Beating an addiction is going to take a lifelong devotion to sobriety, and your residential treatment program is only the first step in a much longer process. Those who are struggling with substance abuse problems must understand their triggers and have a comprehensive relapse plan in place. If you have recently finished an inpatient program or are planning on heading to a residential drug treatment center in the near future, then read ahead for some tips that will help you transition back to your daily life.
Identifying Personal Triggers
Every single addict is slightly different, and this means that their triggers will be different as well. That being said, there are some common emotional, social, and environmental triggers you will want to keep an eye out for. Environmental triggers are often the easiest to identify because they involve a physical location such as a bar or your old childhood neighborhood. Social triggers include unhealthy people in your life like an old friend you used to drink with in the past.
Emotional triggers can be the most difficult to identify. Many addicts abuse substances to cope with some of the overwhelming emotions they deal with in their daily life such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Once you have identified your personal triggers, it is important you do everything in your power to avoid them.
Build a Support Team
Having the proper support is absolutely vital to anyone who is struggling with substance abuse. Even if your support team consists of other people who are going through the same situation, you must have a group you can rely on to get you through triggers and potentially even a relapse. When building a support team, you should only choose people you trust completely. These individuals must put your health and well-being first even if you attempt to shut them out.
Understand Your Warning Signs
Most relapses take place after a long series of warnings signs. Being able to identify those warning signs and then change your course is the only way to maintain your sobriety. For many people, the warning signs involve changes to their emotions and personality. These warning signs are often the result of triggers you have recently experienced. A recovering addict might experience frustration and begin distancing themselves from their loved ones. Others will become angry and aggressive until they feel as if their only option is to drink or use their drug of choice. After you have noticed a warning sign, you can begin the process of backtracking.
An Emergency Relapse Plan
Some people disagree with the idea of an emergency relapse plan because they believe it creates a subconscious “safety net” for the user, but relapses almost always blindside an individual. In many cases, the emergency relapse plan involves nothing more than authorizing another individual to check you back into the inpatient center. At the very least, your emergency plan should include steps you can take to avoid permanently injuring yourself or potentially even dying.
The final step in this process is to take a fresh look at your physical well-being. Recovery can take quite a toll on an individual’s body and mind, and it is vital that you continue to eat well, drink plenty of water, sleep as much as possible, and exercise.