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Top 3 Obstacles that Can Derail Your Recovery

Your recovery all starts with a decision to get sober and stay that way—but even the best decisions, backed by the most profound desire to remain in control can come to an end in some cases. While your recovery is ultimately up to you, there are some obstacles that you will most certainly face along the way which could potentially derail your efforts and leave you picking up the pieces to get back on track.

Remember, even if you do suffer from a recovery derailment, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to pick up where you left off and do the best you can. Relapse happens and recovery is not always a smooth sail—but with your continued commitment to sobriety and your decision to take your recovery into your own hands, you can get sober and you can stay that way!


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Negative peer influences and stressful situations can be very harmful to your recovery.

Attitude is a major influence both on your recovery and also on your potential for relapse. If you have a positive attitude, you want to get sober and you want to do well, you probably will! But, if your attitude is on the darker side, you aren’t happy with the thought of getting sober and you don’t really want to work for your recovery, then chances are you will have some problems along the way.

Your attitude can also play a key role in potentially derailing your recovery if you’re not careful. Having a bad attitude can lead you to irrational thinking and may even cause you to make changes to your recovery that you cannot easily take back—keep a positive attitude and you’re likely to see positive change in your life that benefits you in everything you do.

Peer Influence

It’s not only outsiders that you must be aware of when it comes to the potential for relapse, your friends and family may cause negative influence on you too! If you are trying to recover from alcoholism, spending time around friends or family who use alcohol can derail your recovery faster than you can blink if you’re not ready for the potential peer influence.

Outsiders can also influence you in a negative way, especially if you are not prepared. The best way that you can combat peer influence and protect yourself and your recovery, is to steer clear of those who are not open to recovery the way that you are and to avoid situations in which drugs or alcohol are being used or are likely to be used. If it’s friends and family members who abuse these substances, you should talk to them about how the potential for your recovery to be ruined makes you feel and about not participating in the use of drugs or alcohol, at least when you are around.


Illness, especially an illness that causes pain, can derail your recovery quickly. If you have been addicted to prescription drugs, painkillers or heroin, and you suffer an illness that causes pain in your life, you may find yourself ready to turn to drugs to cope. Unfortunately, we cannot always prevent illness and as such, when illness comes on, the use of medication is often accepted—unfortunately, many doctors even prescribe painkillers and other drugs to people who are in recovery not realizing that they are potentially setting them up for serious problems.

If you are sick or in pain, talk with your treatment provider about your past history of substance abuse to ensure that if you are prescribed medication, it’s a safe, non-addictive substance that will not potentially cause you further problems in the future.

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