person solving a rubix cube

Problem-Solving Skills for Recovering Addicts


Sober Recovery Expert Author

person solving a rubix cube

For those new to recovery, problem-solving is certainly not a well-honed skill. There are two main problem-solving techniques used by people active in addiction. The first technique is to use alcohol, drugs, or destructive behavior as a coping mechanism for the problem at hand. The second problem-solving technique is to simply ignore the problem while hoping it improves or goes away.

Well, in recovery those tactics do not work so well.

Problem-solving skills are vital to recovery and, ultimately, sober living.

Strategies For Success

Let’s look at a different strategy that may afford us some success:

1. Identify the problem. The first thing we want to do is to get a clear picture of what exactly is the problem. For me, it always helps to put it down in writing. It’s also a good idea to ask for help from others in order to identify the problem. This provides a realistic perspective once you’ve determined what the problem is.

2. Once the problem is clearly identified, you must decide whether, in fact, you want to do something about it. Having a clear understanding of the problem facing you increases the likelihood of you taking action and finding a resolution.

3. When you have identified the problem and resolved to do something about it, ask yourself if the timing is right. Are you ready to do something about it now? When would it be appropriate to take action?

4. Brainstorm solutions. Here’s where we want to think of possible solutions and not be restricted by practicality or perceived limitations. This is a brain dump. Now is the time to formulate the plan of action which will most likely produce the desired result.

5. Implement the action. You can have the most brilliant solution but if no action is taken to implement the plan, it is useless. Making a decision is not the same as taking action.

Follow Up

The last thing to do is follow up on the problem and ensure that it’s resolved in a satisfactory way. This is easier said than done, but part of attaining personal growth during recovery is handling chaos and dealing with previously ignored problems.

In the end, problem-solving skills are vital to recovery and, ultimately, sober living.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you can explore our directory of rehabilitation facilities or call 800-772-8219 to speak with a treatment specialist.

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