Your World Has Changed
Getting detoxified from drugs and alcohol is a top priority when starting recovery. At the same time, changing your behaviors is a necessary step towards sobriety. An important ingredient to behavior change is to break-up from the environment(s) you once knew. Once a person returns home from treatment, it’s advantageous to be mindful of people, places and things that are tied to your addiction.
Learn to Avoid People Who Abuse Drugs or Alcohol
Coming back to your community after treatment means seeing people who you were close to but may present a threat to your sobriety. The notion of seeing old friends likely feels good, but now that you have started a new, sober life, you need to reevaluate the friends in your circle.
Start by considering the people with whom you spend time. This includes family members, friends, coworkers, and more. Ask yourself some questions about your interactions with them. For instance, are they currently using or abusing drugs or alcohol? At the same time, Will they encourage me to stay healthy and make good choices?
Spending time with people who prove to have a positive influence on your life makes a difference. Likewise, the people who present an obstacle to your sober lifestyle need to be ballast from your life.
Avoid the Places Where Addiction Occurred
One of the pleasures of returning home from treatment involves visiting familiar places. Before going out somewhere, contemplate if the place might be a trigger for you. If you connect a favorite restaurant with having several drinks, it may be best to avoid that for now. Look for other restaurants to create new memories in.
Other places that you might associate with drinking can even include a friend’s house where you used or drank alcoholically. Decide if you are ready to add these places back to your life. If the desire to indulge in drinking or using is too strong, you’ll need some new, sober spots to hang out in. This will not be easy, but it is necessary for the time being.
Be Careful about Dating in Early Sobriety
For those who are single, most professionals recommend their patients avoid getting involved in a relationship too early in recovery. Some even suggest waiting one year. When you do feel ready to join the dating world, be cautious about those prospects and how they may affect your recovery. For example, if a dating profile indicates a person is a daily drinker and is “420” friendly, then you should pass on this type of lifestyle.
You may also feel a natural gravitation toward someone who is in recovery. A lot of people meet and date in 12-step programs. However, make sure that they have a strong footing in recovery. A person who has a shaky recovery can easily influence someone who is in love with them.
You may also begin dating someone who has never dealt with addiction issues. Be upfront that your recovery is your top priority. Without this understanding, it may seem logical to them to say “why don’t you have just one drink with me” or ask you to skip a meeting to do another activity with them. Statements like these would indicate that your sobriety is not their priority. By the way, it’s not their problem, but it is yours so be mindful and vigilant. Your future self will thank you for it!
Simple Path Recovery is an oceanside, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as a Top Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.
About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.