When recovering from an addiction – whether it’s alcohol, drugs, or sex – it’s important that you stay focused and avoid things that can trip you up. In doing so, you greatly reduce your chances of a relapse.  

The Mistakes to Avoid in Addiction Recovery

Making the decision to seek out treatment and sit under the guidance of addiction recovery professionals is a huge step in the right direction. However, simply being present isn’t enough. In order to maximize your experience and increase your chances of experiencing a full recovery, you need to make smart choices. This means avoiding costly mistakes like:

1. Being Close Minded

If someone pressures you into treatment – or you do it begrudgingly – you’ll have a tendency to clam up and view the experience through a limited perspective. This negatively impacts what you’ll get out of your recovery.

Being open minded to treatment is one of the most important aspects when it comes to getting the most out of your time in treatment. It is important for you to be receptive to new ideas and suggestions,” Amatus Recovery Centers explains. “If we continue to do the same thing, we will get the same result, so being open minded to change can help your recovery in the long run.”

As humbling as it can be to admit, consider that you may need help. And if you need help, then it’s likely that the professionals who specialize in helping people – i.e. the doctors and psychologists you’re interacting with – have wisdom to impart. Embrace their ideas and see how they transform your mind, body, and spirit. 

2. Surrounding Yourself With the Wrong People

The company you keep (or don’t keep) will always have an impact on your treatment and recovery. For better or worse, you will become more like the five or six people you spend the most time with. 

If you’re coming out of a world in which all of your friends and peers have the same addictions and crutches that you have, you probably need a new group of people. You need a circle of friends and supporters who edify, not eviscerate. 

On a related note, be careful about spending too much time alone. There’s certainly value in being by yourself for periods of time, but excessive isolation isn’t healthy or productive. Spend time with healthy and supportive people who compel you to become a better version of yourself.

3. Failing to Address Co-Occurring Conditions

Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that 7.9 million Americans have co-occurring disorders in addition to their underlying addiction. And in many cases, substance abuse is merely the coping mechanism for the other disorder. 

When a therapist or treatment specialist presses into your life, they aren’t just being nosy. They’re attempting to understand who you are and what (if any) co-occurring conditions exist. Don’t push back on this. Invite them in and adopt a willing posture that prioritizes recovery over pride. When you address your addiction and co-occurring conditions that influence the addiction, a full recovery is far likelier. 

4. Expecting Immediate Results

Addicts often make the mistakes of assuming they’ll get quick results at a treatment center. Unfortunately, “quick” isn’t a word that gets thrown around a lot in recovery. If you get too attached to it, you’ll compromise the experience. 

Addiction recovery takes time. Treatment isn’t a Band-Aid or pill that makes you feel better within minutes or hours – it’s a long-term remedy that takes months or years to achieve maximum potency. 

5. Relying on Crutches

It’s common for people in treatment and addiction recovery to simply replace their addiction to drugs, alcohol, or sex with something else that’s less stigmatized or “unhealthy.” However, what they’re really doing is creating another vice.

Make sure you’re actually dealing with the psychology behind your addiction. Avoid relying on excessive sugar consumption or guzzling coffee around the clock. Both are signs that you’re simply shifting your addiction from one thing to another.

Make Recovery Worth Your Time

Addiction recovery takes time, costs money, and requires a considerable amount of physical and emotional energy. Don’t make the mistake of taking treatment lightly. Give it everything you have and make recovery worth your time. Your future self will thank you for the sacrifice and effort.