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There is no cure for addiction. That is, medical detox, comprehensive treatment, complementary therapies, holistic care, aftercare, and support groups are all important parts of making the transition from active addiction to active recovery, but they do not remove addiction entirely.
For this reason, recovery must be an active and ongoing part of your life. There will be moments when someone who doesn’t know you well offers you a glass of wine and you think, “Maybe…” Or, there may be times when you are alone ordering at a restaurant or passing the beer and wine section of the grocery store and think, “I’ve been sober for a long time. One wouldn’t hurt.”
If you have had those thoughts and are considering follow through on them, think again. Having one absolutely can hurt. It can trigger cravings that may have been living dormant for years. Having just one in private can lead to two, three, or more. It can lead to binge drinking, heavy drinking, or a days-long binge that is hard to pull up from. What happens while you are under the influence can mean any number of potential hardships to you and to the people who love you and have come to depend on you.
Whether you call it a mantra that you repeat to help you through a hard time, a reminder that you put on your phone to look at when you have moments of temptation, or just something you say to yourself in that moment when you are about to have a drink in your hand, it can help you do a 180 and get back on course.
In short, if it were possible for you to drink without experiencing any problems in your relationships, with your health, with the law, and/or at work, then you would have figured out a way to make it happen a long time ago. The fact is that you ended up in drug rehab for a reason, and when you implemented the coping skills and information you learned in your life, your life got better. Should you decide to drink – even just one – you put all that you have gained at risk and could end up as bad off or worse than you were when you entered treatment. It’s just not worth it.
Do you believe it is possible to return to active drug and/or alcohol use after addiction? How many people do you know who have lost their lives as a result of relapse? Is it worth the risk to you?