Insight for the Journey: Developing Refusal Skills

Insight for the Journey: Developing Refusal Skills

Abstaining from alcohol and drugs is challenging for a large variety of reasons. Temptations often come from the inside and include things such as a longing to escape, a need to relax, physiological craving, and a desire to comfort yourself. Additionally, cues, urges, and temptations come from the outside. Certain situations bring about an almost automatic urgency to use again. Walking into some specific environments may trigger intense cravings. Consider the following situations.

Which of these might trigger a desire to use again?

  • Fishing
  • Boating or sailing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Camping
  • After working out at the gym
  • Playing softball
  • Playing golf
  • On a sales call
  • At a holiday celebration
  • Family reunion
  • Going to a sports bar
  • Watching a game on TV
  • Playing frisbee golf
  • On a shopping trip
  • At a birthday party
  • Going to a ballgame or hockey match
  • Being offered wine with dinner
  • Going to VFW meetings
  • At a concert
  • On vacation
  • Watching a TV show at home or with friends
  • After dropping children off at school
  • Being at a using-friend’s house
  • On lunch break
  • Before or after having sex
  • Having dinner in a nice restaurant
  • At an all-inclusive resort
  • Going to a festival, fair, or parade
  • After a movie
  • Stopping with a friend after work

Alcohol and drug addiction determine who you associate with, where you go, and activities you are involved in. Keep in mind that avoiding every place that serves alcohol or avoiding everywhere drugs are available would be impossible. You can, however, find alternate places to go on lunch break, develop different hobbies and activities, and spend time with sober people instead of your usual drinking friends. Developing solid refusal skills will help you avoid dangerous and triggering situations and strengthen your recovery.

Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the ride!

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