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Why There Is More to Recovery than Sobriety

Why There Is More to Recovery than Sobriety

Attending individual therapy can help you actively focus on your recovery and avoid relapse

We have all heard it said that addiction recovery is a lifelong process. What we do not hear much about is how recovery is maintained throughout that lifelong process. There is more to recovery than just adding tick marks to your count of sober days; a successful recovery requires diligent and careful attention. Without it, the risk of relapse grows greater with each day.

The Risks of a Passive Recovery

Addicts can run into all sorts of trouble when they assume that recovery is a passive experience achieved solely by saying no to drugs and alcohol. One of the biggest problems that can arise with this is boredom. When addicts leave rehab and start counting the days of sobriety, they often find that they have more empty time than anticipated. It is this boredom and complacency that leads many recovered addicts back into substance abuse.

A second roadblock that can occur with a passive recovery is overconfidence. When recovering addicts do not take the time to attend therapy or support groups, they can become too confident in their own ability to handle recovery. Self-assurance is important, but overconfidence can lead recovering addicts to put themselves in triggering situations with the belief that they can handle it. This is a common factor in many addicts’ relapses.

Ways to Be Active and Sober in Recovery

Attending individual therapy and support groups are two of the best ways to stay active and sober in your recovery. These are the two staples of addiction treatment that you were likely exposed to in your initial treatment. Sometimes it is not made clear to recovering addicts that these treatments are to be continued after leaving the facility and throughout life. Attending individual therapy and support groups can help you actively focus on your recovery and avoid relapse.

Volunteering is another great way to remind yourself that recovery is more than just sobriety. You might even consider volunteering to simply share your addiction and recovery story with others who could benefit. For example, a recovering addict in Des Moines could contact the psychology or nursing faculty at nearby schools to ask if she could be a guest speaker during a lecture on addiction. Not only do the students gain insight into addiction and its treatment, but the addict will also benefit by staying active in recovery and giving back to others.

A final and often forgotten way of achieving an active recovery is to reevaluate yourself frequently. Recovering addicts can be quick to assume that they are safe from relapse, when the risks are just right around the corner. It can be helpful to sit down once each week and evaluate the state of your recovery. Have you found yourself skipping therapy or support group meetings? Have you been putting yourself in situations where you feel triggered? Have you made progress on the personal goals you set during your treatment? If you find you have become complacent or bored, it might be time to start taking a more active role in your recovery.

Get Help for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one in Des Moines has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatments for drug and alcohol addiction.