How to prevent a relapse after addiction recovery

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Have you completed an addiction recovery program in the past, only to relapse? Addiction recovery is a process that combines several elements to become successful. After addiction rehab, maybe you considered living in a sober home. Sober living is a great step on your wellness path. To maintain your sobriety, familiarize yourself with coping methods that will assist you in managing your emotional triggers.

What is a trigger?

Triggers are defined as any stimuli that tempts a person into engaging in addictive behavior. Triggers can sabotage your addiction recovery plans. The good news is that you are in an addiction recovery program and can prevent triggers from letting you slide back into self-destructive habits. To prevent a relapse after addiction recovery, identifying your triggers is pivotal to continue sober living. Some triggers are obvious: walking by a bar or spending time with a person you’ve got high with in the past. Less recognizable triggers can be boredom, getting into an argument, payday, or feeling stressed. There are three types of triggers: environment, social and emotional.

Environmental triggers

A physical place can have an influence on your sober living and decision making abilities. Walking into a bar, visiting a home that has unpleasant memories, or being in a certain geographic region can stimulate an addictive behavior.

Social triggers

These triggers tend to be easy to identify. Speaking with a family member or friend who encouraged or enabled addictive behavior can cause relapse. To prevent a relapse, learn to avoid the social occasions and individuals that tempt you into addictive behaviors.

Emotional triggers

The most difficult type of triggers to identify and manage are emotional triggers. The most common emotional triggers include stress, fear, anxiety, frustration, and depression. These feelings can cause you to slide back into addictive behaviors. In sober living, you can learn to manage your emotions to prevent a relapse.

Once you can identify your emotional, social, and environmental triggers, acknowledge their influence over your actions. Find healthy coping mechanisms to manage your reactions to triggers, and to help you avoid triggers, will keep you on your journey of sober living.

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