Relapse is a very real part of dealing with addiction. Receiving treatment and getting sober is a big step on the road to recovery, but the work does not end when you leave the treatment center. Taking the tools you learned in treatment to handle your triggers and prevent relapse is critical for long-lasting recovery. Keep reading to learn more about handling triggers, relapse prevention, and when to seek help.
Recognizing Your Triggers
The first step of handling your triggers and preventing relapse is knowing what your triggers are. This is done in treatment; however, during difficult times of stress, it is important to revisit these triggers or make notes if there have been any new triggers introduced into your life.
The most common triggers include:
- High-stress levels. Stress is the number one cause of relapse. When an individual is stressed out, they will seek ways to comfort themselves and soothe their stress.
- Reminders of addiction. Reminders of addiction can include people or places that were part of life while in active addiction. Bars, an old group of party friends, the smell of alcohol, or anything in between can be enough to romanticize using again.
- Celebrations. Going to celebratory events sober for the first time can be very challenging, and people may think that having “just one drink” in the spirit of the event won’t be a big deal.
Check Your Relapse Prevention Plan
Luxury drug and alcohol treatment centers provide a safe space for people to stabilize and into a healthy routine. However, before that structure is gone and individuals are back in their old environment, it is essential to ensure a solid relapse prevention plan is in place. When feeling like triggers are becoming challenging to handle, checking this relapse prevention plan will help put you on the right road to overcoming this difficult time.
At Seasons Malibu, life after treatment does not mean the healing stops. Our team of addiction treatment experts will do the aftercare planning for you, so you do not have to worry when the time comes that you have to leave the facility. We will even provide follow-up therapy sessions so you will never feel alone.
Some things that may be part of this plan include:
- Sober support groups
- Meeting times and places
- A list of all the reasons you became sober
- Boundaries you’ve set between yourself and loved ones
- A list of your most common triggers and tips from your treatment team on how to deal with them
- A list of all your favorite self-care acts as a reminder
Focus On Self Care and Stress Relief
Since stress is the leading cause of relapse, it is crucial to keep stress levels low. When triggers are becoming increasingly difficult to deal with, make sure you spend a little extra time focusing on yourself and what makes you happy. This can include:
- Declining invitations to events for now until you feel more ready
- A commitment to eating healthier and staying more active to burn off excess energy
- Planning a fun activity with someone from your sober support group
- Getting a massage and indulging on a day at the spa to relax
- Take a day off work to get away from stress and spend time with family
Seek Professional Help When You Need It
In some cases, no matter how hard you try to handle your triggers and prevent relapse on your own, it can be impossible to do alone. If you have relapsed or feel as if it is on the horizon, it is imperative to seek professional help when you need it. Whether you have been sober for five months or five years, relapse is always a possibility.
- Contact a treatment center. If you have relapsed, make sure you get to a treatment center as soon as possible before your addiction spirals further.
- Reach out to a friend. Talk to one of your sober support systems and let them know how you are feeling. They may have tips and advice that can help you through this difficult time.
- Enroll in outpatient recovery. If you need a refresher on dealing with triggers, enrolling in an outpatient recovery program can help you.
About Seasons in Malibu
An addiction treatment program is only as effective as its aftercare planning. A well-planned aftercare program can make or break a treatment program due to the high likelihood of relapse in early recovery. However, some people may still find difficulty, no matter how prepared they are. This is common and doesn’t mean that sobriety should be given up on. There is help available to get you through this difficult time.
Staying involved in the therapy and recovery community increases the likelihood of continued success in your sobriety. We can help provide you with an individualized aftercare program that best suits your needs. You can maintain a close connection and safety network of peers through attending scheduled groups and alumni functions at our beautiful rehab campus in Malibu. As you begin your reintegration, both you and your family can continue to work on any obstacles and continue to learn and apply your newly discovered tools to maintain a healthy, sober lifestyle.
With our outstanding team of clinicians, we can succinctly pinpoint those areas of focus that will give the client the most advanced opportunity for success. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive, and committed.
For more information, visit seasonsmalibu.com.