Top 5 Reasons Why Addicts Struggle with Early Recovery and Detox

Girl Sadness  by Flachovatereza via Pixabay (Public Domain)

Girl Sadness by Flachovatereza via Pixabay (Public Domain)

In the early days, months, and even years of recovery from addiction, there is a time of readjustment to live without alcohol or drugs. Maintaining sobriety can be every bit as challenging as achieving it in the first place and illustrates just how the journey to recovery is a lifetime commitment.

However, it’s important not to let this overwhelm you. Our team here at Capo Canyon Recovery can help make sense of the tough times ahead. By understanding what you may experience in the early days of recovery and how best to respond to it, you’ll find the path to recovery becomes less riddled with obstacles. Here are the main reasons addicts find recovery difficult in the early stages:

Staying in an Enabling Environment

One of the most important – and often most difficult – aspects of your recovery is that you need to remove yourself from any friends, family, or co-workers who use alcohol or drugs. It is by staying in their company that you may find yourself led into thinking that you can get away with abusing ‘just once’ or that your addiction is more commonplace than it is when you surround yourself with others who are still addicted.

Anger, Depression, and Irritability

It’s easy for things to get blown out of proportion in the early stages of detox and recovery but sometimes they can trigger a relapse if not managed correctly. It’s all too easy to see drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate through the times when you’re feeling intense anger or sadness in early recovery. If you expect your mind to play these tricks, you are better prepared to deal with it.


This can be particularly difficult if you have had to remove yourself from family and friends who are still abusing alcohol or drugs. There’s also the ‘hole’ in your life that has replaced the time lost when you were on drugs or drinking, and you might find it difficult to keep yourself engaged and occupied. Try finding a new routine in small ways at first. Take yourself off for a long, brisk walk, start going to a gym, or explore altogether new activities and you’ll be sure to find a lot out about yourself and what you enjoy doing.

Feelings of Joy or Celebration

Just as feeling down can trigger a relapse, if you receive some really good news or there are other exciting events going on in your life, you may feel the need to ‘celebrate’ by revisiting your addiction. If you prepare yourself mentally for a daily struggle against these urges as you set out on your recovery, you’ll be less likely to have knee-jerk reactions like these.


One of the most common reasons for addicts struggling in the early days of recovery is lack of sleep. For many addicts, alcohol or drugs have been ‘putting them to sleep’ for long enough for that to become a habit in itself. It’s very easy to tell yourself that you can just have enough substance to help you get to sleep but you know that it’s one step towards relapse. Find other ways to help you sleep like exercise, a restful environment, or listening to music to replace the soundtrack of your thoughts.

Find the Support for your Early Addiction Recovery at Capo Canyon Recovery in California

To be sure that you are surrounded by the right people in the early part of your recovery, you should consider talking to the experts here at Capo Canyon Recovery. We offer drug and alcohol detox services at our clinic near Aliso Viejo, CA that includes counselling and support during the early stages of your detox and recovery. If you’re seeking drug, alcohol or prescription drug detox in Laguna Niguel, CA we have the experience and skill to help you through. Contact us today for a consultation in confidence.

Read More on the Blog: Three Healthy Habits to Adopt After Detox

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