Why is it so hard to stay clean and sober? While some who have found sobriety through drug rehab centers or 12-step programs are able to maintain their recovery for decades, many find that old triggers, habits, and stressors like depression or chronic illness can create a strong temptation to use again. When a person falls back into substance abuse after a period of recovery, this is commonly referred to as a relapse.
Relapse is a relatively common occurrence due to the nature of addiction as a disease that essentially hijacks the brain and drives self-destructive behavior. Risk factors can be as simple as feeling stressed or having a slight pain in your leg. Because you’ve developed a habit of self-medicating when you feel discomfort, the memories of how the substance once made you feel can be dangerously persuasive.
The Best Ways to Avoid Temptation and Relapse
Here are some of the top methods for avoiding a relapse:
- Know your triggers (and avoid them, if possible). Identifying the things that create the most temptation might be the most important thing you do as you transition out of rehab and into long-term recovery.² Know the people, places, situations, and thoughts that trigger your cravings to use and, if possible, avoid them altogether.
- Find an enjoyable hobby. Discovering a new activity you truly have fun doing is a great way to avoid the temptation to use out of boredom and develop new, healthy ways of dealing with stress and pain. Many recovering addicts find that creative expression is a great way to heal and keep themselves busy.
- Build supportive, nourishing relationships. A strong support network can encourage you when you’re feeling weak, and talking openly with family can help resolve issues that were former triggers.
- Remain vigilant. As time goes on, you may find yourself becoming lax about your habits or trigger exposure. Don’t stress yourself out, but always stay cognizant of your risk factors.
- Actively work on treating any co-occurring mental and physical illnesses. Achieving long-lasting sobriety is incredibly difficult if the addiction is comorbid with other issues like depression, bipolar disorder, or chronic disease. To support your recovery, make sure you are always actively working to manage any co-occurring conditions.
Find Support for Long-Lasting Sobriety in the Drug Rehab Programs at BlueCrest Recovery Center
If you’re struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction or have recently relapsed and need additional help to get back on track, the compassionate addiction experts at BlueCrest Recovery Center can help. In our partial care and outpatient substance abuse treatment programs, specialists help addicts from all walks of life break free from drug and alcohol abuse and develop a solid plan for a sober future.
At BlueCrest Recovery Center, we understand that recovery is a process you’ll need to maintain and support throughout your lifetime. For this reason, we also offer key aftercare services to bolster post-recovery confidence, help clients learn valuable life skills, refer them to educational/career opportunities, and generally prepare them for a richer, more fulfilling life.
If you’re ready to get clean and make a plan for lasting health and sobriety, contact us online or call us today at (973) 453-5384.