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Addiction Relapse and Birth Order Response To A Blog Reader

In September, a commenter asked a great question about addiction relapse risk after reading this post about addiction and family dysfunction.  Drug rehabilitation includes many strides and setbacks, including relapse at times.  Everyone has certain challenges to face with relapse including possible affects from birth order.  Karen, I hope this gives you some good follow-up to your question. 

Question About Birth Order and Addiction Relapse

To bring everyone up to speed, Karen asked a question about addiction relapse risk for her as an oldest child.  She wondered if I found any studies relating to birth order that she could read.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find a whole lot.  I saw a few compelling titles but couldn’t access full articles.  Anything I’ve been able to skim is a mixed bag and not terribly current. 

One addiction article suggests a relationship between only children and heroin addiction (from 1986!)  Other article abstracts didn’t consider birth order or it wasn’t shown as a factor.  If someone has a more comprehensive resource about addiction relapse and birth order, I’m all ears and eyes – please send a link or make a comment.

Birth Order Is A Hot Topic But Not Always Relevant

I have written about birth order before and it’s a topic many people are curious about.  However, the “hotness” of a topic doesn’t necessarily mean it has a lot of substance.  Birth order effects are broad generalizations of personality traits and characteristics. 

Addiction relapse prevention takes a great personal investment of time, energy, and focus.  More than any label or category you put yourself in, you need to know yourself.  It is far more important to understand your own personality, habits, tendencies, etc than something as arbitrary as birth order.  Birth order is somewhat of a factor in shaping who you are. 

One Size Doesn’t Fit All With Birth Order Or Addiction Recovery

Certainly a person who never grew up with an older sibling would have a somewhat different life experience than someone with two or three older siblings.   Perhaps as the oldest you were put in charge of the younger kids when your mom got too drunk in the evenings.  As the baby, maybe you were protected from the truth of an addiction in the family.  But one size does not fit all when it comes to birth order personalities.  All I have to do is look at myself and my sister to know that. 

Maintaining your sobriety comes down to the choices you make from day to day and moment to moment over just about anything else.  Human beings are resilient, so it’s a matter of working with what you have and building on that.  Identify your strengths and resources to help you through those difficult relapse temptations.  And if you need to get alcohol or drug rehab to deal with your relapse, you don’t have to be ashamed.  Drug rehabilitation is an opportunity for self understanding and personal growth.  That will help whether you are a first born or the baby of the family.

Send Questions About Addiction and Women

I don’t promise to have all the answers (who really does?), but I’ll be happy to give you what I know and find out more where I can.  Please feel free to pose questions about women and drug rehab that you’d like addressed as a post here.  I’m at your disposal for support and discussion.

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