On the Road to Recovery it’s best to avoid certain people
Triggers. People, places, situations, smells, music, past and future events; all can be triggers to the mind of drug addicts. These ‘things’ can cause anxiety and stress which leads people to feelings of anger, depression and grief which in turn lead even addicts in recovery to feel the intense pull of drugs and alcohol.
Quality substance abuse treatment facilities like Cornerstone of Southern California focus on relapse prevention and in identifying the triggers which can lead to relapse. Cornerstone staff and Case Managers create a plan for each individual post discharge to minimize and deal with these triggers in an effective and controlled manner. One of the main causes for relapse after treatment for many clients are old friends and people who may make them want to use drugs. When an addict can identify those people from their past and either avoid them or minimize the contact that they have with them their chances at continued sobriety increase.
Dealers and Users
Obviously the first and most important group of ‘people to avoid’ are those individuals who either supplied the addict with drugs and/or used drugs with them in the past. It does not matter if these ‘people to avoid’ have stopped using drugs themselves or even swear that they will not offer drugs to the recovering addict ever again. These people will always bring back feelings and memories of using drugs and the constant, looming possibility of obtaining drugs from them at any time.
Old Using Friends
Any relationship that is based on getting high or using licit or illicit drugs is not healthy for anyone involved. Even old using friends who are in recovery themselves can lead an individual back to drugs and alcohol. These friends in recovery relationships should be handled with care and built up slowly over time ensuring that both parties have a solid foundation in their personal recovery programs before spending too much time together.
There are those who enable the addictive behavior in their friend or loved one. This occurrs when someone:
- Obtains alcohol or drugs for the addicted person
- Gives the addicted person money or pays their bills. This behavior frees up the addict’s cash flow enabling them to pay for drugs
- Helps the addicted individual in making excuses for time off work due to drug use or any other helpful lies which support drug use over responsible life choices
- Helps to create boundaries around the addicted individual’s drug related actions and softening the consequences when they continue those negative behaviors
Most often, this ‘enabler’ is a family member, spouse/partner or a close relative, making it difficult to create a healthy space between individuals. At Cornerstone of Southern California our relapse education for the enabling person, and guidance from our certified addiction counselors with their years of addiction treatment and recovery experience, can help to repair these relationships.