When you become free from a substance abuse problem, you become free from a sort of bondage. Addiction is more than a physical problem. It’s more than the unhealthy use of alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse is much more than that. When a person has an addiction problem, the issue goes beneath the surface. Along with being a physical struggle with alcohol or drugs, it’s an emotional and mental battle. Those who are dealing with a substance problem often struggle to overcome these mental, emotional, and physical effects. And, even after an individual goes through treatment for addiction, it may be a challenge for her to continue to address and deal with those effects. When this struggle occurs, some people experience addiction relapse. But, it’s important to work to avoid returning to the bondage of addiction once you become free. And relapse prevention strategies can help you to do this.
The Importance of Identifying Your Triggers
Overcoming addiction is far from easy. It’s challenging to truly become free from something like drug or alcohol abuse. One of the reasons it’s so hard to become and remain from substance dependence is the fact that people have not identified and learned how to address the triggers in their lives. Triggers are the things that, in a sense, encourage addictive behavior. They cause people to think about using and feel like they need to return to substance use. There are many different types of triggers. Each person is different. So, everyone has a different combination of triggers. For some, stress can be a trigger. And, when an individual feels stressed, she may think about using alcohol to take away that feeling. Another person’s trigger may be depression. Fatigue, peer pressure, and seeing other people use are also possible triggers. Certain places, events, or people can also be triggers.
When a person encounters the triggers in her life, she may be tempted to use again. But, professional treatment and therapy help people learn to both recognize and address their triggers. It can be difficult to understand this process. It’s challenging to figure out how to work through the hard moments. The treatment process is not easy. But, more challenges will arise once you finish going through treatment. This is why it’s so important to learn how to address the triggers in your life. Now, let’s talk about some of the relapse prevention strategies that might help you maintain the freedom you’ve worked so hard to get!
Developing Addiction Relapse Prevention Strategies
One of the most important addiction relapse prevention strategies you can develop is the ability to avoid your triggers. For example, if spending time around people who are drinking alcohol is a trigger for you, avoid those situations. If you have close friends who drink, see if they will engage in sober activities with you instead of going out for drinks. If your family tends to drink at gatherings, you may need to speak with them about your desire to stay sober. If they support your journey, they will gladly make sure they keep alcohol up and out of the way! If there are individuals who refuse to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol around you, it may be necessary for you to avoid being around them.
There are some triggers, however, that you can’t really avoid. If stress, depression, or anxiety occur in your life, it’s best to seek professional guidance on ways to work through them while avoiding relapse. Your therapist can help you to develop relapse prevention strategies that work for you. Here at Willow Place for Women, we understand that it can be difficult to overcome and remain free from addiction. But, we want to walk with you through your journey to recovery. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!