Setting Boundaries – An Important Step in Early Recovery

When we are in active addiction, we will sacrifice anything for one more dose of our substance of choice. Often our personal boundaries are discarded in favor of continued substance abuse, leading to unhealthy relationships and a diminished sense of self-worth. In early recovery, it is important to learn how to set healthy boundaries in order to build healthy relationships and reestablish a sense of self-worth. Here are some steps to take in order to establish healthy boundaries in early recovery.

First, establish a clear definition of your values, beliefs, and feelings. When we were in active addiction we quickly cast aside any values which interfered with our substance abuse, and now it is time to restore those values in our lives. Once those definitions are established, identify any people, places, things, or behaviors which may put those clearly defined beliefs and values at risk. This could be old using buddies, a favorite corner store where you would purchase alcohol, anything that puts you in a state of mind where substance abuse is an active temptation.

Now that you have identified your values and those things which may threaten them, set limits so those threatening items are held at arm’s length. These limits must be maintained and defended in order for you to keep those newly restored values in place. You should communicate these limits to those around you and make it clear you will stand your ground should anyone attempt to challenge these limits. It may become necessary to limit time spent with those closest to you until they learn to respect these new boundaries.

Just as you want others to respect your boundaries, so too must you respect the boundaries of those around you. This respect is deserved regardless if you agree with or understand the limit a person has set in their life. Learning to respect the boundaries of others is just as important as establishing and maintaining your own boundaries in early sobriety, and will go along way to improve your relationships with others. At Evolutions Treatment Center, we offer family therapy sessions for our clients so these boundaries can be established in a safe, controlled environment facilitated by a counselor. This helps ensure open communication between family members so these limits can be clearly established and the family unit can end the dysfunction in their relationships.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or