Recovery Center Blog

7 Drug Addiction Recovery Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Written By Recovery Centers - October 28th, 2022
7 Drug Addiction Recovery Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Are you new to recovery? Welcome to the club! You’re joining millions of people who decided to take control of their lives and actively work to kick their drug and alcohol addictions. Some of your favorite celebrities are even embracing sobriety.

While the early days of sobriety are the most critical, people in recovery often need advice throughout their lives. Mistakes may happen, but it’s better to be well-armed with information and support.

Whether you’re beginning your sober journey or are looking for additional ways to stay sober, keep reading to learn more about drug addiction recovery mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Asking for Help

The addiction recovery process is not easy, and one of the best paths to success is having help along the way. You’d probably ask for assistance if you were tackling a big project at work or a large home renovation. Recovery is no different.

Asking for help with your sobriety is not a sign of weakness. It’s an admission that you’re embarking on a significant journey and could use some helping hands along the way.

How to Avoid This Mistake

One of your best resources is your healthcare provider. Addiction is a medical condition, and your doctor can help with medication and other resources. A therapist with addiction experience can also be an excellent source of support.

Confiding with a trusted friend or family member is also a good idea. These are people who care about you and want you to succeed.

2. Not Considering Support Groups

Your friends and family will be excellent sources of support, but they might not always know exactly what you’re going through. Sharing your story with other people may feel daunting or embarrassing. However, you might realize that your problem feels smaller when you know that so many others are experiencing the same thing.

How to Avoid This Mistake

Addiction and recovery support groups come in all shapes and sizes. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are the most well-known and offer meetings at all times of the day and night, every day of the year. Zoom meetings are becoming increasingly popular.

SMART Recovery is another support group option. No matter which you choose, the company of other sober people helps you feel seen and understood and reminds you that you’re not alone.

3. Not Recognizing Your Triggers

For many people, removing drugs and alcohol from their lives is the easy part. Things get complicated when you’re forced to face your emotions with a clear mind. While your emotions and feelings are valid, they can also be triggers that may result in a slip or relapse.

How to Avoid This Mistake

A therapist can be an amazing resource when you need to identify your triggers. Journaling is also a way to keep track of the feelings that make you anxious or upset. When you recognize your triggers, you can create a plan that defines your emotions and establishes ways to handle them that don’t involve drugs or alcohol.

4. Not Embracing Nutrition and Exercise

When you eliminate drugs and alcohol from your life, your body goes through many changes. Many people’s addiction recovery goal is to regain their physical health. A good diet and exercise regimen is crucial to recovering that level of fitness, and these plans can also help you stay sober.

If you neglect your physical health during recovery, you may find that the process is more difficult.

How to Avoid This Mistake

Always talk to your doctor before starting a new diet and exercise plan, especially in early recovery. Once you have the all-clear, focus on short periods of exercise. Walking is an easy way to start and encourages your brain to release dopamine, the same chemical released when using alcohol and drugs.

A recovering body needs the proper fuel so focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy carbs. Also, talk to your doctor about vitamins and supplements that can aid your recovery.

5. Not Understanding the Nature of Cravings

Cravings are a normal part of recovery, but unless you have a plan, they might blindside you. A craving is an intense physical urge to drink or use drugs. Without preparation, cravings can lead to slips and relapses.

It isn’t easy to think logically when you’re in the midst of cravings, so practice is key.

How to Avoid This Mistake

First, understand that cravings are temporary. The feeling may only last a few minutes, or it could last longer. The goal is to have the tools to wait out the craving without letting it take over.

Sugar can be a great way to handle cravings. A few sips of soda or juice can help steer your thinking away from using. Calling a friend or your sober support person helps too. Even stepping outside into the sunlight can stop a craving in its tracks.

Find what works for you and stick with it.

6. Not Considering an Alcohol or Drug Rehab Center

Most people with drug and alcohol addictions are aware of inpatient rehab facilities. However, most find numerous excuses not to go, and some of these reasons are valid. Taking time away from work and family obligations can feel impossible or out of reach.

But in some cases, inpatient treatment is absolutely necessary. Rehab can give you the best chance at recovery.

How to Avoid This Mistake

It’s vital to understand that addiction is an acute medical condition. Sometimes, going without medical care in early recovery can be harmful. Try to have an honest conversation with your physician, family, and employer.

Everyone wants to see you healthy and happy. If inpatient treatment is the way to accomplish that, you might find that you have more support than you realized.

7. Not Giving Yourself a Break

Let’s face it. Recovery is hard. You will absolutely have moments where you question everything about your decision to get sober, and it might feel like an impossible task.

These feelings are normal, but that doesn’t make them any less difficult.

How to Avoid This Mistake

Remember that recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Sobriety is a new experience for you, and allowing yourself some breathing room is crucial.

Learn your triggers. Open up to people when you’re feeling vulnerable. Allow yourself time to process all the changes you’re going through.

Lastly, be kind to yourself. You deserve it.

Drug Addiction Recovery Mistakes Happen, But Sobriety is Worth It

No matter if you have one day of sobriety or 1,000, each day is an opportunity to create a better life for yourself and the people who love you. When you make the decision to get sober, you’re also acknowledging that you’re completely changing your life. Drug addiction recovery mistakes are part of that change.

If you or someone you love needs help with an alcohol or drug addiction, click here. Help is available, and sobriety might be easier than you think.