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Don’t Risk Your Recovery

by James Heller 11. September 2009 10:14
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is participating in Recovery Month 2009, in part, with articles about recovery during the month of September.  Most individuals suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction begin their recovery with alcohol and drug treatment.  So it is our pleasure to help bring awareness to the general public about the benefits of recovery to individuals, their families, and everyone with whom they interact.

Those new to recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction often hear the slightly tongue-in-cheek remark, “You only need to change one thing about yourself in recovery – Everything!” While it is not literal, the point is that individuals should consider change in all aspects of their lives to prevent relapse.  Alcoholics and drug addicts must cherish recovery and avoid risky situations.

Daily activities for alcoholics and drug addicts revolve around substance use.  Events are scheduled around use, or even for the purpose of drinking or using drugs.  So new social habits need to be formed and old ones disposed of.  This often includes saying good-bye to old friends and acquaintances with whom activities were shared.

It doesn’t mean that all friends must be left behind.  In most cases, loved ones will be relieved and ask what they can do to help.  But some will think they are being kind by saying things like, “I’m sure you can have just one” or, “You can still smoke pot, right?” These are not friends because they only care that they are losing an excuse they use to continue their own substance abusing activity.

There are few reasons for recovering individuals to enter drinking establishments, like bars and clubs.  The few generally revolve around employment.  These occasions call for some creativity in risk avoidance.  The first gathering is the most difficult, and it gets easier in short time.

People at these gatherings tend to encourage alcohol consumption, and will ask what you are drinking and why it isn’t a cocktail.  Some folks will order drinks like ginger-ale or iced tea that look like cocktails, thus avoiding these questions.  But this may be a relapse trigger for many, so you can simply say with confidence, “I’m not drinking today.”  When pressed, you can give the most honest answer, “I found out that I’m allergic to alcohol.”

No matter where recovering individuals go, or who they are with, their sobriety must take top priority.  It is best to avoid situations where alcohol or drugs are present.  But when it is unavoidable, an escape plan must be made.  There is always a socially acceptable alternative to drinking alcohol or using drugs.

Don’t risk your recovery for anyone or anything.  Remember that only good things can come from abstaining from alcohol and drug use.  Tell your friends in recovery about unavoidable events, and ask them to be prepared for a call from you.  You will be surprised that these events are more enjoyable without alcohol or drugs.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  A big part of our treatment program is relapse prevention, because our goal is long-term recovery for all of our patients.  If you or a loved one needs help with drugs or alcohol, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.