After overcoming an addiction, the battle is not yet over. Patients will also need to address how they handle relapse triggers to prevent substance abuse problems from coming back. Although recently released patients often view themselves as successful with overcoming addiction, the true battle is won in the long run. Rehab therapy can help you to temporarily avoid substance abuse, but it cannot overcome your free will. If you do not choose to continue to avoid the substance, it is possible you could have a relapse. Therefore, this will provide advice for patients looking to avoid relapse triggers and maintain recovery success.
Understand the Cause
The first step to addressing relapse triggers is to understand what situations got you into the problem in the first place. Your substance abuse may have been driven by a close friend, a relative, your neighborhood, or even your work environment. If you want to prevent the problems from coming back again, you will need to avoid the environment that facilitated substance abuse. This means you may need to find a new job, move to a new home, or start over with new friends. If you do not understand what caused your substance abuse in the first place, you cannot expect it to stay away for long. Therefore, it is important to study the reasons that initially led to substance abuse. Once this is understood, you can avoid relapse triggers and maintain a healthy life.
Avoid the Situation
The reality is that most humans are driven and motivated by their environment. If you were previously addicted to a substance, is important to avoid the environment that originally led to substance abuse. It may have started at a party, at your friend’s house, or even on the street. If you know of a certain situation that would generally trigger substance abuse, you should make sure that you avoid putting yourself into that situation again. One of the most effective strategies for doing this is to take on a new hobby. By doing this, you can acquire new interests that will decrease your potential incentive to find yourself in situations that could lead to relapse. In the process, you will also learn new skills that you could potentially use to advance in your life situation. By putting your previous substance abuse behind you, you can look forward to a better life that is entirely drug-free.
Avoid the Seeing Substance
It is also very important that you avoid seeing, smelling, or touching the substance that you were originally addicted to. In some cases, individuals who were previously addicted can immediately relapse after sensing the substance in the environment. Therefore, it is important to avoid situations where you could potentially come in contact with the substance that you were addicted to. In many cases, this means that you will need to avoid areas where you used to come in contact with the substance. To make this happen, it may be necessary to move to an entirely new home. Some individuals may even need to move to an entirely new city in order to avoid seeing the substance in their environment.
Avoid Peer Pressure
In some cases, former addicts relapse because they experience the same peer pressure that encouraged them to abuse substances in the first place. If you know that another person was responsible for your addiction, it may be a good idea to avoid them altogether. However, it may be difficult for some people to simply avoid peers that encourage risky behavior. For example, the peer could be a neighbor that lives right next door. While it sounds easy to simply avoid that person, this might not be a reality for some individuals. In these cases, you will either need to take drastic action to avoid that person or find a way to rectify the relationship. It may be possible to simply explain that you will only continue to be friends with the other person if they stop encouraging risky behavior. If the other person does not stop, make it clear that you truly will not be their friend unless they support your decision to avoid substance abuse.