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Importance of Environment in Addiction Recovery

Like any other disease, researchers are constantly at work looking for causes, triggers and events related to addiction recovery and treatment. Much of this deals with the underlying reasons behind addiction, and at Renaissance Ranch, a big part of our addiction recovery center program is about identifying the roots of addiction and addressing them organically.

A big part of this, and one that’s receiving plenty of attention from researchers in recent years? The environment. “Environment” refers to the circumstances and conditions by which a person is surrounded, and it can have an enormous effect on the formulation and continuity of an addiction. Environment is commonly split into four major areas for addiction – let’s look at each, and its potential effects.

Family Domain

Family is often discussed in a genetic manner when it comes to addiction, but in this case, the family domain refers to all the social and circumstantial characteristics of a family. This is a two-way street – the family domain can have a huge influence over an individual’s propensity for addiction, and addiction itself can have an enormous observable effect on other family members.

In some cases, this is why residential facilities are used to begin addiction treatment. There can often be codependency issues within the family unit, and the environment can contribute to many addiction triggers. Most programs, though, including ours, also emphasize family therapy.

Peer Domain

The peer domain consists of a person’s social groups and the places where they congregate with these groups. Peers who engage in addictive behaviors, particularly within the substance abuse realm, are the largest contributor to a person developing an addiction – even larger than the family domain. On the flip side, peers can be instrumental to addiction recovery through support and motivation.

Work/School Domain

This refers to any obligating circumstances in a person’s life, areas where demeanor will naturally be different than in other social settings. A work domain may only have a small influence on addiction, but addiction will often have a large impact on performance and reception within this domain. Stress factors here do play a potentially large role in addiction, however.

Community Domain

The extent to which a community can contribute to addiction or help with recovery will be largely determined by the individual’s involvement with the community. Unfortunately, few communities out there are fully untouched by substance abuse. Recovering addicts who become part of recovery communities are much more likely to show positive recovery traits than those who remain isolated, however, meaning community is very important.

To learn more about the effect of environment on addiction, or to find out about any of our addiction treatment programs, speak to the caregivers at Renaissance Ranch today.