How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery can be a challenging journey at times, especially early recovery. For some, it can be easy to fall into patterns of self-sabotage or behaviour or actions that prevent oneself from achieving goals or reaching success.

It is important to recognize self-sabotaging behaviours before they become habitual in order to maintain sobriety and stay on the path of recovery. This article will discuss how to identify sabotaging behaviours, learn ways to avoid them and utilize positive coping strategies in order to maintain addiction recovery.

Signs You’re Sabotaging Your Recovery

Negative Self-Talk

Criticizing yourself or having negative thoughts about addiction recovery can be a sign of self-sabotage. These types of thoughts can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, which can then make it difficult for you to believe you can achieve a successful recovery. Negative thoughts can also cause you to doubt your ability to make positive changes in your life or to believe that you are not worthy of recovery.

Addressing these self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours is important for maintaining a successful recovery. This can be done through therapy, counselling, support groups, and other forms of help.


Refusing to engage in treatment or support services, such as 12-step programs and therapy, is another way of sabotaging your recovery process. These kinds of services are designed to provide you with the necessary tools and guidance in order to make your recovery journey smoother and more successful. Without these services, it is much harder for you to remain motivated and positive throughout your healing journey, leading to setbacks that could be avoided otherwise.

Refusal to Accept Responsibility

Blaming others or refusing to take ownership of your actions taken while under the influence can be a sign of self-sabotage. By avoiding responsibility for your own behaviour, you are making it more likely that these negative behaviours will continue, as well as creating a pattern of other destructive behaviours. This can lead to a host of issues in both your personal and professional life.

Diminishing Sobriety Goals

Believing that sobriety goals are unobtainable or placing less importance on them is another way of sabotaging your recovery. When you do not believe in yourself and your potential, it can prevent you from taking the necessary steps to achieve success. This can lead to frustration, resentment and a lack of motivation, all of which work against your efforts to stay sober. Additionally, when sobriety goals become less important in your life, you may be more likely to partake in risky behaviours that could threaten your progress in recovery.

Giving into Cravings

Allowing yourself to be influenced by cravings and give in to substance use is a sign of self-sabotage when attempting to maintain addiction recovery. Cravings are powerful forces that can lead to irrational thoughts and behaviours, which can undermine your progress in recovery. By giving in to these cravings, you are actively engaging in behaviours that will keep you from achieving your sobriety goals. This can lead to feelings of defeat and discouragement, as well as higher levels of mental and physical stress. Ultimately, allowing yourself to be influenced by cravings is a sure way of sabotaging your addiction recovery efforts.

Lack of Support

Not having the support of family, friends, or professionals can lead to self-sabotage. Having a strong social network of loved ones who are knowledgeable and understanding of addiction can be incredibly helpful in staying on the path of recovery. Without it, you may feel alone and unsupported, often leading you to make choices that could compromise your sobriety. Additionally, without professional intervention or guidance from counsellors or therapists, you may struggle with issues like cravings, triggers and relapse prevention strategies which can further increase the risk of self-sabotage. It is important to have a reliable support system in place in order to help navigate the journey toward recovery.

High-Stress Levels

Becoming overwhelmed by stress can be a sign of sabotaging your recovery process. Stress is a normal part of life but when it begins to interfere with your ability to maintain sobriety, it can become an issue. Stressful situations can lead to feelings of helplessness and despair, which can easily cause you to slip back into old unhealthy habits in order to cope. Addressing stress early on is important in order to avoid self-sabotage. This can involve making lifestyle changes like improving sleep habits or making time for relaxation activities like yoga or meditation, as well as seeking professional help if needed. 

Triggering Situations

Engaging in activities or environments associated with substance use is also a way of sabotaging your recovery. Being in settings that encourage, enable, or glorify the use of substances can increase the temptation to relapse. Such activities should be avoided and replaced with healthy alternatives in order to stay on track with recovery goals. 

How To Avoid Sabotaging Your Recovery

In order to successfully maintain addiction recovery, it is important to identify and address any behaviours that may be sabotaging your progress. Here are some suggestions for avoiding self-sabotage:

  • Reach out for help: Surrounding yourself with positive support is key to maintaining addiction recovery. This includes family and friends, 12-step programs, therapy, and other forms of treatment.
  • Reduce stress levels: Stress can be a trigger for relapse, so finding ways to cope with it in healthy ways is important. Exercise, yoga, mindfulness techniques, and hobbies are all helpful methods of managing stress.
  • Avoid triggers: Identifying and avoiding situations that lead to cravings or substance use can help reduce the likelihood of relapse.
  • Develop new habits: Pursuing activities that bring joy and purpose, such as hobbies and volunteering, can help enhance recovery from addiction.
  • Practice positive self-talk: Speaking kindly to oneself and believing in one’s ability to stay sober is essential for maintaining addiction recovery.
  • Acknowledge progress: Celebrating small victories and recognizing the progress made can be helpful in maintaining sobriety.
  • Be gentle with yourself: Self-compassion is important for addiction recovery, so it is important to practice self-care and be kind to oneself.

Maintaining addiction recovery can feel challenging at times, but understanding and avoiding sabotaging behaviours can help enhance the process. By recognizing these patterns of behaviour before they become habitual and utilizing positive coping strategies, you can stay on the path of recovery.

Addiction Recovery: Reach Out For Help

A life filled with purpose and satisfaction awaits you beyond the hardships of addiction and emotional distress. The secret to attaining it is committing to making positive changes in your life and taking whatever actions are necessary to begin your recovery journey. 

At Into Action Recovery Society, we understand that the road to recovery can be difficult to navigate alone. That’s why we offer professional, evidence-based treatment programs and recovery houses in Vancouver, Canada, as temporary housing options to support you on your journey. Don’t wait any longer, take the initial step towards a better life and reach out to us today.


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