Maintaining sobriety during recovery can be especially difficult when people lack support from friends, family members and professionals. Having multiple avenues of support is important, because it aids addiction recovery in the following ways:
- Overcome challenges – Life in addiction recovery can cause many challenges that will need to be addresses without drugs or alcohol. Having support can help users cope with difficulty without using drugs.
- Provide accountability – An essential part of recovery is having people provide accountability by regularly checking in and ensuring that sobriety is being maintained. Without such accountability, relapse is likely to occur.
- Build confidence and self-esteem – Many people recovering from addiction lack confidence in their abilities to press on in recovery, or they may even struggle with so low a self-esteem that they doubt they can ever succeed. However, supportive friends and family members are often great at motivating and encouraging others, which help recovering addicts build confidence and self-esteem.
Going through addiction recovery alone can be dangerous, as the chances of relapsing back into drug addiction may significantly increase. Lacking support or only having poor support can lead to the following risks:
- Engaging in social situations is inevitable, but they can increase anxiety and tension. Being left alone to cope with uncomfortable social situations will likely lead to relapse.
- It can be dangerous to go to parties, company outings or other gatherings where alcohol or other drugs may be, but these situations may also be unavoidable. Without available support or accountability during these times, the likelihood of relapse is significant.
- Lacking support or accountability during recovery typically means that a recovering addict is fairly isolated and removed from others. Being isolated or alone during recovery commonly leads to depression or low self-esteem, which both increase the chances of self-medicating that pain with drugs or alcohol.
- Due to the general challenges of recovery, such as constant relapse triggers and social or environmental cues, people are more likely to want to give up, especially if no one is encouraging or supporting them
Lacking personal and professional support during addiction recovery is directly linked to an increased risk of relapse. Overdosing on drugs during relapse is also an increased risk, because users often believe that they can return to using the same amount of drugs as before. However, people’s tolerance levels toward certain drugs often change after treatment and recovery. So when someone relapses with a high dose, she is no longer able to handle it, so overdose typically occurs. Building a strong support system that includes close friends, family members and trained professionals is required to experience a successful recovery.
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