Why Your Environment Matters During Addiction Recovery
When it comes to addiction recovery, inpatient treatment is often recommended. One of the many benefits of inpatient treatment is the change in environment that it brings. Those taking part in inpatient treatment are able to focus solely on their recovery, allowing them to learn new coping skills and new ways to interact with their environment in a way that promotes sobriety. There are a number of different environmental factors that make up an external environment, and they each influence that environment differently.
How Family Influences Someone in Recovery
Often the first external influence on a person, your family dynamic and familial environment have the power to affect your sobriety and recovery for better or worse. Growing up, coping skills are commonly learned from our parental figures and those we look up to. Experiences early in life can greatly impact the ability of an individual to adapt to their environment.
When coping skills are picked up, there is a chance they may be maladaptive to the environment being presented. If this is the case, these negative coping skills can lead to behaviors that may be considered self-harming, like in the case of addiction. Inpatient treatment is often considered the best treatment option for addiction as inpatient programs teach clients to re-evaluate their previous coping mechanisms and instead opt for healthier coping skills. Family is also often able to take part in inpatient treatment. Family members may be taught about addiction and how it affects their loved one. They too can learn new coping skills, as well as how to support their loved one through the recovery process and beyond.
How Friends Influence Someone in Recovery
After our immediate family, our friends are the ones who are closest to us, who we choose to socialize with. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol and taking part in drug use are common social activities. Those facing drug or alcohol addiction may feel pressured to drink or take part in drugs with their friends simply because they want to fit in or feel like they belong, which can lead to maintaining an addiction. Unfortunately, sometimes friendships are sacrificed for the purpose of sobriety. Luckily, most good friends will understand and do what they can to help a friend dealing with addiction.
During inpatient rehabilitation, it is easy and common to make friends within your rehab center. This benefits you for a number of reasons. Friends who are made in rehabilitation programs will have also been provided with all the skills and coping mechanisms taught during the program. This helps strengthen the support system of someone who is new in their sobriety and having a strong support system helps to ensure progress on an individual’s journey to recovery.
How the Work or School Environment Influences Addiction Recovery
Another large aspect of a person’s environment, work and/or school can have a significant impact on the stress levels of an individual. When a person’s stress levels are increased, they often rely on their learned coping mechanisms to help them get through their stressful situation. But what happens if your coping skills are subpar? Or if your stress is extended over a long period of time? Stress can affect the body in a number of different ways, and when it is not dealt with in a healthy manner, a person may resort to alcohol or drug consumption.
When it comes to subpar coping skills, individuals often end up simply looking for something that will take their stresses away, even if momentarily. As a result, mind altering substances are often turned to. During inpatient rehabilitation, clients are not responsible for their work or schooling on a day-to-day basis, as they are on the rehabilitation center’s campus. Being removed from those sources of stress and learning proper coping skills are what enable clients to return to work or school after treatment. With their new skills, they are able to process their stress in a different, healthy manner.
How the External Environment Influences Addiction Recovery
The final aspect that comprises an individual’s environment is the area they live in. Those who live in locations where drug and alcohol abuse are common are considerably more likely to develop an addiction themselves. In addition, the areas where a person takes part in their addiction – say a bar or other popular hangout place – can often cause cravings if returned to after recovery. These places and environments can act as triggers for a person going through treatment, and therefore should be avoided. In fact, it is commonly recommended that those going through the recovery process completely remove themselves from the external environment they are familiar with, hence the presence of inpatient treatment and other sober living areas. Living with those going through a similar situation can help strengthen support systems by showing the individual that they are not alone in their journey, and that others are fighting the same fight by their side.
The factors that make up a person’s environment are able to affect them greatly. Different aspects of life tend to stack up, one on top of the other, and when coping mechanisms are not healthy, these factors can end up negatively influencing a person’s mind and actions. Inpatient therapy and addiction treatment is one of the most beneficial forms of treatment, as clients are removed from their known environment. From the comfort of a treatment center, they can better inspect the different factors of life that may be influencing them, and how to better address or react to those factors. Learning positive coping skills and equipping oneself with the tools necessary to battle an addiction are both possible in a positive and healing environment through inpatient treatment programs.
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