Every addiction takes certain risks when they are engaging in substance abuse, and they may become accustomed to taking unreasonable risks that lead to failure and difficulties. In recovery, sober people must continue to take risks, but it is important for them to get involved in healthy risk-taking habits that help them to grow and become better people.
Throughout the rehabilitation process for drugs or alcohol, they must learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy risk-taking and incorporate these ideas into their lives so that they can reach bigger goals. With many of the failures and hardships addicts have endured, it can be hard to get into the spirit of taking beneficial risks because of the fear of the unknown.
Ultimately though, it is only possible for a person in recovery to grow by stepping outside their comfort zone in ways that help them reach achievable goals.
Negative Risk-Taking through Substance Abuse
What makes something a risk or a risky undertaking? Any situation where a person takes action knowing that there could be potentially negative consequences can constitute a risk. People take risks because they believe the benefits may be worth any possible consequences.
However, there are different types of risks that a person can take, which can be either healthy or unhealthy. Addicts are known for taking foolish risks that often lead to dire consequences.
Someone with an addiction might engage in risky behavior such as drinking and driving, damaging their health through repeated substance abuse, breaking the law to support their habit, jeopardizing their career, or hurting family members and friends.
An addiction can involve a lot of risks which inevitably lead to severely negative consequences that outweigh any of the benefits of substance abuse. When an addict decides to become sober, they need to let go of this kind of reckless risk-taking behavior and learn to take different kinds of risks that benefit them rather than destroy their well-being.
Sobriety and Calculated Risks
In recovery, a sober person needs to learn to take calculated risks rather than foolish risks. A calculated risk means that you are able to carefully calculate the probability of failure before you take action.
This type of risk-taking means weighing the pros and cons of an action you want to take and making a more informed decision. With any risk, you can never eliminate the possibility of some type of negative consequence, but you can choose situations where the benefits significantly outweigh the risk.
An addict choosing to become sober or go to rehab is a type of risk in itself. They know going into a situation can be difficult and emotionally challenging, but the benefits of sobriety ultimately make it the best decision.
In recovery, addicts must also take the risk of beginning to trust people, which can be difficult after being isolated for a long time. Becoming closer with others and connecting can feel like a risk because there is always a possibility of being hurt, but in the end, it is beneficial for their progress. Other risks, like trying new activities and doing things that are slightly out of their comfort zone, can help them grow and reach valuable goals without any harm.
In early recovery, taking a few risks can be helpful, but addicts should avoid making any major life changes in the first few months or even the first year of recovery. As they become more advanced in their sobriety, they can eventually start to take bigger risks that help them reach important goals like getting a new job, going back to school, starting a new relationship, or moving to a new city. Facing risks takes effort, but over time it will become easier as each person in recovery experiences growing levels of success.