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Overcoming Recovery Plateaus

Overcoming Recovery PlateausMany addiction professionals believe that the life-long journey of recovery has some distinct phases including the following:

  • Early abstinence
  • Maintenance abstinence
  • Advanced recovery

Each phase has certain characteristics and unique challenges that all San Diego residents should be aware of.

Early Abstinence

Upon leaving the treatment center, a person enters the early abstinence phase. This stage is often considered the toughest for several reasons including the following:

  • Living for the first time in years without abusing drugs often makes a recovering addict feel like they are entering a new world of which they are not familiar
  • Friends, family members, and colleagues may either behave in a tentative manner around you or overwhelm you with attention
  • On the physical level, you may have intermittent withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Replacing the psychological dependence with a vision to maintain your sobriety is often tested by a host of triggers that can tempt you into a relapse

To help you resist these challenges, it is important that San Diego residents seek all the support that is available. Reach out to a sponsor, attend support group meetings, solicit help from friends and family, continue individual counseling, or even enroll in an outpatient treatment program if necessary. Do whatever it takes to keep you on the road to recovery.

Maintenance Abstinence

Sustained abstinence for 90 days is considered moving into the maintenance abstinence stage. While you have gotten over the initial adjustment and may be feeling more confident in your recovery, it is still important to continue to attend support group meetings and continue individual counseling.

It is also important for San Diego residents to look for ongoing warning signs that could lead to relapse including the following:

  • Changing your attitude about attending meetings or reaching out to your sponsor
  • Starting to believe that you can handle your recovery on your own; this is the start of denial
  • Increasing any stressors in your life
  • Feeling anxious, depressed, or experiencing mood swings
  • Variations in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Letting your guard down
  • Placing blame on others
  • Making poor decisions
  • Reducing your social involvement; spending more time alone
  • Straying from your daily health and wellness schedule of sleeping sufficiently, eating well, exercising on a regular basis, and participating in stress-relieving activities

It is very important that you are vigilant during this time: evaluate how you respond to various situations, and validate whether the decisions you are making are healthy for you. Make sure you are successfully maintaining control over your emotions, and keep your support options open. Make sure that you remain engaged with others, including attendance at meetings.

Advanced Recovery

After five years of continuous abstinence, San Diego residents are feeling more stable in their recovery. In this phase where you take personal accountability and can maintain your sobriety with more independence, it is important to reaffirm all the aspects of your life that have encouraged this success. One of the most important things for you to keep at the forefront of your mind during this phase is to reach out and seek help at the first sign of concern. Reach out to whomever you need, whenever you need, and as often as you need. You have a greater chance of winning the war against relapse when you use all available resources wisely.

Getting Help Overcoming Recovery Plateaus

Please call our toll-free number any time of the day to learn more about how we can help you recovery from addiction and cope in your recovery.