Recovery is a life-long journey. Anyone who has embraced lifelong sobriety will tell you that there are times where the road gets particularly rocky. Though you may go through periods of your life when you feel clear-headed and ready to take on the world, sometimes events in life can trigger temptations to return to drinking or using drugs again. Even after you’ve made it through the most difficult parts of a drug rehab program, you’ll always need to remain vigilant. With that, let’s talk about some of the most common pitfalls in recovery, and how to avoid them.
Old Friends Can Trigger Old Habits
People don’t often start drinking or doing drugs on their own. Rather, it can start as something that’s socially normalized — all of your friends are drinking, so why wouldn’t you? Maybe cocaine use or marijuana use is common among your circle of friends. If that’s the case, then it may not be wise to associate with these same friends after you’ve gone through rehab if your goal is to achieve lifelong sobriety.
Opiate abuse is a rampant problem in the United States, primarily because of how addictive the substance is — if you’ve broken your addiction by detoxing from opiates and going through an opiate rehab program, you may feel ready to return to your normal life. But as soon as you spend time with a group of people who use opiates, the temptation to use again may strike. It’s especially difficult to avoid temptation if you’re facing peer pressure. With this in mind, it’s best not to associate with people who may encourage you to use drugs again, or whose presence may trigger memories that you associate with using drugs as a pleasant experience.
Seeking Long-Term Recovery from Substance Abuse? Dial 1.713.528.3709 Today
Be Cognizant of Your Mental Health
After receiving therapy for your mental health, you may find that you’re in a better headspace than ever before. However, it’s important to be conscious of your mental health over time. If you know that you’re prone to bouts of depression, it’s important to recognize when you’re having one of those episodes, and seek help to treat it. As is common in dual diagnosis cases, depression and anxiety can spur on substance use and abuse. When you treat the underlying issue of mental health, substance abuse is easier to avoid.
Common mental health problems that lead to substance use include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
At Promises, we have developed a unique approach to treating each of these problems. We understand how important your mental health is to avoid common pitfalls in recovery.
Find New Ways to Celebrate Success
Sometimes, after prolonged abstinence from drug or alcohol use, recovering substance abusers may believe that they’re cured. Alcohol has become synonymous with celebrations in our culture, and it’s normal to have a drink during a happy occasion. With this in mind, recovering substance abusers can often be tempted to have a beer or a glass of wine at an event. When nothing goes wrong as a result, it’s easy to justify drinking on another occasion. This can be a slippery slope, with one or two beers at an occasional event returning to a habit of binge drinking behind closed doors. Relapse is best avoided at all costs, so finding new ways to celebrate success is recommended.
Rather than drinking beer or wine, consider replacing them with soft drinks or juice cocktails. Having one sip of alcohol makes justifying the next one easier, and can lead to relapse.
Avoid Social Isolation
While it’s advisable to avoid people who may trigger temptation or craving for drugs or alcohol, total social isolation is also a common pitfall in recovery. Humans are social creatures, and a lack of interaction with others can lead to depression or a buildup of stress, which can trigger an onset of negative emotion. With this in mind, it’s important to have a group of trusted friends and family members within your sobriety support network. This will help you hold yourself accountable and feel fulfilled in life.
If you’re looking to develop new social habits, consider picking up a new hobby, or finding a 12-step meeting group who can help you network with other sober individuals. If you involve yourself in activities and groups that give you a greater sense of purpose, preventing relapse can be easier.
Work With Professionals to Avoid Common Pitfalls in Recovery
Rather than trying to do everything on your own, work proactively with therapists and substance abuse counselors in order to prevent relapse. Relapse can wipe away the progress you’ve made over time. Be proactive in helping yourself. Call 1.713.528.3709 or contact us online to speak with a counselor from Promises and learn more about our Austin drug rehab program today.