You’ve entered a rehab facility and made the journey through the hell of your addiction and come out the other side clean and sober. Then the next stage of your recovery begins, you develop a support network, start a healthy diet, you remove influences or change social circles that could trigger an episode or a relapse into your former lifestyle. But some situations could create a potential for relapse and our afflicted/addicted friends need to protect themselves from to maintain sobriety.
A relapse is defined as a backslide to former behavior that got them into rehab in the first place; it means that the individual has taken up their habit again, whether it be drugs or alcohol the results are the same. A relapse trigger is an event that provides the afflicted with justification to engage in the use of drugs or alcohol and many times they are looking for an excuse to engage in substance abuse again and the trigger is the vehicle they use to justify the behavior.
Here Are Some Common Triggers to Watch for After Rehab:
Pink Cloud Syndrome
Low self-esteem is common among substance abusers, so developing a bit of confidence on the road to recovery is important to help the afflicted strengthen their mental capacity. But, this can be detrimental due to phenomena called ‘Pink Cloud Syndrome.” PCS is the byproduct of overconfidence in the addict, and it usually happens early on in recovery. The addict believes that once they have completed a drug or alcohol rehab treatment program attained sobriety, all their problems are over, and little or no effort is required in maintaining sobriety. It creates a false sense of security and they stop doing all the things that led to sobriety and then a relapse is ripe to occur.
Sometimes the addicted have unreasonable expectations in recovery, and it is another problem that recovering addicts face as they navigate their way in a sober world. When people conquer their addiction they just expect their lives to improve dramatically, but improvements don’t occur by themselves and hard work, and effort is required to maintain sobriety with programs like aftercare. Giving up the substance is just one small step on a long journey that requires vigilance and patience to succeed.
Post-Acute Withdraw Symptoms (PAWS)
Symptoms of depression and post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) can be devastating for a recovering addict. Sometimes the addict may be afflicted with undiagnosed depression – in which case professional help in the way of Dual Diagnosis treatment is necessary to help the individual overcome their present state of mind. PAWS can last up to a year and create excruciating duress in the recovering addict and cause a relapse as pain inhibitor so they can cope.
There are other triggers that can cause addicts to relapse but the most common are hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness (HALT) that can contribute to re-visiting the abusive behavior. Naturally, staying away from old friends and situations that may trigger a relapse is also crucial.
Ways to avert this behavior are seemingly simple, yet effective when helping an addict deal with life when it starts to become overwhelming. Awareness is the key to overcoming stressful situations, and some solutions are as simple as having something to eat or visiting a fellowship meeting if they feel lonely.
For the addicted person, knowing themselves and being honest with themselves will go a long way to helping maintain sobriety. As long as there is the dedication to maintaining sobriety, recognizing triggers and dealing with them will help the recovering addict stay clean. Call Beachside today at 866-349-1770 to learn more about relapse.