Five Situations That Can Cause Drug or Alcohol Addiction Relapses

Apr 21, 2010 No Comments by

When alcohol or drug addiction relapse occurs, people often own it as a form of personal failure. In fact, drug or alcohol addiction relapse only demonstrates that underlying issues have not been properly treated during your inpatient alcohol rehab stay. However, once you have healed from the psychological and physical causes of your addiction, certain situations will still carry a risk of addiction—just as they would for anyone, whether they have a history of addiction or not. When transitioning back into your everyday life, it’s important to avoid high-risk situations, to protect and maintain the healing you experienced in alcohol or drug addiction inpatient treatment.

Five Situations That Can Cause Drug or Alcohol Addiction Relapses

Here are five of the most common situations that can trigger a drug or alcohol relapse. While eliminating these scenarios from your life will not guarantee sobriety, avoidance of high-risk situations will protect any deep and lasting healing you’ve achieved during your inpatient alcohol or drug rehabilitation experience.

  • Dysfunctional Relationships
    Relationships can exacerbate addiction—as well as suffer from the fallout of drug or alcohol addiction, as well. During inpatient drug or alcohol rehab, you can improve communication and intimacy skills for deeper and closer relationships. However, not every relationship is worth saving. If you find that you’re encountering partners or loved ones who do not treat you with dignity and respect, you need to leave them behind. Abuse of any kind—physical, sexual, or emotional—that goes unresolved will create deep emotional pain that triggers the impulse to escape with drug or alcohol use.
  • Interacting With Dependent People
    One common mistake those who have undergone inpatient drug or alcohol addiction rehab make is interacting with past circles of friends and associates who are still chemically dependent. The presence of alcohol or drugs in their lives not only puts you at risk for relapse, but also tends to include other illegal, irresponsible or negative behaviors. No one in the throes of addiction has the resources to be a terribly wonderful friend. Instead, focus your time and energy on friends and family who have physically and emotionally healthy lifestyles.
  • Not Planning
    Alcohol or drug addiction treatment creates a safe and steady environment in which to achieve sobriety. However, when you graduate and treatment comes to a close, it’s important to be prepared for the exciting life ahead of you. After care planning is a crucial part of the transitionary process, allowing you to set up an environment, support system, and lifestyle changes that foster your sobriety. Transitionary plans also tend to acknowledge any possible obstacles to sobriety, and proactively deal with them, to ensure that you feel empowered and confident in your recovery and sober life.
  • Unresolved Underlying Issues
    One of the most dangerous relapse-inducing situations is the lack of healing for underlying root causes of addiction. Many rehab programs offer positive means of treatment, but simply do not offer the individualized, personal attention needed to identify the reason for drug addiction or alcoholism. Underlying root causes such as chemical imbalances, past trauma, emotional pain or low self esteem need to be treated and specifically identified in order to bring true healing from addiction and alcoholism. Even if your body has been freed of physical dependency with drug or alcohol detox, if you still carry an emotional or psychological need for mind-altering substances, you are still at risk for relapse.
  • Unhealthy Home Environment
    Because our homes reflect, who we are and how we live, it’s essential to critically evaluate your home environment during your after care planning process. Remove any alcohol, drugs, or paraphernalia associated with your past addiction. Redecorate your home, or simply add a meditation space or writing desk where you can nurture your mind and spirit upon your return from alcoholism or addiction treatment. If you have roommates who are chemically dependent, abusive, or toxic in any way, seek out a new living situation. Remember that you worked hard to achieve your healing from drug or alcohol addiction, and you deserve to dwell in a place that fosters that hope and peace of mind.

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