When it comes to addiction recovery, one of the hardest factors that individuals have to face is the possibility that they may decide to abuse drugs or alcohol again. While many see this as a failure, it is important to note that promptly recognizing relapse into addiction can allow individuals to seek recovery and stay on a more solid path before letting the drug or alcohol abuse take control of their lives once again.
At Chapters Capistrano, we believe that offering flexible treatment options, a comfortable atmosphere, medically-assisted detox, wellness programs and variable lengths of stay all help our guests secure a better path toward long-term recovery. However, we also recognize that some of our guests are entering treatment again after completing another program that did not deliver strong enough results. Understanding that there are many circumstances that can interrupt sobriety, we employ a strong and supportive relapse prevention program to give our clients the guidance they need to stay clean in the weeks, months and years to follow.
Relapse is hard for many to grasp, especially for those who have yet to struggle with addiction firsthand. At this point in time, there is currently no fool-proof cure for alcoholism or drug addiction, which can leave many to feel that they are always trapped by their experiences with substance abuse.
However, we believe that it is essential for individuals to understand that addiction recovery is not about being trapped by addiction, but learning how to live independently and healthily in sobriety. Part of this journey is learning how to recognize what poses a greater risk of relapse, as distinguishing these signs ahead of time can encourage an individual to reach out for help before they use alcohol or drugs.
Here are a few common triggers that can create a more relapse-prone environment:
- Being Dishonest About Other Things
Addiction recovery always begins with honesty—whether one is facing his or her addiction for the first time or sharing it with others. Typically, substance abuse is riddled with dishonest behaviors in an attempt to hide these illicit activities from loved ones, coworkers and health professionals.
Individuals who are in recovery will discover a newfound appreciation for honesty—no matter how hard it is to face difficult feelings. Remaining honest is crucial to tackling life’s issues head-on and resolving them with minimal damage. Individuals in recovery who notice that they are lying about certain activities—from financial spending to infidelity—will become more accustomed to this dishonest lifestyle. As a result, they may open up new opportunity to relapse and lie about drug or alcohol use.
- Major Life Changes
Individuals in recovery will often find that family, friends and coworkers often remain very sensitive about one’s circumstances and will offer a great deal of support. However, as sobriety becomes more normal, this support can depreciate to some degree. As recovering addicts adjust back into a stable life, they may feel comfortable in their sobriety—until an event disrupts their environment.
Anything from a break-up to job loss to death in the family can shake up a recovering addict’s atmosphere and immediately remove the comforts he or she has grown used to. As a result, the individual may turn to substances that once provided relief in previous times of disruption—opening up the doors for relapse.
- Mental Health Challenges
For many struggling with addiction, mental health challenges are also a co-existing issue—whether one is facing depression, anxiety, PTSD or another condition. With the help of dual diagnosis therapy, individuals can often learn to work through addiction and their mental health challenges at the same time. However, some may find that mental health problems crop up during sobriety.
In these circumstances, recovering addicts may attempt to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol that once made it easier to face anxiety, depression and other unwelcome emotions.
- The Return of Temptation
Rebuilding relationships is a central part of recovery, especially as addicts find it important to strengthen the bonds they hold with loved ones. However, many will find that friends they once hung around during their substance abuse period will continue to use well after they have recovered. As a result, sober individuals will have to distance themselves from “old haunts” and old friends who continue to engage in substance abuse.
It can take a great deal of willpower to abstain from drug or alcohol use when old friends adopt peer pressure. Some individuals may feel that trying new substances is not breaking their sobriety, such as by avoiding the one substance they were addicted to but abusing another. Simply put, if the temptation returns in any form—relapse is imminent.
Those who are experiencing these triggers or any others are highly encouraged to seek help as soon as possible—whether or not they have begun to use drugs or alcohol again. In some cases, reaching out to a counselor or support group can help sway relapse, but others may find that reentering an addiction recovery program is necessary.
Those who are searching for flexible addiction recovery solutions paired with intensive relapse prevention initiatives are invited to review our services at Chapters Capistrano. Our staff is able to assist you 24/7 and answer any questions you may have about our facility at 949-276-2886.
Chapters Capistrano strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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