7 Common Challenges People Face in Addiction Recovery

Completing a drug and alcohol rehab program and re-entering society as a sober individual come with its addiction recovery challenges. Maybe your loved one is in rehab and you want to understand their struggles in recovery. Or maybe you’re considering enrolling in a rehab program yourself, but your fears are holding you back.

Understanding some of the common challenges in recovery from addiction may provide clearer insight into long-term addiction recovery. It also may help show the many ways our rehab program is designed to help you through those addiction recovery challenges. Here are some common personal issues you may face while completing a rehab program and how we can help.

People discussing addiction recovery challenges during group therapy.

1. Developing New Coping Strategies

Getting sober isn’t just about not using drugs and alcohol anymore. It’s also about establishing a new lifestyle supporting recovery and preventing relapse. A major part of this process is developing new coping strategies to manage stress and deal with anxiety and cravings. In rehab, as you learn to develop these coping strategies, you are establishing a new sense of normalcy. This is both challenging and time-consuming, but well worth the effort. Our counselors and therapists will work with you daily to identify harmful behaviors. After identifying them, you then learn how to modify them so you can thrive in sobriety.

2. Addressing Trauma and Shame Without Drugs and Alcohol

Many recovering addicts use drugs and alcohol as a crutch to deal with trauma and shame. During drug rehab, people in recovery are challenged to deal with trauma and shame without the aid of these addictive substances, which can be some of the most difficult addiction recovery challenges. It requires a lot of effort, time, and bravery to confront these issues head-on and address the deep-seated issues that have contributed to your addiction. In working with counselors and therapists in rehab, you’ll have many opportunities to do this and as a result, you’ll experience rewarding personal growth.

3. Building New Relationships and Repairing Old Ones

According to SAMHSA, having relationships and social networks that provide love, support, friendship, and hope is an essential part of a life in recovery. In rehab, you’ll be challenged to build new relationships with your peers in recovery. You learn how to communicate healthily, trust others, and be vulnerable. While working the 12 steps, you’ll also be asked to make amends with loved ones you hurt while you were actively abusing drugs and alcohol. The amendment process can take weeks, months, or years and it’s never easy. However, it plays an important role in freeing you from your old life of addiction and embracing long-term addiction recovery.

4. Boredom

During your treatment program, you’ll likely follow a structured daily schedule of support group meetings, exercise, meals, personal reflection, and leisure time. After you complete rehab and return home, you may find yourself dealing with boredom. This is one of the most common addiction recovery challenges and can be a big threat to your sobriety. Previously, all of your free time was most likely spent using drugs and alcohol. Now, without those things in your life, you’ll need to learn how to use your time in other ways. These things may include meditating, reading, playing sports, working, or taking up a new hobby. Enrolling in a sober living program after completing your drug rehab program can be great. It can also provide a structure that will help you create a new lifestyle in recovery. It can help fill your free time with group activities, volunteer work, job hunting, and other essential life activities.

5. Relapse

Relapse prevention is one of the biggest challenges in recovery from addiction many people face both during and after rehab. Cravings, stress, anxiety, and old acquaintances can all be potential threats when you’re trying to stay sober. Fortunately, drug and alcohol rehab is designed to help you with this. It helps establish life skills, modify unhealthy behaviors, and develop a peer support system that will keep you firmly rooted in your sobriety. Even if you do have a relapse during or after rehab, you’ll be able to lean on your support system of peers and mentors who will help you get back on track quickly. No one is perfect and sometimes it just takes time. You won’t fail if you don’t give up!

6. Finding Your Purpose

After drug and alcohol rehab, many people find that they lack purpose in life. Adapting to a life that doesn’t revolve around drug and alcohol abuse can be one of the most difficult addiction recovery challenges. One way that drug and alcohol rehab helps recovering addicts combat this issue is by introducing them to new hobbies and interests such as yoga, art, music, and meditation. These are all different aspects of behavioral therapy at Extra Mile Recovery Center. This helps clients find and develop new hobbies, interests, and social groups both during and after rehab.

A woman who is happy to have overcome some addiction recovery challenges and found new hobbies that don't involve substance use.

7. Transitioning Out of Rehab and Back Home

Making the transition from a life of addiction into an independent life of sobriety after rehab isn’t easy for recovering addicts. After you leave the safety net of a rehab center like Extra Mile, you’ll be awarded more personal freedoms. However, you’ll also need to manage more responsibilities at home, find a job, fulfill financial obligations, put your new coping strategies into action, and much more. For many people in recovery, this transition can be extremely challenging and it may be tempting to give up and use it again.

If you’re facing struggles in recovery and trying to adapt to your new sober life after rehab, enrolling in a transitional living program is a great way to continue your addiction treatment and maintain your sobriety. Sober living homes provide structure, accountability, peer support, employment and education assistance, and a sense of camaraderie to help you maintain your sobriety and flourish in your new lifestyle.

Addiction recovery isn’t just a walk in the park. It comes with its difficulties, but having a thorough, experienced, and compassionate team of addiction treatment experts on your side makes all the difference in your recovery struggles.

At Extra Mile Recovery, long-term addiction recovery is within reach. We truly care about our clients and we provide the necessary tools, behavioral therapies, and support systems to deal with addiction recovery challenges. Contact us today to learn more about our individualized drug and alcohol rehab programs.

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