Social Reflections of Substance Abuse

One of the first caveats in overcoming addiction is self-reflection.  A person dependent on a substance will be asked to do some major introspection in treatment.  Successful treatment must start with an individual admitting they cannot control themselves.  12-step programs can help greatly as most of the steps focus on self-reflection followed by action.  After dealing with self, successful treatment will hone in on social reflection.  Some good questions to begin this portion of the process are:

What were my relationships built on as an addict?

Many people in recovery are asked to contemplate what their relationships with their drug and alcohol using friends are built on.  Contemplation is a long process and it is not easy sifting through what is real and not real about relationships.  Many who go through this process generally conclude most, if not all, of their relationships were based on using drugs or alcohol.  Many in recovery cannot recall a time they hung out together with any common goal other than to party.

What do healthy relationships look like?

Building off of the prior question, this question asks a person in recovery to construct what healthy relationships looks like.  When undertaking this exercise, a recovering person is able to go deeper in their reflection by contrasting pre and post treatment relationships.  This question also draws out what a person in recovery truly desires in their healthy relationships.  This question helps to press on toward creating a new healthy social environment.

What does social interaction look like as an addict or someone in recovery?

Many who reflect on their social behavior as an addict versus a person in recovery quickly realize not many aspects transfer between them.  As a recovered person compares their prior social interactions with the new ones,  awareness of healthy social interactions increases.  For example, many who socialize with other addicts find mostly distrust and selfishness.  Now as a recovered person the brain must be retrained to understand that safe relationships can be built.

How will I build my social network?

After a good amount of time is spent on social reflection, a recovering person is ready to begin rebuilding their social network.  As they build a network based on hope, love, trust, and joy their previous lifestyle becomes less desirable.  Having gone through social reflection, most in recovery view their life as an addict as a waste.  Put a positive spin on it and chalk it up to learning what you do not want in a relationship.



The Lakehouse Treatment Center understands the worlds of active addiction and active recovery. Years of comprehensive experience have helped us build a unique program focused on changing lives and rebuilding families. From detox to sober living, The Lakehouse program focuses on learning how to live and have fun again- a treatment experience like no other. Call us anytime: 877.762.3707


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