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How Unsupportive Friends Can Cause Relapse

How Unsupportive Friends Can Cause Relapse

Having unsupportive friends can be even more damaging after a relapse

It might seem like a terrible overstatement to state that maintaining unhealthy friendships can doom your recovery, but unfortunately this is precisely the case. Moving through recovery is so much more than just stepping away from an addiction. Rather, recovery is building a new life in Des Moines on a firmer and healthier foundation. This life is comprised of addiction-free days, but the balance is tenuous. Particularly in the early stages of recovery, having the right people surrounding you can be the difference between success and relapse.

How Community Impacts Recovery

There is a bizarre disconnect between clinical research and the observations and anecdotal evidence of those in recovery on the topic of the importance of community in treatment. Surprisingly, and quite frankly confusingly, researchers have been to clearly delineate the role and function of social interactions in addictive behavior. However, time and again the stories of recovered addicts will highlight the importance of community. Indeed, a common value of nearly all methods of recovery from addiction includes a community component of recovery, ranging from Alcoholics Anonymous to inpatient rehabilitation centers.

Despite a lack of clinical evidence, it remains true that community is vital. Indeed, being able to develop a healthy and supportive community that is not centered on the drug culture is an important step toward a sober life in Des Moines. It is these relationships that will naturally encourage the development of new hobbies and behaviors that strangle away time for an addiction.

Why a Lack of Support Can Lead to Relapse

Moving toward recovery is as much psychological and emotional as it is physical. The mind will play a lot of dirty tricks on an individual in recovery, If you are recovering now, perhaps you will recognize one or more of these lies:

  • “You don’t deserve sobriety.”
  • “Who are you kidding—it’s just a matter of time until you fail again.”
  • “You are a loser.”
  • “Even if you stop drinking, you will still suck.”
  • “Your family will never take you back.”

Especially when these thoughts start flying through your mind one after another, it can be overwhelming. These moments can drive an individual back to an addiction just to escape the incessant noise. It is in these moments that having the right type of community can make all the difference. If you are surrounding yourself with drug users, any sign of weakness in your resolve to build toward sobriety will be seen as a chance to rejoin the fold. The moment you ask for a hit, you will be greeted with a yes, instead of a question as to whether it is the best choice for you.

Lack of Support Prevents a Strong Return From a Relapse

Having unsupportive friends can be even more damaging after a relapse. If you do relapse, there are certain steps you should take in order to regain your momentum toward a healthier lifestyle. In the early moments after the poor choice to return to your addiction, you make decisions that will either strengthen your resolve toward sobriety, or weaken the drive to change. Some of these steps include the following:

  • Take personal responsibility – This is an important step. You did not stumble into drug use because someone forced you into it.
  • Give yourself permission to grieve or be angry – You need to give yourself permission to give vent to the pain, the anger and the frustration but only for a defined period of time. Then, you need to let it go because you need to move on to your future.
  • Debrief with trusted advocates – Another important step toward returning to recovery is to figure out what went wrong so you can avoid these triggers next time. Often, it is simply not possible to identify the triggers independently, so having one or two individuals who know you and in whom you can trust is vital. Together, you can determine what caused you to fall back into drug use.
  • Make the necessary changes to prevent another relapse – Knowing what went wrong is not enough. You also need to make intentional and targeted changes to you life to prevent this from happening again.
  • Choose to move forward – At the end of the day, you have to choose to stay on the path to recovery. You must decide that your life is worth it, that you are worth it. You must remain vigilant and unwilling to settle for less than the absolute best.

Sadly, most of these steps are simply not possible without the right support from friends and family who value and love you enough to want to see you sober in Des Moines. If you surround yourself with those still committed to the drug scene or the party lifestyle, you will likely lack the strength or fortitude to move forward with your recovery.

Above all else, remember you are not alone in this fight. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admissions counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about how best to help. They can help you find your way.