Once you have made the decision to stop using drugs and/or alcohol you will invariably be faced with some challenges, which are common to all in early recovery. Once you have decided to put down the substance you will be faced with emotions and issues which have either been ignored or “medicated” in the past. Again, all who are facing early recovery are confronted with these challenges. Please consider the following:
1. The desire to continue associating with friends with whom you’ve used drugs or alcohol in the past. This can be very detrimental because the newcomer typically has not yet developed the tools necessary to ward off the temptations, which will surely come. As you gain some clean time, you will make new friends who share your goal to stay clean and sober.
2. Anger and irritability are strong feelings, which if left unchecked, can lead to relapse in early recovery. Keeping things simple and stress free in early sobriety will help to avoid these emotions. As your recovery progresses you will develop skills, which will be helpful as you deal with uncomfortable situations.
3. Keeping alcohol and other substances in the house is never a good idea in early recovery. You will be experiencing strong feelings and emotions in early recovery and the desire to change the way you feel right now could easily lead to picking up a nearby substance. Keeping drugs or alcohol at a distance may allow you the time to think things through and avoid relapse.
These are just a few examples of some early risks you may encounter in early recovery. Support meetings are a great place to learn of other risks in early recovery.