The process of recovering from drug or alcohol addiction can be a challenging one, and the reality is that addiction is a disease that lasts a lifetime. Those who suffer from addiction are never cured. They must spend their entire lives working to maintain the sobriety that they worked so hard for in treatment. Treatment is an important step for many addicts because it offers reprieve from the outside world, which may be full of triggers, including people, who tempt an addict to use.

Once an addict leaves their treatment program, however, they must take the necessary steps to ensure that they are surrounded by people who support and do not pose a threat to their sobriety. This will help ensure that an addict may remain safe and sober for the rest of their lives.

Alcohol Use Is Contagious

Many studies have pointed out that when it comes to binge drinking, people tend to drink more when they are around other heavy drinkers. Just the presence of one heavy drinker in a group of friends can greatly increase the amount of alcohol that is consumed by everyone present. This often happens without anyone who is drinking being fully aware of the degree to which they are being influenced by the drinking habits of those round them. This is one reason that it can be particularly harmful for a recovering addict to socialize with individuals who continue to drink heavily. They may be putting themselves at a much greater risk for impact.

Toxic Influences

A person does not even have to use heavily to be a trigger for an individual who is recovering from addiction. Most people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol use because of emotional triggers that drive them to want to use. Common emotional triggers include sadness, anger, shame, or low self worth. This may be because unpleasant emotions lead an individual to want to dull the pain with a substance. People who behave in a way that leads an addict to feel anger, sadness, or anxiety are a dangerous influence on an addict.

This may especially be the case for individuals who also have problems with substance abuse. When a person who incites unpleasant emotions also uses in front of a recovering addict, they may put an addict at a strong risk for using. Most addiction counselors recommend that recovering addicts avoid contacts with individuals who are emotionally, verbally, or physically abusive.

Discouraging Attitudes

Recovering from addiction is a difficult process and, like any obstacle, it is made much easier when an addict is surrounded by people who express their love for them and their faith in their ability to succeed. Regularly hearing encouraging words and thoughts can provide inspiration in difficult moments and can be a wonderful incentive for addicts to keep working their twelve step programs. Conversely, people who express discouraging thoughts or who make disparaging or mean remarks to an addict can pose a threat to an addict’s recovery. Many people who struggle with addiction also struggle with low self image.

Often, feelings of low self esteem can be triggers in and of themselves. For this reason, recovering addicts are strongly encouraged to seek out the company of those who believe in them and who believe in themselves, and to avoid individuals who bring about only harm and insulting behavior. Recovery is a challenging process, but by surrounding oneself with the right people, a recovering addict can continue to cultivate the tools necessary to continuing to grow as a strong and capable person. Part of life after treatment is knowing which people to remain in contact with and which people to avoid.