After going through therapy and making recovery, you may feel as if you are on the top of the world. You may feel successful, proud, happy, and simply unstoppable, and this is by no means bad. But at the same time, some recovering aspects can become overconfident and ignore the possibility of relapse.
Any prior addict is capable of falling into relapse, but there are precautions and signs to watch out for to prevent it. These can be simple habits you pick up after recovery or falling into traps like the “just one drink” mindset.
No matter how well your recovery goes, it is important to uphold realistic expectations. Very few individuals escape addiction without temptations or the looming potential of relapse. In fact, victims of substance abuse tend to deal with relapse after recovery 40 to 60 percent of the time. By knowing the warning signs, you can avoid the troubles of addiction altogether.
Becoming Too Relaxed
A common way addicts fall into relapse is by becoming too comfortable and negligent post-recovery. Many often falsely believe that successfully graduating from rehab and recovery means you no longer have anything to worry about. In other cases, former addicts think that because they have tools or strategies, they absolutely will not relapse.
This negligence, however, can lead to poor decision making that leads to poor choices and ultimately, relapse. You may go back to drinking or smoking habits briefly, lead by the “just one more” mentality. Perhaps you may abandon important routines such as therapy and meetings, believing you no longer need them.
Stress is a concept most addicts are familiar with and one of the most prevalent causes of drug and alcohol addiction. High stress can come from work, tragic events family life, dating life, and other relationships. Rehabilitation can allow for time away from these stressful elements, but in turn, can make adjusting back difficult.
When exposed to stress again, some may try to ignore it and feign happiness. Doing so and not properly addressing stress however can sometimes lead back to a relapse. Because you may have begun substance abuse to handle stress, it can be tempting to turn back to it again.
If you find you deal with a lot of stress post-recovery, you should address it in therapy or support circles for help. This is especially important with negative life events such as the death of a loved one, serious injuries, or medical diagnosis.
Major Changes in Life and Habits
Change of any kind in your life or daily habits can bring not only stress but anxiety and uncertainty. Some people prefer consistent routines, and changing them—for better or worse—can turn their world upside down.
These habits can be changes in diet, hygiene, exercise, work habits, and—most importantly—a life without drugs. While adopting them is imperative and not a sign of relapse, abandoning them is. Many of these habits are adopted from therapy, but suddenly dropping them can be an impending sign of relapse.
Overall, maintaining discipline is one of the biggest key factors in avoiding relapse. By staying dedicated to your new routines, sobriety, maintaining stress levels, and staying connected with others, you may never relapse. Though it may always remain a possibility, handling your recovery responsibly can make a difference.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Contact us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.