Addiction recovery is never over.
No matter how many hours of counseling you’ve completed, no matter how many months or years it’s been since you’ve been sober, there’s always a chance that you’ll backslide into old habits and relapse.
There are ways to prevent such a relapse, though. First and foremost, you need to be aware of common relapse triggers.
The following five triggers, in particular, are worth watching out for:
1. Old Friends
A recovering alcoholic might have some kind of Cheers-like set-up where they know all the regulars down at the local bar or someone who’s addicted to heroin might get out of rehab and realize that pretty much every friend they have at this point regularly uses heroin.
It’s hard to leave an addictive substance behind, and it’s even more difficult when you realize that you can’t just quit your substance of choice and have everything go back to normal.
There is no normal anymore. You need to change certain aspects of your life, such as the people you spend time with, in order to avoid temptation and prevent a relapse. It’s the only way to stay healthy.
2. Toxic Relationships
Unhealthy relationships with romantic partners and family members are incredibly stressful and toxic. As was the case for old friends who still abuse substances, sometimes you have to cut people out of your life to better yourself.
3. Poor Exercise Habits
If you’ve been through rehab, then you probably know that regular exercise promotes a good mood, which helps reduce cravings for substances.
If you let your physical strength slip away, you may lose your mental strength as well. You need that strength to stay away from dangerous substances. Make sure you stay in shape.
4. Any Kind of High-Pressure or Life-Changing Event
Most days are normal. You get up, go to work, come back, hang out for a few hours, then go to sleep. Hopefully, you get a couple of good memories out of the day’s routine, but more or less, nothing of note happens.
But now and then, something dramatic happens. You might lose your job, or suffer a death in the family – something like that.
Drama leads to stress, which can lead to a relapse. When you’re dealing with something dramatic and stressful, remember to use the self-control methods you learned in counseling to keep yourself on the right path.
5. The “Just Once” Mindset
Let’s say you’ve been clean for a couple of years. You’re confident about the control you have over your actions now and proud you’ve made it this far.
So you’re at a party, and everyone’s getting a glass champagne ready for an upcoming toast. You’ve been clean for a long time, and it’s a special occasion, so surely everything will be okay if you have a drink just this once, right?
Many people have been in this exact same situation before, and when they indulged “just once,” it’s often led to them spiraling out of control and abusing drugs on a regular basis again.
Don’t do it. Not even that once. We are here to help. If you have any questions regarding relapse prevention, please contact us today.