People that enter drug treatment do so with a tremendous amount of baggage. Drug and
alcohol addiction has thrown their lives into total disarray, and through the treatment services
and expert care provided at a drug rehab facility they can begin to piece their lives back
together. When those new in recovery leave treatment and transition back home, they have the
tools they need to restore calm, structure and order in their lives. While newly recovering
individuals feel a strong sense of empowerment and excitement in building a new life in
recovery, danger can lurk beneath the surface.
For those who are newly sober, they will encounter many obstacles in their recovery
journey and many of them are mental in nature. Perhaps the most common mental obstacle is
the perception that recovery is boring . There is no doubt that recovery brings stability, but for
some newly recovering addicts, they may not know how to handle the newfound peace that
comes with stability. Despite all the good that is happening in their lives, they will seek out
drama at every turn. In these cases, it can be said they have replaced an addiction to drugs and
alcohol with an addiction to chaos.
What Does It Mean To Be Addicted to Chaos?
An addiction to substances is often seen as being the tip of the proverbial iceberg in regards to
the deeper issues an addict has experienced in their life. For many, they come from a
background where there is great dysfunction. Whether it is personal trauma, family issues and
history with addiction, or mental illness, many who experience this type of environment can
come to view it as a normal part of everyday lifeand they will resort to substance use in order
to help “make sense of things”.
When the addict undergoes drug treatment and starts to get sober, a couple of things can occur.
First, the addict experiences anxiety in regards to the scope of the deeper underlying issues that
lie at the root of their addiction. Secondly, they may gravitate towards any drama that may be
occurring in their lives as a coping mechanism to deal with that anxiety. If underlying issues go
unresolved during treatment and carry over into their recovery outside of rehab, those new in
sobriety will continue to seek out chaosand in many ways can be addicted to chaos.
The concept of chaos addiction may be more difficult to grasp due to its abstract nature, but the
addictive patterns it demonstrates in a person’s behavior can have similarities to more
commonlyknown addictive behavior. Because of these similarities, people who are in recovery
can take steps to minimize the phenomenon of chaos in addiction.
Tips to Managing An Addiction to Chaos
Seek Professional Mental Health Help
For those who may be showing the signs of chaos addiction in their recovery, the first thing that
must be done is to seek the help of an experienced mental health provider. These professionals
can perform comprehensive evaluations in order to identify any underlying disorders that may
have gone undiagnosed. With a proper diagnosis, the appropriate mental health interventions
can be implemented along with any complimentary substance abuse interventions.
Engage in Mindful Meditation Practices
Learning mindful meditation techniques have long been a staple of life and coping skills
education at many drug rehab centers. Easy to master, meditation allows people dealing with
anxiety and stress to focus their thinking in the present moment. When someone engages in
meditative practices, it invokes a parasympathetic response from the body which lowers heart
rate, blood pressure and it decreases the production of stress hormones in the body.
Learning to Identify Relationships, Environment and Circumstances That Promote Chaos
People in recovery who find themselves becoming addicted to chaos need to have the same
mindset they adopted during treatment, which is to avoid the people, places and things that
cause chaos in their lives. There needs to be a clear identification of what causes dysfunction in
one’s daily life. While it may not be possible to avoid these situations, those who are in recovery
from substance abuse need to find healthy and proactive ways to deal with the stress and
anxiety that accompany chaos.
Learning to Set Boundaries
A common thread for those who are addicted to chaos is the fact they were raised in a home
environment in which personal boundaries were not respected. To minimize chaos in recovery,
those who are newly recovering need to learn ways to set limits where others are not able to
overstep their bounds. For example, if someone is speaking to a person who is highly negative
of themselves or others, they must learn to redirect the conversation to a more positive place or
leave that conversation altogether.
Chaotic Behavior Needs to Be Seen as Relapse Behavior
There are many in recoveryespecially early in recovery who view a relapse has a sudden
event. In reality, relapse is the result of a myriad of behaviors that occur for a significant period
before the actual relapse event. For those in recovery who allow chaos to control their life, they
need to immediately recognize that the anxiety and stress they are feeling are telltale signs that
a return to active substance use may be near. With that recognition, they can take the necessary
steps to get stable.
Has Your Life Spiraled Out of Control Because of Drug and Alcohol Addiction? Call Valley Hope Association Today!
Has your drug and alcohol use creating a cycle of dysfunction in your life that is too
overwhelming to handle? Don’t wait another day to address your substance abuse issues; take
back control of your life and call the addiction professionals at Valley Hope Association. For
nearly 50 years, Valley Hope Association has provided addicts with the proven and effective
treatment programming and expert care they need to break free from substance abuse for life
Make your recovery a reality today by calling Valley Hope Association tollfree at 1-800-544-5101
Valley Hope’s outpatient treatment facility in St. Louis offers the greater metropolitan area a full range of caring, comprehensive treatment services during our new extended hours from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Friday.
St. Louis Valley Hope provides the traditional Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that includes individual, family, and group counseling, Continuing Care, Education, and Assessment/Evaluation services. For those who would like to increase the structure of their treatment experience, our staff can help coordinate IOP with an extended care home that partners with Valley Hope and provides a full range of daily recovery activities as well as a comfortable living environment.
Traditional IOP group sessions are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. or from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Family members of current IOP patients attend IOP Group sessions every Friday.
Other services for family members, including those who may or may not have a loved one enrolled in treatment at Valley Hope, include a weekly family-only informational group that is held from 6:00 to 7:00 pm each Tuesday. This group is open to all family members –please call 314-514-9220 for information about attending this no-cost group. Family Intensive Treatment is a 4-week online program geared to family members; our staff can help set this up for you.
One-hour continuing care group sessions (for those who have recently completed a residential or Intensive Outpatient Program) are held Tuesdays at 1:30 and 7:30 pm and Thursdays at 9:30 am and 5:30 pm. Education Programs are tailored to meet each individual’s personal, legal or employment needs or requirements.
St. Louis Valley Hope’s comfortable environment features two group rooms and a coffee shop available to patients, family members, and alumni. Weekly Alumni Group is held every Tuesday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm and Renewal/Alumni Group is held for both the morning and the evening IOP groups on every fourth Wednesday. The Renewal/Alumni Group begins at 9:00 a.m. or 5:30 pm for refreshments and fellowship time followed by a one-hour speaker/discussion group held during the morning IOP group from 9:30 to 10:30 and during the evening IOP group from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.
Don’t hesitate to call 314-514-9220 during office hours from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Friday; our knowledgeable and friendly staff is available for phone or office consultation with you or your loved one.
We accept most forms of private insurance. Self-pay options are also available. St. Louis Valley Hope is licensed by the Department of Mental Health in Missouri and accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JC).
Are you a business looking to partner with VH? Perhaps your organization needs access to an expert in substance use disorder treatment.