If a person is in recovery from substance use disorders, they already know how much work it took to recover, and they will want to do everything they can to avoid going back to the situation they just get out of. It may seem that relapsing is the last thing that can happen to them, but it is pretty standard for individuals not to recover in reality.
It is estimated that more or less 80% of people who experienced long-term sobriety had more than one relapse along the way. Some individuals had more than one before they found the perfect recovery that suits their needs. A patient’s intention may be good, but it will take more than determination and willpower to avoid, have a relapse.
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Experts say that the best advice for new recovering addicts on how to stay sober is pretty straightforward: Do not drink or use illegal drugs and go to these meetings. If that plan works for the patient, then, by all means, do it. For most individuals, staying abstemious is not that easy. The more plans they learn to identify stimulants, cope with anxiety and stress, as well as manage their new sober lives, the easier it is to stop getting relapses.
Identify personal triggers
A huge part of preventing these things is to understand the external triggers like people, things, places, and situations that draw out cravings or thoughts associated with alcohol or drug use, as well as internal triggers like emotions, thoughts, or feelings associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Once patients identify the most significant risks, they can create plans to prepare for and avoid them. Some of these triggers include:
Financial or job issues
Individuals who are still drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs
Environmental triggers that can result in cravings
Stress and anxiety
Recognize warning signs of relapse
These things can sneak up on people, usually since they do not recognize the early warning signs. A relapse starts long before the patient actually chooses to drink and use illegal substances and involves three steps: physical, mental, and emotional relapse. These signs include:
Finding yourself in situations where alcohol and drug use looks like logical escapes from various pains
Thinking less rational, as well as behaving
Looking out for situations involving individuals who use drugs and alcohol
Engaging in self-defeating and compulsive behaviors
Returning to addictive thought patterns
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Avoid old habits and routines
It stands to reason that if a person quit their alcohol or drug of choice but continue with their regular routine, hanging around with the same places, and individuals, as well as not making any changes in their circumstances, it will be a lot easier to slip back into their old habits and behaviors. Some of these immediate changes that need to be made are pretty obvious.
It includes not hanging out with individuals they use to hang out with or obtain drugs or alcohol. After all, patients cannot hang around drug dealers or drinking friends and expect to expect their sobriety to last long. Patients may also need to change their route to home or work to avoid any places, people, things, or triggers that make them want to use alcohol or illegal substances again.
Build good and healthy relationships
Now that the patient is growing sober, they may have discovered that their past relationships were not only toxic but downright unhealthy. It is not just their drinking friends and illegal substance dealers who can get them into trouble, sometimes people who are closest to them can contribute to these relapses.
For instance, you may have developed co-dependent relationships, or friends, employers, and family members who may be enabling them without even knowing. Studies show that if you maintain these kinds of toxic and unhealthy relationships, there is a good chance that you will experience a relapse in no time. To avoid these things and remain sober, it is imperative to develop good and healthy relationships.
If you find it tough to make new and sober friends, try joining support groups. Spending a lot of time with supportive individuals and planning activities for the family can also help you grow a healthy lifestyle and avoid instances in which you would usually use illegal substances or drink alcohol.