How to Avoid Relapsing Back to Drug Addiction
The process of recovering from drug addiction is one of the hardest and most painful experiences that one can go through. Recovery involves a lot of change, and there is always the risk of relapse. Relapse refers to falling back into previous undesired habits related to addiction, and this is often the case for many former drug addicts. However, this does not have to be your story. There are skills and techniques that can be used to avoid relapse. Below are a few tips to help get you started.
Stick with the Program
After making the choice to stop using, you may find yourself in a treatment program or facility. A treatment program is your best bet at avoiding a relapse. It is important to note that addiction is a chronic disease with no quick fixes; therefore, one must commit to a long-term treatment program. Recovering addicts who are able to go years without falling into relapse have significantly benefited from sticking to treatment and seeking out aftercare structures like support groups.
Support groups bring together people with similar struggles, providing a safe space not only to express themselves but work through their problems. The San Antonio drug rehab center has seen many of the clients they help thrive as a result of sticking to treatment programs and aftercare support groups.
Know Your Triggers
Good programs offer a wide array of treatment options, one of which includes therapy. A therapist teaches you skills that help identify and manage your triggers. Triggers refer to the things that elicit thoughts and cravings for drugs and often result in relapse. They can range from the people in your life, other addicts who are still using, specific emotions, and even places. Knowing your triggers is the first step in helping develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with cravings.
Build a New Lifestyle
For many people, drug use and the triggers for the same are deeply embedded in their lifestyles. This then calls for significant changes over the long haul to create a new, healthier life and avoid relapse. Developing robust coping mechanisms for stress and other emotions that often serve as triggers for drug use is one such change. Seeking to identify any underlying mental illnesses and managing them is another critical step that often helps many people lead healthier drug-free lives.
Building a new lifestyle also involves incorporating healthy practices such as exercise, meditation, and other mindfulness practices. Mindfulness has proven to be a great tool in the process of recovery as it helps build awareness, which is useful when trying to cope with the daily stresses of life.
Get a Good Support System
The importance of healthy and wholesome support systems cannot be underestimated. Many recovering addicts draw on the support of friends and family to help them get through those really tough days during rehabilitation. However, some family and friends may serve as a trigger or also struggle with addiction as well. If this is the case, you can seek out help and support from aftercare programs, which help one build a great support system to get you through both the good and bad days.
The road to recovery is full of bumps, and it is easy to get frustrated if you are constantly facing obstacles. Nonetheless, you must remember to take things one day at a time and celebrate the small wins of the day. Practicing patience and self-compassion will help build resilience and fight the frustration that often leads many former addicts to relapse.
At the end of the day, recovering from addiction is nearly as tough as dealing with any other chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma. However, just like asthma is managed with inhalers, addiction can also be managed, and relapse avoided.