Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Recovery Mistakes Addicts Make

The 8 Biggest Recovery Mistakes An Addict Can Make

Posted by Myra Davis to Prevention

Now that you’re in recovery, you’re invincible, right? I mean, you know how terrible addiction made you feel, you’ve learned tools that help you stay clean, and you’re sure you’ll never touch another drug in your lifetime. But I have sobering news: Every addict can make recovery mistakes. In fact, here are eight big mistakes I’ve seen users make. Learn from them so that you can maintain your recovery.

1. One of the Biggest Recovery Mistakes – Giving in to a Craving

Every recovering addict has moments when they can smell, taste, and feel drugs. You thought you were alone, didn’t you? I know you can’t keep cravings from landing in your lap, but you can call a friend, walk your dog, or grab your paintbrushes and resist those cravings. Whatever you do, don’t give in to your cravings because that action will only take you backward in a hurry.

2. Quitting Your Support Group

Whether you regularly attend a 12-step group, religious services, or a small accountability group, stay connected. Walk away from your support group, and you open yourself up to strong temptation and trials you could have avoided.

3. Hanging Out With Old Friends

The addicts you used to score or use drugs with are no longer your friends. You can’t reform them by hanging out or talking with them. They will, though, drag you back into an active addiction. To be safe, stay away from bad influences and make clean and healthy friends.

4. Firing Your Therapist

You’ve made progress working with your therapist, so that means you’re done, right? You need to discuss discharge with your therapist and make that decision together. Don’t rush to get out of this beneficial relationship before you’re ready to tackle the world on your own.

5. Getting Caught up in Family Drama

Maybe you’ve been clean for a while, but is your family healthy? Their dysfunctional, enabling, or codependent behavior could be keeping you from a successful recovery. For your well-being, consider distancing yourself from the drama.

6. Thinking You Have to be Perfect

I have yet to meet a perfect person, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t be the first to achieve this accolade. So relax. Give yourself permission to feel tempted, stressed, or angry. Just don’t sit down in defeat. Stand up, consult your treatment plan, and move forward.

7. Feeling Overconfident

With 30 days, three months, or three years of sobriety under your belt, you know you’re healed and ready to succeed at this recovery thing. Wrong. I know dozens of addicts who relapsed as soon as they got cocky about their recovery. Please don’t let your progress sabotage your continued success.

8. Giving Up

No matter what happens, you can’t give up. You’ve come too far! Whether you’ve already relapsed or are seriously considering buying drugs right now, you need to stop. Turn to a trusted friend and talk about what you’re feeling or meet with your therapist and tweak your treatment plan. Take a step forward and get help before you throw in the towel and go back to the drugs you’ve fought so hard to overcome.

The great thing about recovery is that it means you’re living without drugs. I won’t lie, though. It’s not easy. But you have to keep moving forward. Don’t make these eight big mistakes that many addicts in recovery make. You deserve better than to make mistakes, and I know you can make choices that keep you on the path to a successful recovery.


  • Amanda

    I think this is a very interesting article. It gives “the don’t” of handling recovery for an addict. I believe that a person can really recover if they follow and do not do these don’t. I again really think that it is the support you have around you that makes all the different in the world. If you have positive people that want to see you do well and succeed at your recovery, then you will make it. Any thing short of that a person will not make it. Don’t give into a craving or give up, just make sure that you have found a team of people that can be there for you and will stick through the thick and the thin. Please if you are addicted to a substance find help because good help is out there!

  • Walter

    This is some good advice! Do not give up, and do not think that you will never again have to fight the terrible battle with addiction. There are people who go through the same things that you do, so it is wise to stay connected to people that will help to push you along. Like the philosopher who wandered the streets with a lamp in daylight searching for an honest soul, there are people all around you who have their own skeletons and have made their own mistakes. There is no need to feel that you are the only one who has had a problem with addiction. There is a lot to be said that man is a pack animal and survives the best when he is with a group that has similar feelings, and goals. Find those around you that have these and use this as a step in the right direction to finding a peace with being sober that the other people who you had in your life will not give you. Also, if you have anyone in your life that is dragging you down or pulling your attention off of your recovery, then I recommend distancing yourself from them. They may ask questions, and this may be a hard thing to confront, especially if it is a loved one, but I believe that it will help you in the end, as if they truly are someone who loves and cares for you, they will not be leading you down a destructive path.

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