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17 Drug And Alcohol Abuse Relapse Triggers
Recent deaths of Hollywood stars Brad Renfro and Heath Ledger have many people wondering why these talented actors or those around them fail to get help. The VH1 smash reality show, Celebrity Rehab clearly shows the struggles stars face when they attempt to enter a rehab program. Like it or not, the world has watched Britney Spears throw away a stellar career and two beautiful children to her addictions. Continually, she tries to solve problems without the support she truly needs. What people fail to realize is that drug addiction or alcoholism cannot be permanently cured or removed and there are at least seventeen triggers that can lead to relapses.
The most important key to avoiding a setback is to get away and stay away from old friends that drank or got high with you. If you find yourself in an environment where your former vices are being passed around, leave immediately and never return. Another on this list involves cutting ties with a spouse or significant other who drinks or uses drugs. It is painful but important.
A third danger involves skipping meetings with your sponsor. Support groups are essential if you wish to succeed. Cravings are going to rear their ugly head. If you have skipped numerous meetings or blown your sponsor off, you will not feel you have the right to call on them when you most need support. Along this line comes another potential trigger. If you find yourself thinking about your drug use, it is time to seek help.
It is critical to keep all appointments with your doctor. Coming out of a drug or alcohol addiction is potentially life threatening. Your body can go into shock. Remember that addiction is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. In fact, the sixth trigger to watch for is thoughts that you are strong enough to kick the habit without any help. Strength is a great quality, but no one has the power to kick a drug or alcohol addiction alone.
As soon as you enter into a recovery program for drug or alcohol addiction, have a friend or family member go through your house with you. Throw out any alcohol, narcotics, and/or drug supplies. You will know where your hidden locations are, so be honest when pointing them out.
Creating a daily routine can help keep the troubles to a minimum. As you progress through a rehab program, you can start to alter your routine slightly, but you still need to make sure your day follows a certain pattern so that your mind does not have time to wander.
Please remember that breaking a drug or alcohol habit is going to have ups and downs. Do not allow yourself to dwell on the bad spots. Depression, anxiety, and rage are common side effects as you break your drug or alcohol habit. Your doctor will be able to help you manage them before you cause harm to yourself or others. Another potential trigger occurs when depression or anxiety does act up and you switch your addiction from one drug to another. If you quit one addiction, it is crucial that you not start up another.
If you have been hurt or disappointed, one of the basic twelve-steps in an AA program is to forgive or be forgiven. Often addictions are tied to situations from the past. It’s important to move past the bitterness or regret and start anew.
Number 14 on the potential trigger list deals with facing a life change. If you are working on breaking a habit and then add another issue like getting married or losing your child to your spouse (aka Britney Spears), the odds are slim that your recovery process will be successful. In fact, it is important to focus on getting better first and then work on other problems one at a time.
As you continue the path to kicking drugs and/or alcohol, you must learn to identify your most common causes and warning signs that precede a craving or rough spot. By identifying them early, you will be able to seek support much earlier. And this leads into the 15th trigger--know your limitations and when you need to seek help from your doctor, sponsor or support group.
Allowing troubles to go unchanged will only lead to more cravings - number16 on the list. Stressful, anxious thought patterns or feelings are common reasons people list as to why they drink or use narcotics. If you let personal issues fester, you are far more likely to return to your bad habits.
Finally, never stop using medications your doctor has prescribed. Some prescriptions are there to help you get past the dangerous side effects of withdrawal—pain, nausea, etc. Kicking your addiction is not pretty. Some even die during the process from withdrawal. The prescriptions are there to save your life! Even if you are feeling better, you need to keep taking them until your doctor says otherwise.
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