Breaking the Cycle of Relapse
Understanding the cycle of relapse begins with understanding drug and alcohol abuse disorders in themselves. This spectrum of substance-related mental and emotional disorders manifest in various different ways and affect everyone differently. Unifying factors which indicate the difference between recreational use and addiction include:
- Mental or emotional reliance on drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism
- Preoccupation with obtaining the next drink or more drugs
- Difficulty or inability to stop substance use due to physical or psychological dependence
- Onset of withdrawal symptoms when attempting to reduce or abstain from use
Because addiction often has roots in underlying trauma or unaddressed mental health issues, failing to address these things during addiction treatment in Coral Springs can leave one vulnerable to the dangers of relapse. Substance use is a self-destructive coping mechanism, but without replacing it with new, healthier means of coping, falling back into that cycle is nearly inevitable.
Early Signs and Common Causes of Relapse
Relapse isn’t something that just happens suddenly; there’s nearly always early warning signs, so learning to recognize them can help to protect one’s commitment to sober living in Coral Springs. These signs can include:
- Idealizing past drug or alcohol abuse
- Isolating and avoiding one’s peers and sober support group
- Returning to other old habits, relationships, or frequenting old hangouts
- Increased agitation or mood swings
What triggers relapse? It varies from person to person, but generally triggers fall into three categories: mental, physical, and emotional.
Mental and emotional triggers tend to go hand in hand. They are attributed to the psychological dependence of addiction, which may drive one back to old habits when stressed, upset, or even happy. These emotional connections are difficult to sever, but by focusing on incorporating positive coping mechanisms and mindfulness into one’s life, you can empower yourself to maintain sobriety.
Physical triggers are easier to spot and avoid in most cases. These are associated with the physical act of substance use. Things like drug paraphernalia, alcohol bottles and shot glasses, or even certain locations or smells can be triggering. Most addiction recovery specialists advice people in early recovery to avoid the people, places, and things associated with their active addiction to prevent relapse caused by physical triggers.
Preventing Relapse: Sponsorships, Checking In, and Sober Living in Coral Springs
Connection and community are key to sustaining long-term recovery. By staying active in the recovery community, we unite with others who share similar stories and struggles in order to heal together. The buddy system is important in early recovery when the risk of relapse is at its highest. Having someone who understands to talk to can help relieve mental and emotional challenges of recovery without relapsing. Plus, others are more likely to notice early signs of relapse, allowing for early intervention before you slip back into addiction. Finding a sponsor who is further along the path of recovery who can help support and guide you is also a good way to stay committed.
If your home environment is not conducive to maintaining sobriety, a sober home in Coral Springs is a good alternative. Sunrise Sober Living offers a safe place to continue the journey, allowing you to learn how to incorporate the life skills and lessons of addiction treatment into everyday life. With the continued support of a sober living community, it is easier to sustain your new sober life.