Your initial addiction treatment is just the beginning of your long road to recovery. What you will find, long after your stay at a Mesa drug treatment center, is that maintaining your sobriety is an ongoing process. You have to do a lot of work on yourself, identifying what causes you to use and learning how to process your feelings and develop new behavioral responses.
Identifying your triggers to use is one way to get greater control over your addiction. You can learn to avoid your triggers, and you can develop strategies for dealing with those triggers when they do arise so they you do not use. Here are 8 common relapse triggers you should be aware of:
H.A.L.T. is an acronym that is used in a lot of treatment programs and behavioral training. The idea is that whenever you feel the urge to abuse drugs or alcohol – or to gamble, or have sex with strangers, or to eat, or to engage in some other harmful activity – that you first ask yourself if you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Each of these are powerful emotions or states of being. Each can cause you searching for something to feel better, and if you are an addict, that may mean using drugs or alcohol.
Before you relapse, ask yourself if you are feeling one of those things, and then look for a healthier solution. Eat a meal. Take a nap. Call a friend. Do something to relieve the discomfort that doesn’t involve relapsing.
Stress can cause you to feel overwhelmed, agitated, and tired. It can make you overeat, to sleep too much, or to engage in other unhealthy activities. If you are a recovering addict, stress can cause you to reach for drugs or alcohol.
Find ways to reduce stress in your life however you can, such as moving into a smaller home or taking on a job with fewer responsibilities. Then find ways to better manage stress when it arises, such as going for a run, enjoying a hobby, or just spending a few minutes meditating.
Problems with friends, family members, or spouses can be some of the most stressful situations we have to deal with in our lives. Getting into a huge fight with your wife can be a strong trigger for wanting to drink. Finding out that your brother stole money from you can certainly make you want to use drugs.
Through addiction counseling in Chandler, you can learn how to better manage the relationships in your life. You can make choices and set boundaries that will lead to healthier and more rewarding relationships. You will experience fewer relationship problems and have fewer triggers for relapse.
In contrast, if you don’t have any close or fulfilling relationships, you can feel isolated, and that can be a trigger for relapse. If you are feeling isolated, you need to reach out. Call family or friends, or meet them for coffee or other activities. If you don’t have many friends, attend local groups where you can meet new people.
Of course, always remember that you can attend a support group or meeting. You’ll be able to connect with others who are experiencing the same things you are, which can make you feel less alone.
Depression and anxiety have become increasingly common in our culture. They are even more common among addicts. These mental health conditions can create an emptiness that many people try to fill with alcohol and drugs. Or they can cause you to feel agitated and overwhelmed, which can cause you to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.
If you are starting to feel depressed or anxious, talk to a Gilbert therapist. You may find relief with talk therapy, or you may need to pursue medication to help you manage your symptoms.
Celebrations may seem benign or happy, but they can actually be quite triggering for addicts. Celebrations usually involve a lot of drinking, and in some scenarios, they can even involve drug use. Even if you are at a celebration with other sober people, you may feel triggered to use.
You don’t have to avoid celebrations altogether to stay sober. But you should attend with a sponsor or someone else who can support you through the event and help you maintain your sobriety.
When you were in the throes of your addiction, chances are good that most of the people you surrounded yourself with were other users. Now that you are in recovery, many of your friends may be people who still use. Being around those people can make you feel like you want to use yourself, even if they are not using in front of you. You have created an association in your mind with these people and with drinking or using drugs.
Unfortunately, you may need to limit contact with these people or cut ties completely. You will need to build relationships with sober people with whom you can have healthy interactions.
Of course, if you are in a situation where people are drinking and you are an alcoholic, you are going to feel a strong desire to drink. If you are in a situation where people are using your drug of choice, you are going to feel a strong desire to use. You must avoid these situations wherever possible.
If you are unexpectedly faced with a situation where substances are present, have a plan. Know how you can leave quickly, and have a sponsor or other supportive person on speed dial.
You should talk through these and other potential triggers in your addiction therapy in Scottsdale and develop strategies for managing them. The better prepared you are, the more likely you will be to maintain your sobriety.
Corebella Health and Wellness is here to support you in maintaining a healthy and sober life. We offer addiction treatment for people in Glendale and Tempe, whether you are just beginning your treatment or you are continuing in your recovery. We offer ongoing addiction counseling and other wellness services. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer.