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An ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ Aids in Relapse Prevention

In a poignant column for Michigan’s Mlive.com, Mark Thomson, a professional who works with recovering addicts writes about how, “In recovery from addiction, ‘attitude of gratitude’ not just a Thanksgiving Day phenomenon”.  Adopting a habit of expressing gratitude is key for those in drug and alcohol rehab. Recovering from an addiction requires more that stopping unhealthy habits: it also requires starting to form new, helpful habits.

Those who engage in substance abuse use drugs or alcohol as a way to alleviate stress find that at times goes on, the substance that to them was once a form of medication becomes a poison as addiction takes over and their lives deteriorate.

Thomson discusses how gratitude is vital for preventing relapse:

“It should come as no surprise, then, that gratitude is in such short supply for addicts. As they consider all they have …they ask, “What in the world do we have to be grateful for?”

Those who have been in recovery for some time recognize this lack of gratitude actually is resentment. And resentment is one of the most common triggers for relapses. They know that mulling over past slights…and the “unfairness of life” is a recipe for relapse for those in early recovery.”

Instead, as Thomson writes, being grateful for all that one has and even finding a way to “express gratitude for “the gift of desperation” that led them into this new way of living” can be very beneficial in addiction recovery.