One of the greatest challenges when attending a North Bay Recovery Center is that rehab never really ends. When you have been addicted and want to recover, embracing a substance-free life is not easy. It is usually a process that includes some relapses. This may seem discouraging but there are ways for you to recognize risky situations and develop strategies to cope with them.
The situations with the highest risk are those in which you often used your substance of choice before and will be highly tempted to use again. These situations are the most difficult to deal with.
Underlying reasons that can cause relapse
You are most at risk of relapse if you don’t follow the strategies you know will help you to recover but put yourself in high-risk situations instead. Some of your reasons for doing this may be: The difficulty with processing emotions – this is often what led to the addiction in the first place. You use when you are frustrated, sad, angry, depressed, lonely, nervous, guilty or bored. You have to learn how to manage your emotions without needing a mood-altering substance. Emotional coping skills can be learned and therapy can help you to acquire these skills. Feeling deprived – sometimes the cost of recovery just feels as though it’s too high. You may feel that everyone else is allowed to have fun except you and that the constant vigilance is a burden that’s too hard to bear. You have to find a way to put the reward of a lifetime of positive experiences ahead of the reward of temporary relief. Testing your control – you may reach the point where you feel that you are in control and you can afford to let go ‘just a bit’. Unfortunately, this usually escalates and you relapse. You have to get to the point where you can resist that urge to test your self-control.
Managing your risk triggers
You are able to remove yourself from specific situations likely to lead to a risk of relapse if you recognize them immediately. Being in a “using” situation – this may be inadvertent. You may be at a party where someone suddenly pulls out drugs. You need to leave and rudeness is not an issue here – it’s your life and sobriety that’s at stake. Not having a support system – you need to have sober friends you can call on when you feel the urge to use. They are able to talk you through the situation and help you to stick to your goals. Attending support group meetings on a regular basis is a great key to maintaining sobriety. It is too difficult to go it alone. Giving in to cravings – cravings take time to disappear and can reassert themselves at unexpected times. These cravings often don’t last for too long and you can deal with them with the right mental focus. It helps to plan ahead how to handle them. You may decide to exercise, for instance, rather than giving in to cravings. For more information about Summit Estate rehab programs, call 800.701.6997.