Getting sober is not easy, but statistics continue to show that staying sober is even harder. Recovering addicts put so much time, sweat, pain and energy into getting healthy, but all of that hard work can disappear incredibly quickly, often without the person in recovery even realizing it’s happening. As many as 60 percent of people in recovery relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and that relapse can start long before someone actually returns to using.
Knowing how fragile recovery can be, we here at Stairway to Freedom Sober Living have put together this list of four potential addiction relapse triggers to help those in recovery avoid those drug and alcohol relapse triggers by understanding the warning signs that come along with them. Stress and anxiety obviously are two of the largest problems, but there many others, including:
There is a certain level of exhilaration that comes on the heels of finishing a rehab program and putting oneself on the right course toward recovery, and self-confidence is a really important part of that process. However, growing overconfident, believing you are “cured” and no longer need to make use of the services that have been so helpful to date, can be a big problem. Be confident, but stay humble. No recovering addict should ever tell themselves they are “cured” from substance abuse disorders. Addiction just doesn’t work that way.
#2 Ending a Relationship
Stress is one of the biggest triggers in addiction recovery, but seeing a relationship of any sort fall apart is the sort of thing that can push someone in recovery to use again. Losing an important person in your life causes a swirl of confusing emotions, and someone in recovery may take that as an excuse to start using again.
We look at TV as a distraction, but escaping from reality and going mindless behind the television can take away one’s focus on recovery. Not only that, but some recovering addicts have found that seeing drug or alcohol use on TV can trigger their desire to begin using again, so there are a number of ways that watching TV could trigger someone in recovery.
#4 Troublesome Anniversaries
There are dates on everybody’s calendars that bring with them a certain measure of grief and stress, whether that be the anniversary of a loved one’s death or an estranged family member’s birthday. Whatever the troublesome anniversary may be, knowing it’s coming, practicing the proper coping skills, and seeking help for those days can help people in recovery avoid a relapse.
While people in recovery will do their due diligence by staying on top of their treatment program and attending support groups, the fact is that there are certain alcohol and drug relapse triggers that can cause big problems for people working so hard to get their lives back. Here at Stairway to Freedom Sober Living, we want to see every person in our halfway house and sober living homes making the most of the recovery process, and that means avoiding some of these triggers. Of course, knowing what those addiction relapse triggers are is the first step in avoiding them.