COVID-19 Protocols: Learn More | Get Help Now: (888) 989-9690

What to Expect in Early Recovery

For the addict and the family, what to expect in early recovery can sometimes be unpredictable.

expect in early recovery - family picnic - Fair Oaks Recovery CenterWhen an addict or alcoholic finally admits that they need help and makes the decision to seek treatment their family is filled with relief. The family, friends and loved ones of the alcoholic or addict have usually lived for months, or in many cases, years, in fear of getting a phone call or knock on the door in the middle of the night. When the addict or alcoholic is early in their stay at inpatient treatment, those who care about them will often find themselves getting better sleep than they had since before substance abuse found its way onto their radar. However, as the addict or alcoholic’s time in treatment begins to tick by, the family begins to start wondering what what to expect in early recovery of their loved one.

Addiction and alcoholism is often called a family disease because it effects everyone who knows the sufferer. Early recovery can be a very volatile time for the recovering alcoholic or addict. While actively drinking and using drugs, alcoholics and addicts are using substances to avoid life. Even though treatment is a great place for them to learn new and healthy coping mechanisms it is unreasonable to expect them to implement them perfectly overnight. The drugs and alcohol have been removed from the individual, but it takes time and practice for them to retrain the brain to think in a healthy manner. It is important for the people who care about the addict or alcoholic to not personalize their successes and failures.

Upon reentering mainstream society, the individual in recovery will sometimes have to go through a period of trial and error. They may make mistakes at work and home by trying to handle situations through manipulation or by lashing out in anger like they did in the past. Over time they will learn more and more how to practice spiritual principles in all of their affairs. By doing so, they will start experiencing a level of happiness that seemed unattainable when they were in the throes of alcoholism and addiction. It is natural for an addict or alcoholics loved ones to be confused about what to expect in early recovery and worry about them returning to drugs and alcohol.

It is important to remember that nobody can control an addict or alcoholic. It is up to them to take the actions necessary to obtain permanent recovery. As the addict and alcoholic continues to take positive actions that support their recovery, their loved ones will begin to trust them again. They will learn how to communicate with an openness and honesty that was previously missing, and addicts and alcoholics in recovery often end up being closer to their loved ones than they ever were before drugs and alcohol came into their lives.


If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please contact us at (888) 989-9690.