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We all want to belong somewhere, or to some group. Being accepted becomes a goal of recovery.

However, you might find yourself accepting invitations to situations that you know are high-risk to your recovery. This is especially true of the festive season. Face it, no-one likes to be excluded from events… but in your recovery it might be vital that YOU exclude yourself from certain events. A high-risk situation is any situation that might reinforce an association with substances, or that might lower your resistance to the temptation to use. These high-risk situations should be avoided at all costs as the chance of relapsing in these instances is almost guaranteed! No matter how strong you believe you are, if you are new to recovery you are extremely susceptible to these triggers! Be aware, that high-risk doesn’t only mean specific situations but can also include things like conflict, negative emotions, lack of a support system… being aware of what your triggers are is an important part of being able to identify what is high-risk for your recovery. One of the most common high-risk situations and the one that is most often tested by those in recovery, is peer pressure. ‘If you stand in a pit full of snakes, eventually you will be bitten’. If you insist in spending time with so-called ‘friends’ who are actively using substances, you will eventually use those substances yourself. Doing so is often cited as the reason why an individual relapsed. Why test yourself like that, and why spend time with people who aren’t there to support you? Remember, you have the power to control what happens around you… by doing this you can retain your inner power. Choose your situations carefully, and always remember your recovery needs to influence your choices.

Medium-risk on the other hand are situations where there is less of a chance of relapse, but that chance still remains! Low-risk situations are those where there is virtually no chance of using substances. Low-risk is obviously the best for your recovery and these are the situations in which you should be looking to engage. Knowing what situations, or the people that can help you in your recovery is as important as knowing what those high-risk situations are!

Remember, no-one is going to respect your recovery if you play fast and loose with your recovery!

Join us next week when we will discuss HALT, and how it impacts on your recovery.