If you have a substance abuse problem, you may be interested in setting addiction recovery goals in 2020.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the benefits of setting addiction recovery goals this year.
Why You Should Set Addiction Recovery Goals
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are more men than women in treatment for addiction.
Other reports state the way men move through the addiction process, from acquisition to relapse, is much different than women. For example, men are more likely to engage in using substances to fit in with the group. In addition, men exhibit greater symptoms of withdrawal but can stay sober for a longer period before relapse.
This is good news if true. It means you have more time to work on your sobriety. This also means addiction recovery goals for men need to focus on specific issues related to them as not only an individual but as a male individual.
Setting addiction recovery goals are a must. They give you hope for something greater. They let you know you are still in the game. And you are, still in the game!
Addiction Recovery Goals for Men
Setting addiction recovery goals at the beginning of the year is a great way to start your journey in the right direction.
The new year provides a sense of structure – you’re at the beginning, clean slate.
To help you get started, we’re exploring a few addiction recovery goals to consider below.
Here are five addiction recovery goals for men.
1. Take Advantage of People (Positive Resources)
You know how to take advantage of people. You did it to maintain your addiction.
Now it’s time to do the same in order to maintain your recovery. People want to help you reach your addiction recovery goals. They have access to recovery education, job leads, therapeutic support, rides to meetings, sober social activities, and an understanding of what it means to struggle.
Take advantage of what they offer. Don’t get into the rut brought on by stinking thinking. You are not burdening them, you are deserving of their help, and they do want to help you.
2. Address Your Mental Health Disorders
Which came first, the mental health disorder or the addiction? It’s a vicious cycle with an impossible answer. Sure, there are people out there that just have a drug addiction. When in recovery, they have no other mental health issues.
But for most in recovery, there is an underlying mental illness. Long-term drug use can create mental illness simply by altering the chemicals in your brain. This means more than likely; you are struggling with some mental health problems.
Make one of your first addiction recovery goals to establish a long-term relationship with a mental health professional. You can start this process while in sober living. In fact, it is encouraged you make your mental health a priority while in a sober home.
3. Don’t Be Too Manly to Ask for Support
This is not all your fault. For ages, society has put an unrealistic expectation on men. Men are supposed to be strong and independent. It is implied you have everything you need to be successful.
This is false!
Today, men are stronger when they do ask for help. It takes a lot more courage to ask for help. Weakness is trying to fight off relapse all by yourself. So, make building a support system a top addiction recovery goal.
4. Avoid the Negative, All of It
You may think you have to move right back into a negative home environment with still using addicts and co-dependent family members. You may think that if you aren’t friendly with old friends you will experience trouble. You may even think you have to return to an old job with lots of triggers due to lack of opportunity.
No. You. Don’t.
This is your recovery and because staying sober is your only goal right now, you can do anything you want to make that happen. You can stay longer in sober living and gain more coping tools and sober living experience.
You can move to a different county or state where you don’t have drug contacts, negative triggers or a bad reputation. This is your time to start fresh and avoiding negative people, places and things will help.
5. Don’t Get Bored, Get Busy
One of the biggest triggers mentioned by recovering addicts is they don’t know what to do with down time. They know how to go to work. They know how to attend meetings. They know how to build sober relationships.
It’s when they are all alone and feeling bored that makes relapse more attractive. But you and I both know, relapse is ugly. To avoid going back through the hell relapse can bring, have a boredom back up plan.
Make a list of sober activities, as well as sober friends who will walk you through the periods of boredom. You can also pick up overtime at work, a second or third job, or a new hobby to help.
Setting addiction recovery goals like the ones listed here can help you succeed in your journey. Other tips include:
- Never Think “I Got This”. Avoid being overconfident. The disease of addiction loves to here you think you have won. That’s when it steps in and reintroduces itself.
- Be Honest, Even When You Hate the Truth. Tell the truth always, especially to yourself. If you can’t attend a party because you may have a craving, say it. If you need help, admit it and go get it.
- Lower Your Expectations of Others (Or At Least Be Realistic). It’s easy to feel disappointed in people. You are struggling to survive, and they do something that triggers a craving. Most people do not want to make recovery harder for you. But because they don’t know what recovery is like, they don’t know what to say or how to act. Don’t expect them to be perfect at supporting your recovery. If you lower your expectations, your disappointment will also decrease.
Take setting addiction recovery goals seriously. Spend ample time evaluating your situation and set goals that will give you the best chance of success. You can do this.