If you’re in addiction recovery, you’re probably haunted by one question over and over: will I relapse again?
There’s no one-size-fits all solution when it comes to staying clean, but there are some things recovery experts recommend that could go a long way toward helping you avoid further relapse into addictive behavior.Are you haunted by one question over and over: will I relapse again? #addiction #recovery Click To Tweet
Know Your Triggers
“Relapse triggers” are any of a number of emotions, behaviors, or situations that are likely to put you at high risk of relapse. Not sure what your triggers are? This list of the 10 most common relapse triggers may help.
Being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired (HALT): Situations that cause hunger, anger, loneliness, and fatigue trigger relapses so often, they have their own acronym (HALT). That’s why healthy self-care (remembering to eat, hydrate, and rest) and positive relationships should be part of your daily routine, especially if you’re in recovery.
Uncomfortable or negative emotions: Negative emotions are a part of everyday life. Learning how to manage them (rather than turning to addictive behavior to numb them) can help you avoid relapsing.
Increased stress: Stress may tempt you to turn to addictive behavior to self-soothe.
Overconfidence: Overconfidence about your recovery or sobriety may cause you to put yourself in situations or around people that are more likely to trigger a relapse.
Starting a relationship too soon: Engaging in romantic relationships or sexual activity within a year or less of beginning recovery increases your risk of relapse. Even if your new partner doesn’t use drugs or alcohol, heightened emotions and a renewed sense of attachment could lead to codependency or sexual addiction within the new relationship.
Pre-existing physical or mental illness: Mental health diagnoses can make it more difficult to identify healthy coping mechanisms.
Socializing with people who have addictions (but aren’t in recovery): Committing to recovery often means committing to healthier relationships that don’t depend on using. Without a change of scenery, the temptation to use becomes overwhelming for many.
Social isolation: Make sure to surround yourself with healthy, supportive relationships with people who can stand with you in your recovery.
Sudden positive life changes: Situations that create the urge to celebrate can often trigger addictive behavior.
Reminiscing: Be careful not to reminisce about the past in a way that minimizes the pain or harmful impact of your addiction. Be truthful about past mistakes and their consequences so that you’re protected from further, unnecessary pain.
Have a Plan
Knowing what triggers your addictive behavior can certainly help you avoid a relapse, but that’s not enough. you need a plan that includes:
- How you will replace unhealthy or addictive behaviors with healthy ones
- New places to go (and people to spend time with) that don’t tempt you toward addictive behavior
- How to deal with negative emotions or celebrate a victory without using or otherwise engaging in addictive behavior
Recovery from addiction is never impossible, but getting and staying clean is a lot more attainable with the right support.
In fact, addiction research shows that treatment programs can help prevent relapses and decrease relapse rates, particularly if the entire treatment program is completed.
Whether it’s getting help through TheHopeLine, your faith community, a recovery meeting, or a close friend or family member, you can free yourself from past addiction and avoid future relapses.
We support people at every stage of addiction recovery. We can help you heal from addiction — starting now.