Life After Treatment: Coping With The Consequences Of Addiction

Coping With The Consequences Of Addiction

There comes a point when the costs of addiction can no longer be ignored. This point comes at a different place for everyone. Sometimes it comes long before you actually stop using. Sometimes, it comes once legal problems present themselves or a spouse has left you. For others, the full realization may not come until treatment and recovery have begun.Consequences can stack up, creating what seems to be an insurmountable brick wall of problems that feel impossible to get through. By the time you get to treatment you may be facing legal troubles including potential jail time, a record, fines or loss of your license. Financial wreckage is another common predicament faced by recovering addicts.

Facing Personal Consequences

facing personal consequences due to trying to live a sober lifeIn addition to matters like these, you have no doubt faced a multitude of personal consequences. These can seem to be the hardest of all to overcome, and to live with. For some, coming to the realization that relationships have been damaged or lost entirely due to addiction is almost too much. Many recovering addicts have relapsed due to pain and regret. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way.In treatment, clean and sober for what may be the first time in years, you may face the full weight of your consequences. The early days of recovery may feel a bit like a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Some days, you feel amazing and grateful to be where you are, other days, you may be full of regret and fear of the future.The support of others in treatment, including staff and counselors can help you through this, offer suggestions and ideas for solutions. It can be amazing and miraculous to see the changes that can start happening right away once you are willing to get help.

Gaining a Better Perspective on Your Situation

As your body and mind begins to heal, you start to gain a better, more realistic perspective on your situation, and at times may become overwhelmed. But, you are learning things, tools that enable you to cope with each problem as it comes.

Some problems seem to work themselves out. Interestingly, some of the things that you were the most alarmed over, that seemed to be the biggest problems, have a way of sorting themselves out. Other problems aren’t going to go away on their own, nor will they be solved overnight. There may be things you want desperately to address, to solve while you are in treatment, but it just isn’t possible. Family and relationships are a good example of this.

Repairing Your Relationships

repairing your relationships after you repair yourself firstNo matter how badly you want to fix these relationships or heal the wounds caused by addiction, you are in treatment for you, to get better and to heal. You will no doubt be reminded to work on yourself, and to let go of outcomes.

It can be frustrating, but by learning more about yourself, how to cope with powerful emotions and how to communicate more effectively, you will gain the skills necessary to start rebuilding relationships once you are done with treatment.

As for legal troubles and financial wreckage, you may leave treatment and find that these things need to be addressed. For some, cleaning up wreckage means facing serious consequences. Some things may be able to be resolved quickly, and some over a period of time. Each thing is addressed as it comes, and you will remember the things you learned in treatment. You can only do what’s right in front of you, and you have the ability to do the next right thing. And, no matter how big the problem, you have the support of people who are willing to help get you through whatever happens next.


References:
  1. William Fals-Stewart, PhD, Substance Abuse and Intimate Relationships, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy,http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT/Content/Consumer_Updates/Substance_Abuse_and_Intimate_Relationships.aspx
  2. 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, Consequences of Illegal Drug Use, Office of National Drug Control Policy, https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/policy/99ndcs/ii-b.html


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