Dangers of Drinking and Drug Use in Recovery

Addiction treatment for drugs for young men and teens focuses on dealing with the substance being abused. As you or your loved one progresses through treatment and recovery, eventually, they will have to come to terms with their drug abuse as they reintegrate back into their normal routines. There is ongoing research about whether people can successfully recover from drug abuse if they drink and the dangers it poses. Before we look at the dangers of drinking and drug use, we need to first understand why someone would turn to alcohol. 

Why Would Someone Recovering from Drugs Turn to Alcohol?

Adults of the legal drinking age have access to a substance that is commercialized and readily available. Even when underage, teenagers can be very resourceful when they want to drink. 

Many teens and young adults are worried that they will feel ashamed if their family, spouse, or friends find out they relapsed. Depending on the extent of the problems their addiction created, the substance abuser may still be working on healing old wounds. 

Rather than face the consequences of relapsing on drugs, drinking can be an enticing outlet, especially when faced with stressful situations. It is easy to make excuses, like telling yourself that you never had a problem with alcohol, only drugs. 

Additionally, when put into situations where alcohol is available and your peers are drinking, they may encourage you to join in and have a drink with them. After all, what is one or two drinks since you only had a drug abuse problem? 

Furthermore, many young adults that were drinking little to moderately when abusing drugs may feel they have a handle on their drinking, so it will not spiral out of control like their drug abuse. As such, they can have a view on drinking as it will not affect their recovery efforts. 

Now that you know some of the reasons why someone would drink when recovering from drugs let’s look at some of the dangers they could be facing. 

Danger #1: Drinking and drug use could increase the likelihood of a relapse. 

Drinking causes changes in the brain that lowers inhibitions with feelings similar to many types of drugs. Drinking also could increase cravings for your preferred substance. With the combination of lowered inhibitions and increased cravings, because you are enjoying how alcohol makes you feel, the chances of relapsing become very likely. 

Danger #2: You are more likely to take greater risks.

While under the influence of alcohol, with lowered inhibitions, your ability to reason is impaired. As a result, things you would not normally do when sober are more likely to occur, such as engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners, trying new drugs, sharing needles, and so on.

Danger #3: It is easy to fall into the trap of addiction substitution. 

It is not uncommon for young adults and teens recovering from drug abuse to substitute something else in place of their drug addiction. Substitutes provide the individual with similar feelings they experienced while abusing drugs, such as:

  • Video Games
  • Shopping
  • Pornography
  • Alcohol

When alcohol is the substitute, the body starts building a tolerance to alcohol and its effects as drinking continues. To continue to experience the effects of alcohol, you will need to consume more and more. 

Sooner or later, you will have developed a dependence on alcohol. Not to mention, by this point, most people will have started using drugs again too. So, now, not only have you relapsed, but you have a new addiction to overcome. 

Danger #4: Alcohol is a gateway drug that leads to drug abuse. 

For teens and young men, drinking regularly can be a gateway drug that leads to using and abusing other substances. Many teens and young men will experiment with drinking. As they continue to drink, they may want to try smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Eventually, they can become more open to trying other types of drugs, like crack, heroin, etc. 

For someone already recovering from drug abuse, drinking could end up being the gateway that leads them right back to their substance of choice. 

As you can see, drinking while recovering from drugs is never a good idea. You are essentially substituting alcohol for whatever drug you were abusing. Continued drinking could lead to a relapse, not to mention having to now struggle with alcohol addiction on top of the drug addiction. 

Teen and Young Men Drinking and Drug Use Recovery in Southern California

If you are recovering from drug abuse and thinking about drinking, or have already started drinking and find you are spiraling out of control, help is available at New Life House. We offer specialized treatment programs for teens and young men at our treatment centers in Southern California.

Our treatment programs focus on specific age groups to provide you peer support for long-term success in sobriety. Our facilities provide a caring and supportive environment for teens and young men to overcome addiction and move forward with their sobriety. 

For further information about the recovery treatment programs we provide for teens and young men, please feel free to contact us today.

Last Updated on February 19, 2024


Contact Us

    Call Us Now: (888) 357-7577

    Call Us Now: (888) 357-7577