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Recovery from substance abuse often results in relapse

Substance abuse is a common occurrence these days in the U.S. The lifestyle that one leads in the modern day world, along with peer pressure, takes a toll on one’s physical as well as mental health. Take for instance a person who works in a highly competitive environment. Such a person is likely to be constantly under immense stress. It could be about his next appraisal, a deadline or an important meeting.

Rather than finding constructive means to ease stress, people take solace in alcohol or drugs, which can eventually create a dependence. During the recovery process from the addiction, people generally become more prone to having triggers that can cause a relapse. A relapse basically means going back to an addiction that one has quit.

What are these triggers that cause a person to break his/her resolve and take up something that can cause greater harm?

Triggers setting off another wave of addiction

Triggers can be in the form of emotions, perceptions, situations or scenarios that act as an excuse to slide back into the previous state. Broadly classifying, there are four major triggers that can drive a person towards a possible relapse:

  • Managing stress: Most people initially turn to substance abuse because they can’t seem to handle stress. They begin to think that substances will ensure that the stress is numbed, which is not the case. Prolonged stress can be a trigger for relapse as it demands a lot of adjustment and patience. Hence, it is imperative to manage stress well and not let it grow out of bounds. One has to learn how to let go of things beyond one’s control and how to only focus on things that are under their control. Managing stress leads to a positive outlook and reduces chances of a relapse.
  • Friends with similar addictions: This is a tough one to deal with. There might be people in one’s life – friends, relatives, neighbors, who might have the same addiction and lure the recovering person back. Hanging out with such people is likely to cause a return to old behavior no matter how hard one tries. Missing the good old times is a very strong impulse to succumb to a relapse. It is advisable to avoid such company during times of sobriety.
  • Signs associated with addiction: Another harmful trigger that can invariably lead to relapse is the subtle signals associated with the addiction itself. The waft of a cigarette, the smell of alcohol, someone smoking in the vicinity can all be powerful triggers luring the person to take up the habit again. It is important to have a strong willpower and determination. One has to realize that being on the straight path is the best bet and that is how life improves for the better.
  • Happy times can be dangerous too: A joyous occasion such as a birthday or an anniversary might coax one into indulging into a drink or two. They might pick up a joint thinking, “well today’s a day to celebrate. Why not?” One tends to become a bit overconfident around a holiday or a happy occasion. If a person is under recovery, they should be especially mindful of the happy days as they can unknowingly trigger a relapse. The hard work in such a case goes down the drain and one ends up feeling guilty and miserable about the same.

Recovery road map

It is easy to fall a prey to dangerous substances but very difficult to come out of its grip. Seeking treatment at the right time helps control the situation and improve the quality of life.

To avoid relapse, a lot of people choose to check into drug rehab centers for complete detoxification of their body in a bid to never get back to substance abuse again.

If you know someone who needs help, the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for Drug and Alcohol Addiction can provide information on good substance abuse treatment centers. You can call our 24/7 helpline number at 855-441-4405 or chat online with our experts for further help.

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