According to reports, once an addict is introduced to recovery, they stand an average 1/35 chance of maintaining their sobriety long-term. The internal, societal and environmental forces driving relapse can be too much to handle for many addicts who rather than wave the sober flag, return to old habits. There is an array of reasons recovering addicts relapse – many of which can be prevented.
Drug and alcohol addiction is a combination of mental obsession and physical compulsion that often perseveres for years into recovery. Unfortunately for many addicts, the desire to remain clean is typically outweighed by the compulsion to use.
Choosing not to participate in a 12-step program or support group is a major reason why many addicts relapse. Strict dedication to these programs provides recovering addicts with the skills and resources needed to cope with obsession and compulsions in a positive manner.
Recovering addicts who choose to return to their previous lifestyle have difficulty remaining clean. Old friends, destinations and situations are often far too tempting for addicts to avoid “just one more”. Actions and behaviors that contribute to self-loathing, such as lying, stealing and promiscuity will ultimately drive the individual towards self-destruction.
Negative feelings – depression, anger, fear – are common relapse triggers. Unfortunately, so are good feelings! Drugs and alcohol are frequently utilized during periods of celebration. As such, it’s important for recovering addicts to take both failure and accomplishment in stride. Keeping your emotions in check during these types of situations is key to a long and happy sobriety.
While stress is certainly a contributing relapse factor, complacency and boredom can be just as harmful. Recovering addicts must find positive, healthy and active ways to fill their days.
“You are the company you keep.”
Associate yourself with supportive, understanding and positive people. Maintaining sobriety requires a solid serving of encouragement, dedication and support from family and friends. If you choose to hang out with the wrong crowd, it will be easier to fall back into the addiction cycle.
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