There are many factors involved with addiction and substance use disorder (SUD). However, a person’s engagement with addictive substances like drugs or alcohol is not somehow the product of any kind of moral failing. Rather, one of the most profound factors that can influence the development of SUD is a person’s environment, both while growing up and in their current living state. While the environment can be a major influence in the development of SUD, it is also possible to form a new environment in sobriety to reflect a person’s sober transformation. Understanding the impact of environment on SUD can empower those in recovery to utilize the environment as a recovery resource for their continued success in overcoming SUD.
The Impact of Environment on the Development of SUD
Each person’s environment is a potent and influential part of daily life that encapsulates much more than a person’s psychical setting. While the physical elements of the environment certainly have an influence, with exposures to seeing alcohol or drugs used or in the house from a young age directly affecting an individual’s perception of their use or causing an individual to normalize unhealthy levels of use, a person’s environment also incorporates the people and cultures that affect a person in daily life.
The people of a particular environment can have profound effects on the acceptance, perception, and even use of drugs or alcohol, and can facilitate the development of addiction. Regular use of these substances in a particular environment can cause an individual to adopt a more lenient or less moderated approach to their own use, or cause an individual to perceive their negative effects as less serious.
However, others may indirectly impact a person’s use of drugs or alcohol by introducing toxic atmospheres. Either home or workplace environments can introduce stress or anxiety, or expose an individual to other difficult social interactions, each of which can facilitate the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Some of these stresses that may impact the development of addiction may include:
- Toxic relationships
- Overly competitive mindsets or atmospheres
- Abusive individuals, either psychically, verbally, or emotionally
- Neglect, especially during younger developmental years
Lastly, a person’s environment is also comprised of a unique culture specific to a subset of people, and these cultures can also have wildly varying effects on a person’s sobriety. Some cultures may normalize or accept the use of drugs or alcohol as not just a normal way to celebrate accomplishments or cope with stress, or may even encourage such self-destructive behaviors or mentalities. Recognizing when a certain culture around drugs or alcohol permeates a particular environment or individual is paramount to distancing oneself from these ideas and creating a healthier, sober life.
Using the Impact of Environment as a Recovery Tool
However, the impact of environment does not always have to be negative, and Redpoint is committed to creating an environment that not only challenges the perceptions, ideas, and cultures instilled by less supportive environments but replaces them with people and cultures unified around healing and sobriety.
Supporting a Shift in Mindset
Redpoint’s focus on community healing empowers those engaged in effective outpatient programs to overcome some of the most difficult hurdles commonplace throughout the journey to sobriety – expressing vulnerability. By personalizing each treatment program and supporting change by facilitating an environment where emotional expression is not just accepted but encouraged, it is possible to challenge the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism while challenging stresses, mental health needs, and past traumas in tandem.
This shift in mentality can empower those pursuing recovery to embrace not just potential vulnerabilities, but also a mindset that can better adapt to change and create the scaffolding for a sustainable sober future.
By normalizing sobriety and healing, The Redpoint Center is also committed to creating a culture shift that focuses on healing. There can be many misconceptions about words like “recovery” or “sobriety,” and curating an environment that destigmatizes these words to facilitate a healthy approach to healing can be a great impact of environment on a person’s motivation to pursue sobriety and ability to maintain sobriety outside of our walls.
The people that surround an individual throughout their journey can greatly impact the use or abstinence from drugs or alcohol. At Redpoint, each individual has access to not just their own personalized program, but also a community of peers and professionals that all understand the challenges of addiction recovery. The perspectives, experiences, stories, and social connections that can be built on mutual respect and solidarity in sobriety can be a truly transformational experience, with such an accepting environment continuing to impact a person’s mental health and even the development of their own sober practices and routines.
Start Your Journey at Redpoint
The impact of environment on the use of addictive substances cannot be ignored. However, it is always possible to choose what kind of environment a person strives to be a part of, and committing to being engaged in a supportive environment can have truly transformational effects. The Redpoint Center’s commitment to curating a healthy and sober environment based on acceptance, change, and healing can facilitate the best, most personalized treatment and therapy options for overcoming SUD and its continued effects on a person’s physical and mental health.
Being a part of the right culture and having access to supportive peers, professionals, and influences are all paramount for an effective and sustainable sobriety. At The Redpoint Center, we are committed to not just developing a personalized treatment program to address your needs but to fostering a community of healing and an environment that champions each person’s sober journey and dedication. With locations across Colorado, we are prepared to create an environment and social circle that can best support your sober change. We utilize a combination of proven therapeutic modalities, including CBT, EMDR, and experiential therapies, and a cultural focus on healing and community to birth an entirely new lifestyle. For more information, call us today at (303) 710-8496.