For many people who struggle with alcoholism or drug abuse in New York and Princeton, the problem is not entirely internal. As we delve deeper into a life filled with substance abuse, we tend to develop social connections to others who share our predilections for drugs and disengage from those who are intolerant of our habits or do not consume substances to the same degree. With time, many people find themselves surrounded by a social circle in which substance abuse is the norm, and this can make it difficult to see that a problem even exists.
The slide into this kind of social life can be so gradual that it becomes imperceptible. Substance abuse may become not only normal in your social circle, but an important part of belonging. This can make the recovery process even more difficult, as you’ll need to mend your social circle along with your personal habits. Some resist these social changes and, through relapse episodes, discover the hard way that associating with heavy drinkers or drug users during recovery is simply not an option.
Your addiction recovery program can help you cope with these difficult changes and develop new, healthy social connections outside the world of substance abuse. Though your social life may have been molded by years of alcohol or drug use, your recovery gives you a chance to reassess it and even heal positive relationships of the past.
Still, a number of recovering addicts find themselves facing social pressure to use substances at work, and this can be significantly harder to escape. Changing jobs is seldom a realistic option, though especially overwhelming difficulties may make it an unfortunate necessity. Some people are able to cope with work-related social pressures by:
- Changing shifts. If you work an evening or late-night shift, you may be more vulnerable due to fatigue and decreased supervision, especially if surrounded by drug-using coworkers. Changing your shift, if possible, can eliminate some of the triggers that may be causing you problems.
- Developing new creative activities. People often use drugs as a window into the creative world, but it’s important to remember that our creativity and work quality are often higher without substances. Work with your addiction specialist to develop new strategies to prepare for creative activities and speak with others who have found a strong creative voice without using drugs.
When recovering from alcoholism and drug abuse, social issues can be as difficult to contend with as personal ones. If you’re struggling to overcome social pressures during your addiction recovery, don’t hesitate to turn to Dr. Washton for guidance.