Relapse is a reality for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction, or drug abuse is at an all-time high these days. According to studies, around forty to sixty percent of people relapse within thirty days of leaving rehab, while about eighty-five percent relapse within one year. With these statistics in mind, it is critical for individuals who struggle with substance or alcohol dependence to know of the side effect of relapse on their physical and mental health. Moreover, they must also remain aware of their triggering points and manage them more appropriately and healthily.
After all, just like any other infectious disease, the road to addiction recovery is full of twists and turns. So, if you’re someone who has been in a constant battle with drug addiction, you know that a relapse doesn’t mean you have failed to overcome your addiction. However, it is just a minor setback that you need to overcome. Just think about it, is recurring cancer a sign of failure? It probably isn’t.
That said, let us take a look at some reasons that lead to addiction relapse. Doing so will allow you to avoid triggering events and activities and stay on the right path to recovery!
Stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are two top reasons for addiction relapse. Many individuals who are battling addiction turn to their drug of choice to cope with stress and anxiety. Moreover, research shows an increased need for addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol during stressful situations, especially if that particular substance was an individual’s coping mechanism.
An easy way to prepare yourself for such a relapse-triggering event is to tackle your stress. That said, stress is something that will always be present in your life. However, you can avoid situations and activities that make you feel stressed out. So, whether it is a place, a person, anything else that causes stress in your life, try to remain a hundred feet away from them. Doing so will automatically keep you away from them, and you will reduce your risk of relapsing tenfold! However, if you can avoid them, your best bet is to check into a recovery center such as the Palm Beach Institute, which has a reputation for helping people.
Challenging or negative emotions
Individuals with drug abuse issues need to effectively manage, tolerate, and make sense of negative feelings they encounter on a day-to-day basis. Sure, Addictive behavior, drugs, or alcohol gave you an outlet to overcome these negative emotions in the past. However, you cannot do that anymore.
Therefore, it would be best to learn to cope with both uncomfortable and comfortable emotions and feelings. Doing so will ensure you don’t relapse.
So, whether you keep a journal to record such moments or meditate to overcome them, find healthy ways to boost your mood and release your negativity! Instead of viewing these feelings and feeling down and out, consider them as opportunities for understanding and growth. After all, you can learn more about yourself as a human being if you find out why you feel a particular way.
Being around things that trigger your addiction
Reminders of your drug abuse problems can trigger a relapse at any moment. For instance, watching people sip your favorite cocktail or taking in a whiff of cigarette smoke are reminders that will be everywhere when you are in the early phase of your recovery. And falling back to your old addiction habits will be expected. After all, it will be something that you’re familiar with. However, recovery isn’t only about abstaining or quitting, but a lifelong process.
So, it is vital to focus on the life you want to build and the changes you want to make to ensure you stay away from relapse. For instance, when you see someone engaging in an activity that triggers your addiction, think about the consequences that resulted from them- the relationships you lost and the people you hurt. At the same time, you might miss your old life when you see these trigger moments and reminders. But, think about the pain and suffering these moments brought upon you!
It will be easy to get caught up in a tornado of lies when you’re going through drug addiction. After all, addiction is a disease that depends on dishonesty to survive. That said, being honest when in recovery will be challenging, especially if you were an addict for many years in the past and constantly lied to support your addiction.
You will never come out of the addiction cycle if you don’t face the truth or take responsibility for your actions. Meaning you will constantly relapse now and then. That said, the road to honesty will be full of obstacles and bumps. However, it would be best if you do so to prevent yourself from falling off track and relapsing.
In the end, learning to identify and recognize trigger points, building a support network, or seeking help from a counselor are perfect ways to prevent relapse. So, do whatever you can to keep yourself protected. However, don’t let your efforts go to waste if you make a slip here or there, and don’t forget that relapse is not a sign of failure while you remain on track with your drug addiction recovery.