Managing Selective Memory During Addiction Treatment

After a particularly bad episode of drug or alcohol abuse, the wounds are fresh. You may realize acutely that your habits are problematic and, even if just for an hour, decide that you’re done using forever. But as time passes, many of those wounds close up and fade away. The consequences of your actions become less noticeable, replaced instead by fond memories of the high or fun times had while using.

This selective memory, or euphoric recall, keeps many people from seeking out treatment for drug or alcohol abuse in Princeton, but it can also lead you down the road to relapse during your recovery. This line of thought can become a barrier between you and abstinence from any intoxicant by unfairly reminding you of the positive attributes of using while glossing over the negative. It ignores the many hard lessons learned and tempts you into trying to reclaim the enjoyment of the early days of drug use, regardless of the inherent logical flaws in doing so.

If you accept its enticing fantasies, euphoric recall can make your recovery significantly more difficult. It will help you stay focused on treatment to identify these fictions for what they are and reinforce your resolve by:

Thinking It Through

Sure, it seems like harmless fun to crack open just one beer on the couch, or to cut just one line of cocaine with your buddies, but what happens next? Will it really be just one beer? Will you really stop at just one line? What will things look like when you crash and sober up, when the realities of the world come rushing back to confront you?

Whenever you feel nostalgic about using think past the euphoria of the high to the consequences, guilt and disappointment that follow. Think about how your loved ones will react, how much time and money you’ll waste by using again. Remind yourself of all the experiences that led you to treatment in the first place. You’ve walked this path before, so don’t let your longing for the highs outshine the catastrophes of the lows.

Keeping Reminders Handy

Vivid, physical reminders can provide incontrovertible evidence that your euphoric memories aren’t telling the whole story. Let’s say that before treatment for alcohol abuse, you got drunk and crashed your car, leaving a long, unsightly scrape down the left side. Instead of getting a new paint job immediately, it may be a better choice to leave it there, giving yourself proof every time you get in the car that your actions have very real consequences.

Your own memories can betray you during treatment for drug or alcohol abuse in Princeton Junction, so look at any fond memories of your old habits with a great deal of scrutiny. If you’re having trouble overcoming feelings of euphoric recall, don’t hesitate to ask your addiction specialist for guidance.

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