive of your recovery, new hobbies can also serve as an easy way to meet new people, and another simple way to make sober friends is to try attending a support group.

The structure of twelve step fellowships is perfectly suited for making new friends who you can rely on to help you adapt to your sober life, and will also help you to connect to the broader recovery community. Spending time with others who are further along in their recovery may also help motivate you to achieve similar successes, and can help you to conceptualize what a rewarding life free of drugs might actually look like.

Avoid Potential Relapse Triggers

One of the greatest challenges of early recovery is controlling the impulse to relapse. Though keeping yourself away from drugs and alcohol altogether may be the safest option, because so many social activities involve drinking, this can be especially challenging for those struggling with alcohol abuse.

Though you will likely be able to handle these kinds of events once you are more acclimated to recovery and having to resist drinking no longer feels like such a big deal, for now, it may be best to stay home or to engage in an alternate social activity, such as attending a twelve step meeting, instead of putting your sobriety at risk.

If you cannot avoid an event that involves drugs and alcohol, then your best bet may be to bring along a sober friend or loved one who can help ease your anxiety and who can hold you accountable, or at least to have such a person as a point of contact that you can text throughout.

Be Vigilant About Mental Health

Often, drug and alcohol addiction develops as a form of self-medication for a mental health challenge like depression and anxiety. While professional addiction treatment will likely help you to cope with these challenges through therapy, medication, or some combination of the two, challenges like these also tend to be recurring, lifelong issues, like addiction itself.

But, by being vigilant to any changes in your mental health and facing these issues head on as they arise by seeking out the appropriate treatment instead of letting things escalate, you will likely be able to keep a handle on these common challenges, and thus to stay sober instead of dealing with them through substance abuse.

Create A Framework For Accountability

If you are struggling with overcoming challenges related to substance abuse on your own, there’s no shame in reaching out for help in this incredibly challenging endeavor. The important thing is if and not how you achieve lifelong recovery, so entering addiction treatment may be your best bet if you cannot conquer your addiction on your own.

Even if you can commit to a 24/7 rehab program, many treatment facilities offer outpatient treatment options that you can engage in without necessarily having to quit your job or completely divest from the outside world.

Additionally, if you have recently completed treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, then you may want to consider a transitional living program (such as a sober living home or halfway house) to offer you accountability as you continue to develop the skills necessary to achieve long term sobriety. Such a recovery residence will require you to maintain a strictly drug free environment and require you to adhere to other guidelines designed to support your recovery, such as requirements to follow curfews, attend twelve step meetings, and undergo frequent drug tests.

Achieve Drug Addiction Recovery With Help From Reco Intensive

Believe it or not, once it is not so scary and new, recovery will begin to feel like second nature, and you will be so grateful that you put in the hard work necessary to make it through these difficult early days. However, if you or someone you love is currently struggling to overcome an active addiction, you may want to consider Reco Intensive.

Our intensive outpatient program is staffed by addiction treatment experts and is equipped to help our patients to overcome their fear, challenge their toxic impulses, and prepare for all aspects of life in recovery. If you’re ready to take the first steps towards recovery today, feel free to call us anytime at 844.955.3042 or to contact us online anytime here. There’s no time like the present to get back on the road to recovery and to a brighter future.

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