When an individual goes into full recovery regarding drug abuse, then a round of congratulations is definitely in order. However, they should be aware that drug addiction is considered a chronic disease just as much as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or even cancer. Chronic diseases, such as drug addiction, will require lifelong maintenance to continue to stay sober. Drug relapse is always possible, so they should definitely be on their guard. Here is some extra information people facing drug addiction should know:
Realize The Causes of an Addiction Relapse
When it comes to drug relapse prevention, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind before you can even follow the steps to prevent drug relapse. First of all, you need to realize the common causes of a relapse. For example, if you encounter stress, have poor finances, have work problems, or continue to socialize with friends who do drugs, a relapse could be imminent. Moreover, if you hang out in places where sobriety isn’t supported (i.e., bars or nightclubs, etc.), it could lead to relapse. Finally, if you have emotional instability, it could be a problem as well.
Next, you should be aware of the signs of a drug relapse. Such things as an emotional relapse (poor emotional well-being), mental relapse (they are severely tempted and are in a push/pull mentality), and physical relapse where a person is completely using drugs again. There is some good news here, though. There are things you can do to prevent relapse. Consider some of the following strategies:
Stay as busy as possible.
After you quit a drug, you have what is called an “addiction void.” You will need to find something to fill that void. Doing such things as engaging in your faith, volunteering, or even working a job can all help you replace that addiction void with something immensely more constructive!
Focus on self-care activities
Simply put, it’s called taking care of yourself. Doing things such as setting healthy boundaries, taking time to be with yourself, finding balance, and staying mindful are all things you can do to appropriately practice self-care.
Have some goals
The best way to sum it up is that “no direction is a terrible direction.” If you don’t have any goals in your addiction recovery, you will eventually end up going back to where your life just revolves around getting high or drunk yet again. However, if you set goals, you will be on the road to positive thinking, shifting your mindset, and focusing on the future.
Be accountable to someone
Another way to prevent drug relapse would be to remain accountable to someone. Being accountable can mean different things to different people. For example, for some former addicts, it would mean attending daily Narcotics Anonymous meetings or attending regular therapy sessions. For some individuals, being accountable simply means that they avoid their triggers or stressors. At times, it can simply just mean being honest with yourself and your loved ones.
Keep some grounding techniques in mind.
Many individuals use grounding techniques when they are in a stressful situation. This can be an effective way to cope with things, and it can be incredibly helpful when you are in an anxious mood, stressed out, or panicked. This will help you regain a semblance of control and keep your mind away from negative thoughts or emotions. Many therapists will recommend the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique simply because it encompasses many things. You should look at five things you can see, four things that you would be able to touch, three things you can hear, two items where you can smell it, and one thing you can taste.
If you keep these techniques in mind, you will not only be able to beat your addiction, but you will remain a productive citizen for years to come.
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