For those in recovery, focusing on maintaining sobriety is an often difficult task. Most people who go through an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program will end up relapsing. Some will go through rehab over ten different times, before sobriety sticks. While it is important to acknowledge that relapse is a normal part of most people’s recovery, it is crucial to avoid relapsing with every ounce of your strength and willpower. If relapsing wasn’t a problem, drug rehab would be easy. While quality rehabilitation centers attempt to make recovery from addiction as easy as possible, it will be difficult. You will face many challenges. The temptation to relapse and start using again will be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome in your recovery from addiction.
Understanding your own unique, personal relapse triggers are important to avoid a potentially life-threatening relapse. We say life-threatening because many people die from a drug overdose the first time they relapse. Too often an addict in recovery will use the same amount of a drug they may be familiar with, thinking they can do as much as they used to before they quit using. This is dangerous because when your body had built-up a tolerance to the drug, you gradually begin using larger and larger doses. Once you’ve had a chance to go through detox and had weeks, months or even years of sobriety, your body’s tolerance is gone. This can easily result in an overdose death so it is important to avoid relapsing with all means necessary.
The easiest way to stop a potential relapse is to simply avoid relapse triggers. These are situations, experiences, places, even people who bring out your inner urges to use drugs or alcohol. Sometimes it’s a holiday or special day when maybe you lost someone close to you. Or it could be a club or place you used to hang out when you were using that makes you romanticize your past substance abuse. It could even be a family member or friend who you previously used with that makes you want to do it again. For others, it could be a trigger of solitude or loneliness that will give you the urge to get high or drunk again. This varies, wildly from person to person. It is important for you to identify your top relapse triggers while in recovery from addiction at a drug rehab.
Most effective addiction treatment programs will have a class or group therapy focused on relapse prevention. More Than Rehab, located just outside of Houston, Texas is no different. We see our relapse prevention group therapy session as one of the most important components of our addiction treatment program. This class helps you identify your personal relapse triggers and hear others’ that you might not have thought of as a trigger before. Simply acknowledging them and making a plan to avoid the triggers and what to do when you cannot avoid them is the key to maintaining your long-term sobriety. Heck, that’s the ultimate goal of a great drug rehabilitation program.
The main goal of drug rehab is to quit using drugs, recover from your addiction and maintain your sobriety. Most people feel great after first stopping their use of drugs or alcohol, but this feeling fades and many people report a feeling of “emptiness” once they’ve been out of rehab for a little while. Loneliness, restlessness and depression can start to sink in because the addict doesn’t know what to do anymore. This is why it is important to set goals in recovery, beyond just staying sober. Making small, achievable goals is important because each success will be a cause for you to celebrate. Goals help you move closer and closer to your dreams and will help create the foundations for positive outcomes in recovery.
Setting realistic goals is of utmost importance here, because you certainly don’t want to fail. Failure to reach your goals can be a source of depression which could become a strong trigger for relapse. Setting smaller, achievable goals is a great way to begin. Once you accomplish them you can celebrate yourself and your recovery, finding a way to really create a new life for yourself, one small step at a time.