Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Addiction recovery often proves to be a lengthy process. Although an alcohol or drug addict may allocate significant time and energy to prepare for recovery, unforeseen challenges may crop up during this process. If these challenges become too overwhelming, a recovering alcohol or drug addict risks suffering a relapse.

There are lots of challenges that an individual may face during addiction recovery, including some challenges that he or she did not even consider. Common recovery challenges that alcohol and drug addicts fail to consider include:

1. Staying Active

The time spent using alcohol and drugs may be significant. Meanwhile, addiction recovery requires an individual to find ways to fill this time. As a result, an individual may feel bored or lonely as he or she figures out what to do with newly available free time. If feelings of boredom or loneliness dominate a recovering alcohol or drug addict’s life, they could result in a relapse.

Staying active is a key part of addiction recovery. Research shows exercise helps a person combat anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues commonly associated with addiction. Plus, research indicates exercise helps a person become stronger and boost his or her self-esteem – both of which can empower a person to stay healthy and focused during his or her addiction recovery.

2. Avoiding Anger and Frustration

For a recovering alcohol or drug addict, even minor issues may sometimes seem like the end of the world. These problems may cause anger and frustration, as well as increase the likelihood of a relapse.

Exercise and a healthy diet often help people manage anger and frustration during alcohol or drug recovery. Together, exercise and a healthy diet help a recovering alcohol or drug addict alleviate tension and feel good. In doing so, they enable an alcohol or drug addict to avoid anger and frustration that otherwise may lead to a relapse.

3. Experiencing Joy

A job promotion or other joyous occasions usually provide many reasons to feel happy. At the same time, these occasions may cause a person’s stress levels to rise, particularly for an individual who is working through the initial stages of alcohol or drug recovery.  

If a recovering alcohol or drug addict experiences the urge to use illicit substances due to a joyous occasion, coping mechanisms can help. For instance, taking a short walk or listening to music may help an alcohol or drug addict relax. Next, this individual can reduce his or her stress levels and feel happy once again.

4. Getting Sufficient Rest

Research shows there is a strong correlation between addiction and insomnia. Oftentimes, alcohol and drugs disrupt an individual’s circadian rhythm. As the effects of alcohol or drugs wear off during recovery, an individual may struggle to get a restful night’s sleep.

Good sleeping habits can make a world of difference during alcohol or drug recovery. Turning off all electronics and eliminating potential sleep distractions can help a recovering alcohol or drug addict relax at bedtime. Also, creating a comfortable sleep environment puts an alcohol or drug addict in position to get sufficient rest night after night.

5. Managing Guilt and Shame

Guilt and shame can be destructive for alcohol and drug addicts. In fact, if these feelings go unaddressed during alcohol or drug recovery, they may lead an individual back to his or her addictive behaviors.

One of the best ways to deal with guilt and shame often involves identifying and accepting these feelings. Guilt and shame are parts of the human experience, and a recovering alcohol or drug addict should strive to understand these feelings. Then, this individual may be better equipped than ever before to accept his or her past mistakes and move on from them.

6. Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions

Commemorating holidays and other special occasions can be difficult, as these celebrations may tempt an alcohol or drug addict to use illicit substances. Fortunately, if a recovering alcohol or drug addict plans ahead for holidays and other special occasions, he or she can minimize the risk of a relapse.

It typically helps to learn as much as possible about a celebration before attending, particularly for an alcohol or drug addict who is still in recovery. With this information in hand, an alcohol or drug addict can prepare for stressful situations. He or she can also take steps to avoid temptations that could lead to alcohol or drug abuse.

7. Engaging with Others

Conversing with a friend or family member, going on a date, or engaging in other social activities can be challenging during alcohol or drug recovery. If a recovering alcohol or drug addict feels stressed during social activities, he or she risks suffering a relapse, too.

Generally, it helps to start slow with social activities in the first few weeks and months of alcohol and drug recovery. Although an alcohol or drug addict should avoid isolation, this individual should also try to gradually engage with others. As an alcohol or drug addict becomes more comfortable in social situations, he or she can effectively engage with others at any time.

8. Keeping Your Finances Under Control

Paying bills, managing a budget, and other financial pressures may add up quickly. If these pressures prove to be too much during alcohol or drug recovery, they may result in a relapse.

When it comes to finances, it usually helps to plan as much as possible. If a recovering alcohol or drug addict creates a list of debt and expenses, for example, he or she can budget accordingly. As such, this individual can develop a plan to keep his or her finances under control both now and in the future.

Choose Clear Sky Recovery for Addiction Treatment

Addiction recovery is rarely simple, and challenges may escalate during the recovery process. Thankfully, Clear Sky Recovery helps alcohol and drug addicts take the guesswork out of addiction recovery. We offer a medically-based ibogaine treatment program backed by clinicians, scientists, researchers, and other addiction experts. Additionally, we provide a safe, peaceful detox environment where our patients can get the help they need to achieve long-term addiction relief.

For those who are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, Clear Sky Recovery is available. With our comprehensive ibogaine treatment program, patients receive the necessary support to overcome their addictive behaviors. To find out more, please contact us today at 305.901.5371.