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Getting sober from drugs and alcohol is a huge accomplishment, but completing a treatment program is just the first step in a long road of recovery. Just because you’ve stopped using doesn’t mean that others have, or that the temptation to partake won’t come up again. Particularly in the early stages of recovery, it’s easy to justify behaviors that could potentially spark a relapse.
Here are five common relapse triggers to watch out for and avoid – especially during the early stages of your recovery.
Whether it’s a puff of a joint being passed around or a glass of champagne as part of a toast, it’s easy to think in the moment that you’ll use drugs and alcohol one last time or as a one-off occasion. However, drug and alcohol addiction are progressive diseases. Your one-time moment can turn into binge sessions or numerous other one-off moments that lead you right back to where you were.
Staying busy and avoiding idle down time are great ways to avoid the temptations leading to relapse, but the resulting stress of that hectic pace can also serve as a trigger. With your health and sobriety on the line, it’s best to only take on obligations that you can easily manage and don’t hesitate to say “no” if you simply can’t fit something in.
Staying busy and avoiding idle down time are great ways to avoid the temptations leading to relapse, but the resulting stress of that hectic pace can also serve as a trigger.
We all know someone who can figuratively – and often literally – drive us to drink, but this can be a major problem for your recovery process. And it’s a serious problem if that person happens to be a significant other, family member or close friend. As difficult as it might be, it’s essential to either severely restrict your time with these people or cut them off completely. Only surround yourself with supportive people who will provide the stability you need.
Your local bar or the park where you used to get high are key places to avoid in your recovery. If your bar friends still want to be in your life, suggest meeting them at places which don’t serve alcohol. If they aren’t willing to do this, you may want to consider whether these are people worth having in your life.
Being in recovery is about far more than just not drinking or using drugs. Failing to get good nutrition, regular exercise or adequate sleep can impair decision making and negatively affect your mood. Commit to making healthy choices in order to maintain the positive structure you need in your life.
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