When we think about our environment, several things may come to mind. An environment can be the physical space you are occupying at that moment and all of the accompanying sights, smells, and sounds. It can also refer to the larger world in which you live, including the oceans and rainforests. It can even be the people you are with. In terms of its role in addiction and recovery, we look at an environment from all of these angles.
Whom people interact with, where they interact, and how they interact contributes to either a positive or negative environment. For teenagers, in particular, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that social media, household, and peers are large components of the environment. In a home in which a teen feels neglected or is abused, he or she may be more likely to experiment with substances as a means of coping with their emotions. This is exacerbated by real or perceived peer pressure, in which teens think they will be accepted by a group if they start using a substance. Teens may falsely believe there is no harm in trying because everyone else is doing it in the media. This has become especially prevalent in the age of social media and instant mobile streaming services.
How Environments Affect Recovery
For those that have previously struggled with addiction and are working hard to stay sober, certain situations, places, or people may trigger a desire to use. You might consider avoiding environments in which you previously used. For example, if there was a particular bar, club, or home you visited to use or visited during an evening of use, you might be triggered. Additionally, if you feel as though you may be pushed back into old habits if you are around people that you previously used substances with, you may need to avoid those individuals. This may be the case for many days, months, or years into your recovery.
In a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it was determined that factors such as access and exposure to substances, level of disadvantage in a neighborhood, and geographic barriers to treatment need to be considered as part of someone’s environment. Through this framework, researchers examined built and socioeconomic environment and the role it plays in addiction and recovery. Of particular importance was the relationship between distance to a treatment facility and the makeup of the neighborhood in which the facility resides. Study participants that lived closer to a treatment facility and identified with the people in that area (race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status) demonstrated higher rates of treatment success.
Addiction Recovery in California
At Asana Recovery, we recognize that environment matters and that’s why we have put so much work into our facility to make it a place you will want to call home. You will wake up in bright, sunny rooms and attend programming in spacious areas or even outside. You will feel inspired to do your best every day because you will be given the best. Contact our team of dedicated professionals today at (949) 438-4504.