How Recovery Environment Impacts Addiction Treatment
People are products of their environment. The home that you were raised in impacted the person that you are today. As you’ve progressed through life, you may have also noticed that you changed depending on the situations you were exposed to. Being in an unhealthy relationship might have made you more angry or sad to the point that you no longer enjoyed your favorite activities. A stressful work environment might have led to physical symptoms such as headaches or insomnia. Your living environment may have even played a role in choosing to self-medicate your stress and anxiety with drugs or alcohol.
Your recovery environment is the one you’re in when you choose to stop using drugs or alcohol. It affects your life as much as any other situation that you’ve found yourself in. Environmental recovery requires you to think about how you live and spend your time, impacting your ability to get sober and avoid relapse. Once you understand how your environment influences your healing, you can see the importance of thinking about where you want to begin your journey to sobriety.
Childhood Home Environments Influence Addiction
The connection between an environment and mental health becomes apparent when you look at childhood trauma. Children have little control over the things that happen in their home, and being exposed to abuse at an early age is a significant risk factor for addiction. As a child, you might have witnessed your parents using substances to cope with negative emotions, or you might have started experimenting with drugs at an early age to block out the pain of being abused or neglected. Environmental recovery strategies often involve looking back at how your past environments affect your present life.
Family Dynamics Pile on the Stress
Families should be a source of support for people in recovery, but this isn’t always the case. When it comes to the environment and mental health, some family dynamics are simply toxic for recovery. You might need to separate from family members who regularly use drugs and alcohol and refuse to get help. Some recovering addicts also need to break away from family members who engage in verbal or physical abuse. In some cases, your family might not mean to create stress. Even visiting a family event where people ask well-meaning questions about your treatment might be stressful when you’re still in the early stages of recovery.
Social Environments Place Sobriety at Risk
Humans are naturally social creatures, and you need to have fun to help relieve stress. However, your social environment can be one of your most significant sources of strength or your biggest downfall, depending upon how you set your life up. Addiction recovery care involves taking yourself out of hazardous social situations such as being in a bar and replacing them with safe ones. As a recovering addict, you’ll be safer enjoying an outdoor activity with your sober friends rather than going to a party where someone might tempt you to have just one drink that always turns into more.
Work Stress Can Lead to Relapse
Not everyone can just quit their job or jump into a new career. However, you might need to take a temporary leave from work to jumpstart your sobriety. Addiction recovery care can also help you learn how to deal with difficult supervisors or coworkers. In a safe environment, you can learn how to manage work stress and practice positive communication skills that help you get along better in the workplace. If you work in a field known for having prevalent drug use, you can work with your counselor to determine if a different work environment is better or if you can use coping strategies to avoid a relapse.
Online Environments Serve as Unhelpful Distractions
Today, people tend to be heavily attached to their electronics. Checking out a friend’s text or social media post might give you a burst of short-term happiness, or you might find yourself experiencing the fear of missing out. Spending too much time on social media is linked to depression, and you might not get enough out of your treatment program if you’re staring at a screen. A recovery environment often has rules in place that limit or outlaw being able to use specific devices throughout the day.
The Road to Recovery
There are times in your life when you need to prioritize your health and safety. The recovery period is one time when you may need to be extra protective over your living environment. Choosing to start your recovery in a peaceful home filled with supportive people who understand your addiction gives you an edge on getting through detox and maintaining your sobriety.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, please contact Nashville Detox Center to talk with our team of clinical experts who are standing by to help you get started on your road to recovery.