Relapse is so common in recovery, some people assume it’s inevitable. This is not true, as you can successfully recover from addiction without relapsing. By being aware of your triggers and making smart choices, you can support long-term recovery.
Before you leave addiction treatment in Agoura, you will receive an individualized aftercare plan that lists your known triggers and how to manage them. Some triggers are obvious (a person using drugs in front of you), while others are less obvious (the sight of an old hangout).
Below are seven of the most common addiction relapse triggers and ways to manage them.
HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
HALT is an acronym that helps recovering addicts to be more vigilant. Your priorities in early recovery should be to eat well-balanced meals, attend your support groups, spend time with others and get enough rest. If you do these things, you will be mentally and physically stronger in your recovery and better able to deal with stress.
Stress is everywhere, but it’s important to identify your biggest stressors, as some can be eliminated. Other stressors you have to deal with, but you can find healthy outlets, such as meditating, reading a book or exercising. Always practice good self-care so that you are more resilient when stressful situations arise.
Being overconfident in your recovery can be dangerous because you might put yourself in situations that you’re not ready to handle. It’s okay to be confident, but stay humble. Take things one day at a time and enter new situations slowly.
Loneliness and isolation
You need healthy relationships to avoid boredom, loneliness and isolation. Some people are lucky enough to have a great support system with lots of friends and family. Others have to work harder to establish new bonds. Bottom line: Be open to meeting and spending time with people.
Glorifying drug or alcohol use
Do you find your mind wandering off to a place where drugs and alcohol are enjoyable? This is a major red flag because it means your brain is forgetting all of the pain and misery your addiction caused. Thinking about past drug and alcohol use can quickly turn into acting, so talk to a sponsor, counselor or supportive friend.
It’s impractical to think that you’ll feel happy all of the time. In fact, early recovery has a lot of ups and downs that you must be prepared for. You may feel sad, angry, lonely or even resentful of your addiction - and it’s all normal. The best thing to do is talk to those in your support network and find healthy ways to cope with your emotions.
Mental or physical illness
If you have a mental or physical condition, this can complicate your recovery and trigger a relapse. Be sure that you are seeing the right doctors to manage your illness. Let your doctors know of your history so that they can prescribe safe, non-addictive medications.
This list includes common triggers, though you may discover that you have others that are even more powerful. By being aware of your triggers and how to manage them, you can reduce your risk for relapse. If you do relapse, know that this is not failure. You can seek an outpatient drug rehab in Agoura and continue your recovery.
Awakenings Treatment Center has treatment programs for people in all stages of addiction and addiction recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our inpatient and outpatient services.