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Maintain Sobriety: Avoid These Common Relapse Triggers
You’ve worked so hard to get to the sober place you are today. You’ve faced detox, graduated from a residential program and completed your 90 days in a sober living facility, but there is more work to be done. While there are a lot of myths surrounding recovery & relapse, the threat is very real and one you will face daily. It is important to learn and understand the most common relapse triggers and learn ways to avoid and cope with them in your new sober life. Acceptance House Sober Living highlights 6 common relapse triggers to avoid in order to maintain sobriety.
6 Common Relapse Triggers to Avoid for Long-Term Sobriety
People & Places Connected to Addictive Behavior: It is hard to totally avoid someone drinking a beer, stocking a liquor shelf or smoking a joint recreationally. However, it is not hard to avoid the people and places where you used to partake in addictive behavior. In order to maintain your sobriety you must cut out all of the people in your life who are still under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Negative Thoughts & Emotions: Everyone experiences a hard, difficult day from time to time, but the way you deal with those emotions is the difference between sobriety and relapse. It is important to breathe, reflect on all of the positivity in your life and remember the coping mechanisms your therapist & life coach taught you.
Overwhelming Stress: Similar to negativity is feeling an overwhelming amount of stress. Whether it is due to your job, finances or the loss of a loved one it is an unavoidable response. Rather than reverting back to unhealthy habits, take some time for yourself doing something you love: a hike, art class, read a book or attend a meeting and talk it through with your peers.
Boredom: From health & fitness to creative outlets it is so important to your sobriety to find hobbies and constantly try new ones.
Not Properly Treating Mental Illness: Co-occurring disorders are extremely common in addiction. Usually, we see a person abuse drugs & alcohol to self-medicate an underlying mental health illness they were unaware of. While you would have been treated for both your mental health issue and substance abuse in rehabilitation you must continue with treatment & medications prescribed by doctors. Allowing mental health issues to take over your mind is a direct path to relapse.
Stopping Communication with Sobriety Circle: The network of sober support you’ve built relationships with are here to support you, lift you up and be a voice of reason when you feel tired, stressed, lonely and vulnerable. It is imperative you maintain contact with your trusted circle of sober friends to avoid and prevent relapse.
Successful Relapse Prevention Tips
Identifying these common relapse triggers and developing healthy ways to avoid them will set you up for long term sobriety success. But remember, relapse does not equal failure. It is a very realistic part of your addiction recovery. Attend your meetings, connect with sober peers and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed and anxious.