It’s not uncommon to relapse when you are on the road to recovery. Substance abuse disorder is a disease that often causes relapse to occur. However, there are still many stigmas concerning relapse and what that means for a person, and they are quite often untrue and unfair. Let’s read on to learn how common relapse is and how it can be avoided in the future.
Should Relapse be Expected?
Completing a recovery program very often leads to continued success for the patient. However, it does not always mean this for some. Addiction doesn’t end just because the program does; in fact, it is a lifelong journey that must be carefully managed. When a person uses drugs or alcohol, chemicals are introduced to the brain. Those chemicals make a person crave their drug or alcohol of choice, sometimes long after they have become sober.
It’s estimated that up to 60% of addicts will at some time relapse. Remember, this figure is not indicative of every individual who has gone through and completed a treatment program. It’s very important to face this possibility head-on as you take your journey. Instead of denying the possibility of relapse, understand and learn the proper tools and tricks that will enable you to maintain your sobriety. While there is the possibility of relapse, keeping your guard up will be a huge help in keeping it from happening.
Avoiding a Relapse
Let’s look at a few helpful ways to avoid a relapse.
Strengthen Your Mental Health
The best way to avoid a relapse is to strengthen your mental and emotional health. There is an acronym that experts use to help addicts identify the emotions they are feeling that are making them wish to use- HALT. This stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. Always keep this acronym in mind, as it represents different emotional and physical states that are the main culprits for relapse. If you find yourself feeling one of these ways, it may cause you to use again.
Manage Your Triggers
Managing your triggers is another way to keep the risk of relapse down. Triggers are any kind of situation that provokes you to want to take drugs or drink alcohol, and they will vary from person to person. You may be triggered by a person, place, event, or stressful situation, causing you to relapse. This is where a rehab program will help. A qualified therapist or addiction specialist will help you identify just what triggers you and why. Then, he or she will help you develop coping skills that will guide you through the issue. For example, if money problems stress you out and make you want to drink, your therapist may suggest reading about financial solutions until the urge to use goes away. The more you use your coping skills, the less likely you will be to relapse.
Have a Support System
You’ve likely heard of addicts who have sponsors-people who are there to help an addict during a tough time. A support network, including a sponsor, is crucial when you are experiencing the feeling that you want to use again. Surrounding yourself with sober and supportive friends and family who want you to stay clean will help you stay on that path. You’ll also want to stop associating with anyone who still uses drugs and alcohol, as they can be very strong triggers.
Stay in a Program
If you are no longer in a rehab program, it is even more important than ever to seek support. A 12-step support group, such as AA or NA, will be a key point in avoiding a relapse. Find groups that meet every day or multiple groups that you can go to when you need to. When you feel like you may relapse, head to one as soon as possible. Meeting with others who understand your problem will make you feel connected, lessening the chances of a relapse.
Call Us ASAP
When you know you need help, know that we are here to provide it. Give us a call now at 833-846-5669, or come in to learn more. Together, you’ll be on the right path in no time.