Toll Free 1 (888) 371-5722

Overcoming Recovery PlateausEven after living for years without their drug, most addicts think of their recoveries as projects that will never end. Once established, an addiction never disappears. The only way to keep it out of their lives is to continually and deliberately pursue and develop a life that does not include substance abuse.

But sometimes the journey of recovery reaches a plateau instead of continuing in an upward progression. Many recovering addicts in Tennessee reach a point in their recovery efforts where they are no longer making progress. Or at least it doesn’t feel as though they are making progress. But learning to work through this plateau of progress can be an important part of the recovery itself.

How Recovering Addicts in Tennessee Can Overcome Plateaus

A plateau in recovery is not as dramatic as a relapse. The signs of a recovery plateau may be subtle, but they can include:

  • Boredom – What began as a stiff challenge has now become easier. The physical withdrawal symptoms, the psychological dependence and the pressure to not relapse have all diminished over time and taken some of the challenge out of recovery.
  • Frustration – Instead of fading, the challenges of recovery remain hard and show no signs of getting easier.
  • Disappointment – Life without drugs and alcohol is not living up to expectations.

A recovering addict in Tennessee can hit a recovery plateau at any period of time when they don’t feel they are making progress.

The Risks of Recovery Plateaus for Tennessee Addicts

When recovery is no longer as rewarding or as involving as it once was, it can be a threat to the continued success of the recovery. Problems that could arise from plateaus include:

  • Complacency – With less immediate reward, a recovering addict in Tennessee may begin to neglect the routines and activities that got him to this point in the recovery.
  • Relationship problems –  Frustration with the recovery may be redirected as hostility toward loved ones.
  • Mood problems – Depression or anxiety could arise from the disappointments of drug-free life.
  • Relapse – With momentum gone, it can be easier to slide backwards into drug use again.

Any of these issues can threaten the gains that have been made in recovery.

How to Overcome a Recovery Plateau

A plateau in recovery doesn’t have to be the start of a relapse or new problems. Many recovering addicts learn to recognize plateaus and take them as signposts of progress. They may also be taken as signals to try new things. When a plateau is encountered, it may be time to:

  • Turn to other projects – If addiction recovery has become routine, look for other challenges to keep up your interest and intensity.
  • Reconnect with people – Talk about recovery with friends or family. They may see more signs of progress than the addict does.
  • Hang in there – Sometimes the only thing to do is stick with the routine. Keep up with the obligations of the recovery plan and accept the plateau as a time to rest and prepare for the next phase.
  • Get used to it – After years of successful recovery, some people find that the process slows down permanently. They adjust to their expectations to account for a less intense, but still crucial, recovery experience.

Working with a mentor or counselor can help Tennessee addicts find the opportunity in the recovery plateau.

Help for Recovering Addicts

If your addiction recovery has stalled or plateaued, call our 24 hour helpline to learn about ways to get back on the right track. We can work with you to find options to help your recovery, no matter what stage you are in. The call is toll free.