Environmental Pressures

Factors of Relapse: Pressures

In every person’s environment, there are pressures that must be perceived and dealt with successfully. These pressures may be subtle or they may be overt. For a formerly addicted person, it is vital to resist these ‘pressures’ if he is to stay sober.

Where do these pressures come from?

  • Peers
  • Schoolmates
  • Business associates
  • Spouses, family, and friends
  • Media
  • Movies and television
  • Social media and networking
someone offering a joint

Many young people say that being encouraged by friends to use marijuana, alcohol or other drugs caused them to start on their drug career. When one is trying to recover from a past addiction, the same kinds of pressures exist. Just because a person gets sober doesn’t mean that he automatically knows how to avoid every temptation.

Environmental pressure to resume drug or alcohol abuse can come from many directions, for example:

girl on social media on phone
  1. Trying to stay sober can make one feel excluded when everyone else at a New Year’s celebration, football game, backyard barbecue or wedding is drinking.
  2. If a person in recovery goes with friends to a dance club, those who are abusing drugs may ridicule the one who doesn’t join in.
  3. Going with friends to a movie that features heavy drug or alcohol abuse may not bother the friends who were never addicted, but may be very hard on the former addict.
  4. If a person resumes a friendship or relationship with a person who is still using drugs or alcohol, the pressure to join in may be irresistible.
  5. Images of one’s current or former friends partying and drinking that have been posted to the internet can also apply pressure.

Most people in recovery find that they must choose friends who do not drink or use drugs. Just as important is the personal ability to make the right choices.

Contents of Factors of Relapse