Re-establishing Priorities through Addiction Recovery

Establishing priorities in a rehab
Photo by NoSystem images/

A common misconception of addicts is that they care only about themselves. This misconception comes from the behavior of drug users when they are using. Working in the addiction treatment field for almost a decade has taught me this is far from the case.

Many of the addicts I have worked with have the opposite problem. They care almost to a fault; this is one of the reasons many people use drugs. It takes away their inhibitions, their regrets, and fears. One of the biggest struggles those new in addiction recovery face is coming to terms with the harm they have done to those in their life. For many, it can feel like a barrier they will never be able to overcome.

This is why changing your priorities is such a major important factor in recovery. While chasing romantic interests, money, or drugs is the top priority of most addicts in the throes of substance abuse, setting new priorities and taking a more in-depth look at what you care about will help lay the groundwork for moving forward. Let’s look at what areas we recommend for those in recovery to have as a priority.


This will come as no surprise, but family is an integral part of recovery. Repairing the relationships damaged by your actions when you were using is essential. Many times, family will want to be supportive but will struggle if the addict does not work to repair the relationship. As the old saying goes, “Trust is earned not given.”

You can’t expect your family to act like nothing ever happened after they put up with lying, stealing, and the emotional strain you put them through. Even the act of working to find ways to repair the relationship will go a long way and should be one of your priorities.

Finances and Career

Most likely, if you just completed drug and alcohol treatment, you are not in the best position financially. During these first initial months, finding steady employment in a safe work environment should be the focus. This keeps you busy, but more importantly, it will help you create a better life for yourself.

Making life better than it was when you were using can be crucial to continued sobriety and finding a career path will help create added stability.

Life Goals

This will be the next step for many once they have achieved some stability in their life. It may require more soul-searching than the other categories. Having longer-term life goals and pushing to make them adds a great deal of joy to a person’s life. This could be building a family, getting an education, or engaging in a new artistic avenue. The sky is truly the limit on what can be achieved in life. Setting those goals is where it all starts.

While this is far from an exhaustive list of every priority you can set once leaving a treatment center, we feel it is a good start. If you are having trouble beginning your journey into recovery, please contact us today. We have caring staff standing by to help you take the first step. 



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.