Drug and alcohol addiction isn’t the type of thing that can be swept under the rug these days. According to government statistics, 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2014. Almost 80 percent of these individuals were dealing with alcohol. On top of the personal costs, there is also a financial cost, nearly $200 billion in healthcare.
While we may not have a single answer to what causes addiction, we can determine that it takes a lot of hard work, fortitude, and support to leave it behind. In fact, leaving it behind may be a poor term, as addiction’s effects still linger after you’re no longer abusing drugs or alcohol. Here are some things that you can do to make sure your hard work stays paying off, as you work to piece together and improve your quality of life.
Fixing What’s Broken
One of the first things that people who handle addiction recovery recommend is to put together a policy of honesty and openness. In no way is this more clear than in dealing with personal relationships. Addiction makes people do many things to those that love them that can be indirectly or directly harmful. As a result, after addiction, you may find yourself working to try and repair relationships with someone that you have harmed. Take the approach of reaching out to family and friends directly, while still taking responsibility for things you have done in the past. Sincerity is key.
Part of living in reality is also recognizing that not all things can be repaired. Sometimes the acts that have been done over the course of your addiction are too frequent or too much to forgive. In addition, you have to consider the fact that the friends and even family you were close to played a role in enabling or facilitating your addiction. In this case, you may want to work to rebuild a social life on your own. While this is difficult, there are many opportunities to help you deal with this issue. Considering taking a class, volunteering, or finding other activities that will allow you to be social and meet to people, while still staying in a positive light.
Part of living post-addiction is setting the stage not just to reconnect with others, but to live a better live for yourself. A big piece of this is finding employment. Addiction has a tangible cost, not only in what you spend to feed it, but also in terms of hurting your earning power. Even afterwards, your addiction can impede you, whether it is due to a reputation you’ve caused for yourself or legal issues resulting from it.
If you are having trouble finding work, you may want to consider looking up one of several organizations designed to help people find jobs. They may not always be ideal, but this will allow you to find a financial base for yourself to get back on your feet, as well as adding much-needed structure after the chaos of addiction. As you make steps, it may be worth it as well to find a mental health professional or therapist. Addiction leaves many emotional issues in its wake, and having a party to discuss what you are feeling—the highs and lows—can help you put your story in perspective as you walk the road to recovery.
We mentioned earlier that there is the potential for those who were originally around you to be a negative influence. Sometimes, more drastic moves need to be taken to put yourself in a proper place. Take a look at this Venice beach sober living community. Places like these are more than simply removing yourself from negative situations. It’s also important to have all the assets you need to live a sober life. This can range from self-care options to having therapy options to talk things over at your fingertips.
Everyone thinks that once you beat addiction, you’ve solved your problems, but the truth is things are rarely that easy. However, by adopting the proper mentality as well as using every tool available at your disposal to bring structure and strength back to your life, you too can create success out of the darkest of times.