Finding Personal Role Models in Recovery
There are many different methods by which learning can take place, but perhaps few are as potent as observing and imitating the behavior of others. Children learn to navigate life by imitating their parents and others around them, and as people grow, it is still natural and important to find positive role models from whom to draw inspiration and encouragement. People often subconsciously pattern their behavior after family members and peers, but in addiction recovery from drugs like clonazepam, it is important to be proactive and intentional about finding role models that can provide positive examples of success.
Role Models and the Initiation of Substance Abuse
Role modeling can play a part in every aspect of the addiction journey including the initiation of substance abuse. This may be true of people of any age, but is often especially true of teenagers and young adults. In a publication on the prevention of substance abuse, the World Health Organization notes that young people are especially prone to influence from role models and peers and that their association with role models may lead them to abuse alcohol and drugs.
Family history also affects addiction risk. This may be due to both genetic factors and to role modeling. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that adolescents with parents who abuse substances are more likely to abuse them themselves and that this may be due in part to mimicking ineffective coping mechanisms.
What Role Models Can Do During Recovery
Whether or not role modeling played a significant part in the development of an individual’s addiction to drugs like clonazepam, it can play a role in recovery. Although it can be helpful to have role models that simply provide inspiration, such as celebrities and others who are public about their addiction and recovery journeys, it is also important to have more personal role models who can provide practical support. This can take place on a formal or informal basis. A publication on peer recovery support services notes that an effective peer mentor or coach serves as an implicit recovery role model. The competencies to be modeled include the following:
- Core recovery values, which include gratitude, tolerance and acceptance
- Self- expression
- Reconstruction of personal identity
- Reconstruction of interpersonal relationships
- Sober problem-solving
- Economic self-sufficiency
- Public service
The publication notes that in addition to modeling competencies, peer support can take a number of forms. It can be emotional, offering caring, concern and empathy. It can also be informational involving the sharing of knowledge. Instrumental support is practical assistance to help those in recovery meet goals, and affliliational support helps build community and facilitates contacts with others.
How to Find Role Models
People find role models in various ways. Recovery support groups often connect new members with older ones who can serve as mentors and models. Online recovery groups can also be a way to make contact with others farther along in the journey.
It is a good idea to have multiple role models. This is due, in part, to the fact that people are imperfect. One person may model self-care well but not be as effective at maintaining healthy relationships. Another person may model work behavior but struggle with public service. It is also wise to have multiple role models so that if one of them relapses or fails in a significant way, it is less emotionally difficult for those who looked to the individual for inspiration.
In addition to in-the-flesh role models, it is wise for people in recovery from addiction to drugs like clonazepam to pay attention to their media consumption. This includes the movies and television programs they watch, the music they listen to and the books they read. A great deal of popular media glamorizes or normalizes substance abuse. Both of which can have negative consequences.
A number of studies have shown that people often adjust their consumption of alcohol or drugs like clonazepam to conform to perceived norms. This can be detrimental even when the perceptions are correct, but often the problem is compounded by the fact that the perceptions are faulty. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, for example, reports that college students tend to overestimate the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption on campus. Media portrayals of substance consumption can lead to craving and to incorrect perceptions of normative behavior. Both of which can contribute to potential relapse.
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