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7 Common Addiction Recovery Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Did you know Native Americans have the highest addiction rates for substances like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs? They’ve long been vulnerable to substance abuse. And there are many common addiction recovery mistakes.

Unfortunately, drug addiction has affected millions of Natives, causing suicides and other mental health issues in the community. But many Native Americans are seeking help, and we’re happy to say that many are winning their battles with addictions. 

However, once someone starts the journey of recovery, there are important factors to keep in mind. And it’s easy to relapse if you don’t stay vigilant in the fight. Keep reading as we discuss seven common mistakes in the addiction recovery process and how to avoid them.

Trying to Recover Alone

There can be many reasons why an individual feels like they need to go through recovery alone. For example, they may feel it’s their responsibility and want to keep their family away.

While it’s great to take responsibility, having support is crucial during the healing process, and having family, friends, or a support group can be of great help.

Alternatively, an individual may not have anyone to help them through addiction recovery, and they may not reach out to anyone. This can be extremely difficult. 

To avoid feeling alone, reaching out to friends, family members, or rehab center staff is important. You’ll always be able to find supportive people to help you during this tough time. We know it’s not easy to ask for help, but it will change your life.

Setting Expectations Too High

A trick among personal trainers that is often taught to clients is not setting expectations too high. And while it’s great to aim high, this doesn’t work in fitness, and it definitely doesn’t work for something as sensitive as addiction recovery. 

High expectations make someone feel like they aren’t getting the desired results. Even if they’re making progress, they won’t be able to appreciate the small results that keep tallying up.

For example, a person is losing one pound a week in the gym, but their goal was five, making them feel negative about their progress.

To avoid this problem, a person in recovery must set realistic goals for themselves. This isn’t a race; it’s a slow, personal battle that requires small steps to heal.

Starting a New Relationship

Relationships are wonderful and special in every person’s life, but there’s also a dark side. Like substances, some people use relationships to cope with underlying issues. And a newly recovered addict may seek out relationships to fill a void in their life.

This can lead to new problems, like new types of addictions, and even a relapse back into using old substances. Relationships create powerful feelings like drugs, so it’s best to take it easy during recovery. It’s hard enough battling the effects of a potent drug.

To avoid this, keep relationships open and honest. If you’ve been dating someone through the process and they’ve been supportive, that’s great. However, avoid new, toxic relationships that may lead you down the road of relapse and further addictions.

Not Changing Your Environment

Often, a person changes, but their environment doesn’t, which can lead to many problems. People are products of their environments, so a huge change like addiction recovery means also losing toxic friends and unhealthy environments. 

Addicts may have made a habit of going to the bar every Friday with friends and drinking for hours. But recovering addicts can no longer safely do this, even if they don’t drink. They’ll eventually get pulled into the lifestyle again through peer pressure.

To avoid this problem, separate yourself from friends who have negative influences in your life. And surround yourself with people who love and support the new you.

Believing That You’re Cured

This is a very common problem for addicts who have recovered. In Alcoholics Anonymous, it is often stressed that no alcoholic can ever safely return to drinking. This also goes for other substances, and it’s a hard rule every addict needs to follow.

Commonly, recovered addicts believe they are capable of having a drink here and there. After all, they used to drink a bottle of whiskey almost every day. But this is the wrong mentality, and it will almost always lead to a relapse into old, addictive behaviors.

Addiction is a mental illness, and it needs to be treated as such. To avoid this pattern, you must stay sober and avoid the substance you healed from. It’s the only way.

Thinking Too Far Into the Future

When we undergo a challenging time in our lives, it’s easy to get consumed by negative thoughts. What if I never recover from this? What if I have a relapse a year from now?

These thoughts do nothing to help us in the now, and they’re harmful to a recovering addict’s progress. They can even cause someone to give up trying to beat their illness.

To avoid this mentality, it’s important to focus on the present. Take up meditative practice to calm negative thoughts. And take small steps forward toward change.

Expecting Results Immediately

A recovering addict must realize that this is a journey, not a sprint to the finish line. If someone expects change to happen overnight, they won’t be motivated to keep going. Addiction is a lifelong endeavor that requires strength, patience, and self-compassion.

To avoid this mistake, understand that healing from addiction takes time and effort. We know it’s difficult, but it’s important to realistically understand this journey of healing.

Avoid Common Addiction Recovery Mistakes

We hope our guide helped you understand more about common addiction recovery mistakes. For help with Native American substance abuse, we’re here to help.

Reach out to us as we support you or a loved one through the addiction recovery stages. We’ll provide activities for addiction recovery and a healing environment that helps create lasting change. Contact Sunrise Native Recovery today.

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