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Putting an End to Addictive Thought Patterns

How a person thinks can have an impact on their actions, and those who abuse drugs and alcohol have developed negative thinking patterns that keep them trapped in addiction’s vicious cycle.  These patterns can take many forms – resentment, blaming others, bitterness about the past and self-centeredness – all of which can become a reason to justify and continue drug use.  These distorted thoughts can also threaten sobriety, making sober living so unpleasant that relapse is often inevitable.

So, what can be done to stop these addictive thinking patterns?

Play the Tape All the Way Through

Before impulsively making a decision, stop and consider the long-term consequences.  Is the consequence worth making that choice? More than likely it’s not, so reflect on the addictive thinking pattern that almost caused you to react.  Only through personal awareness of your way of thinking can you arrive at a place to stop your old behavior and implement a change.

Be Present

Slipping into a negative mindset often occurs without you even realizing it.  Therefore, a great method for allowing a person to have greater awareness of their thinking processes is to practice mindfulness – or the act of staying in the present.  Mindfulness not only enables you to be more discerning about the thoughts you allow to dictate your behavior, but it also has a calming effect on your mind, which makes it easier to focus on more positive, productive thoughts.

Practice Self-Care

When you feel good, you’re more likely to think positively and stay physically and mentally strong.  Eating well, sleeping enough and exercising regularly provides nourishment to your body, which can go a long way in battling relapse.

Stay Away from Known Triggers

A trigger is any form of stimuli that can prompt cravings to use drugs or alcohol.  It is typically associated with a memory or situation that relates in some way to past use.  Thus, getting – and staying – sober often involves making new friends and moving to a different area of town.  Knowing your triggers ahead of time can prevent you from becoming trapped in negative thought patterns and keep you focused on being successful in your recovery.


Putting down your thoughts and feelings down on paper can be therapeutic, as well as eye-opening on just how negative your thoughts can be.  Having this awareness can provide motivation to start thinking more positively and leave behind old patterns of behavior.

To break these addictive thought patterns, seeking outside support can also help.  Arise Recovery Centers provides intensive outpatient treatment for those ready to take on their drug and alcohol addictions.  Now, with our Fort Worth drug treatment facility open to the public, we’re able to cater to an underserved market and help even more clients develop new life skills that result in long-term recovery.  For more information on our new outpatient program in Fort Worth, Texas please contact us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or by email at [email protected]