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Sometimes critically examining our addictions and all of the consequences they bring with them can help us make the choice to get help and actively work towards recovery. We often don’t want to look at the effects our addictions are having on us. We’re ashamed of all the havoc they wreak on our lives, on our relationships, on our sense of self. We’re embarrassed and full of regret. We’re afraid of even worse things happening down the line, and we live in fear, sometimes panic even, about what’s to come. Oftentimes we avoid thinking honestly and objectively about all the difficulties we’ve incurred because of our addictions. Our drugs are making us think even less clearly, clouding our judgment and dulling our instincts. In addition, all of the fear, angst and confusion we’re feeling are keeping us from being able to think clearly about the consequences of our addictions. Similarly, our resistance to being sober, our dependence on drugs and our needy attachment to them keep us from being honest with ourselves, and we live in denial and avoidance much of the time.

Many of us suffer extreme consequences to our addictions. We might suffer severe financial hardship. We might lose our jobs, our homes and our possessions and be forced to file for bankruptcy or have our homes foreclosed and vehicles repossessed. Our addictions might cause our partners to feel they are no longer able to live with us, and they might decide they can no longer put up with the chaos, turmoil and emotional distress. We might have intense conflict within our relationships. As a result, we might be forced to go through divorce or separation, and we may even risk losing custody of our children. When these things happen and we lose loved ones because of our addictions, we understandably blame ourselves and are filled with regret, sadness and remorse.

Other consequences of our addictions might appear less extreme and less visible to the outside world but are no less detrimental. We might suffer from heightened depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other mental health issues. We might experience more conflict in our relationships and friendships, starting fights, mistreating or neglecting our loved ones, failing to be there for them and hurting them in various different ways. These consequences are just as painful as the more visibly obvious ones and can affect our lives in debilitating ways.

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you get back the life you love. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.