Keeping tabs on your recovery is a day-by-day effort. But there are lurking troubles that can make it more difficult.
In general, women usually use drugs or alcohol for different reasons than men. They tend to become addicted faster and by using smaller amounts of drugs than men. There are also different red flags for women as opposed to men for relapse.
David Sack, M.D., explains the top five challenges that pose a threat to women in recovery:
#1 Getting into Romantic Relationships Too Soon
Early-stage romantic relationships are one of the most significant threats to recovery. If they go awry, the loss can send recovering addicts into an emotional spiral. Until their new coping mechanisms are securely in place, it is not unusual for relapse to follow every time a relationship goes wrong.
Researchers from the University of Nevada found that women in particular are at risk of relapse as a result of interpersonal conflicts and low self-worth connected to intimate relationships. Early recovery is a time of self-discovery, when women are figuring out who they are and what they want, perhaps for the first time in their lives.
A relationship during this time is likely to replace recovery as the primary focus, often with devastating results.
David Sack, M.D., is board certified in Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry. He is CEO of Elements Behavioral Health, a network of addiction treatment centers that include Promises Treatment Centers, The Ranch at Nunnelly, The Sexual Recovery Institute and The Recovery Place.