After the completion of your rehabilitation, you’re ready to re-embrace life again to the fullest. However, reintegrating into normal day-to-day activities can still present challenges. It’s important to recognize the risks that you can possibly face each day as a recovering drug addict. The biggest challenges you’ll face during your day-to-day are addiction triggers.
Triggers are situations or things that can spur a relapse. Avoiding these high-risk scenarios can be difficult, but it can be done.
Addiction shouldn’t be a life sentence. With constant management and thorough awareness, you can keep dangerous urges at bay. The following are just a few steps that can help keep you away from dangers that can cause a relapse.
1. Identify Your Triggers
The triggers that you experience are unique, so knowing what yours are can go a long way in helping you avoid interactions with them. For some people, stress is what drives them to abuse substances. For others, the mere act of being near a club can trigger a relapse. To determine what can make you feel the need to use again, ask yourself a few questions:
- What situations give you an impulse to abuse a substance?
- What do I look for from using?
- Am I after stress relief? The ability to forget responsibilities?
- When do I crave alcohol or drugs the most?
As soon as you know what your triggers are, you’ll be able to strategize a way around them. You can take steps in the moment to move yourself as far away from the risk as possible.
2. Avoid Any Stress
Stress may seem like an unavoidable part of life. Many deal with stress on a daily basis. Situations at home, school, and work can creep in and build up the stress. Realistically, there’s no way to eliminate every stressful moment you experience. However, there are steps you can take to recognize when stress is building and how to reduce those feelings.
When you feel anxious:
- Take a step back
- Breathe deeply
- Count to ten
You have to center yourself in these moments and make decisions so that you don’t turn to substances. If you have time, do something you enjoy to counteract your anxiety. Listen to your favorite music, go for a walk, or take a swim. For some, going to the gym and exercising is the perfect way to get rid of tension.
3. Look to Others for Help
Some people’s triggers are related directly to being around others. Being close to certain people and their actions can cause you to lose track of what’s important, including your sobriety.
When the presence or actions of a person causes you to feel like your being triggered, turn to someone else to get the help you need instead. Whether you need to reach out to addiction therapy services in Southern California with post recovery-sessions, or just a close friend, don’t try to handle your recovery on your own.
4. Stay Busy and Motivated
A common trigger that substance abusers struggle to deal with is boredom. Having nothing to do and nothing to fill that void can cause someone to want to relapse. Staying busy keeps your mind focused on something else. To avoid boredom, create a list of specific things you can do. Having this list ready in advance will help you avoid any downtime. If lists aren’t your thing, get outdoors. Simple tasks, like weeding your garden, can keep you and your mind busy.
Recognize Your Strengths
Triggers are going to be present in your life after rehab. The way you handle them is what will define your recovery journey. If you feel you’re not equipped to deal with the real world yet, reach out to rehabilitation centers and friends for support.