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biases affecting sobriety

These 3 Biases May be Negatively Affecting Your Sobriety

Addiction recovery is difficult for many people, and unfortunately, some people relapse. Although there are many signs of relapse for you to look for, one that often goes unnoticed is the brain’s various biases. Cognitive biases are something that every person deals with, not just addicts. By being aware of some of the most common biases people struggle with, it can help you create a stronger foundation for your recovery so you can achieve the long-term sobriety and happiness that you deserve. 

1. The Dunning-Kruger Effect

If you were to ask most people how intelligent they think they were, most would say they’re above average. While many people are highly intelligent, the Dunning-Kruger effect shows us that we often overestimate our intelligence. Due to this effect, people may think they know more than therapists, sponsors, or people in long-term recovery who are offering them advice. Humility is one of the key components of recovery, which is why it’s so important to overcome this specific bias. By keeping an open mind and being able to take suggestions, you have much better chances of staying sober. 

2. The Optimism Bias

Positive thinking is definitely beneficial, but sometimes it can actually have a backfire effect. It’s important to have hope that you can get sober and stay sober, and the people you encounter in recovery are living proof that it’s possible. The problem comes when people struggle with optimism bias because this makes you not take the necessary precautions. For example, someone with the optimism bias may go to bars or hang out with old friends who use drugs because they believe nothing can go wrong. The reality is, when you let your guard down because you’re overly optimistic, relapse can be right around the corner. 

3. The Sunk Cost Fallacy

The sunk cost fallacy is a type of faulty thinking that many people struggle with. Our mind tells us that since we’ve spent a certain amount of time or effort on something, we can’t let it go. While this causes stock traders and investors to throw good money at bad money, it has other effects on people in recovery. The sunk cost fallacy is mostly seen in relationships. When you get sober, you’re told to eliminate old friends or even family members who might put your sobriety at risk. But due to the sunk cost fallacy, you may think that you can’t give up on this relationship because you’ve spent so much time on it. In reality, that time and effort is already passed, and you need to know when it’s time to let go. 

If you’re struggling with your addiction or faulty forms of thinking that are making recovery difficult, allow Enlightened Solutions to help. We’re a drug and alcohol detox facility, and we also have a clinical team that can provide you with the therapy you need to stay sober after treatment. To learn more about how we can help, give us a call today at 833-233-7336.

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