Getting back into sober living after relapse can seem challenging for many young men struggling with addiction. It can be tempting to fall back into former bad habits and hang out with friends who abuse alcohol and drugs — especially after a relapse. But a relapse doesn’t mean you can’t get — and stay — sober. Getting back into sober living after a relapse is key to getting back on the road to recovery.
Why do People Relapse While in Sober Living?.
There are many reasons why a person might relapse while in sober living. For some, they think that they can still associate with friends or family who still use, go to places where there is easy access to drugs or alcohol. For others, it is because they have not yet fully developed their coping skills and mechanisms for dealing with triggers. Triggers will occur and happen as it is part of recovery. Not giving in to the temptation to take just one sip or one hit can become difficult.
Another cause for relapse is because some people put themselves in high-stress situations thinking they can manage their stress. Unfortunately, if they used to manage their stress by drinking or using drugs and have not learned new sober methods to alleviate stress, it is easy to fall right back into managing stress using alcohol or drugs.
What are Some Common Signs of Relapse?
It is important to remember that relapse looks different for everyone. However, there are some common signs of relapse that can indicate you, or someone you care about, needs help getting back into sober living after relapse.
- Associating with family and friends that use and abuse alcohol and drugs.
- Staying out late or not coming home for several days.
- Missing work or school.
- Downplaying the seriousness of their former drinking and using drugs.
- Saying they can handle using drugs or drinking occasionally or socially in small amounts.
- No longer going to meetings, individual counseling, and following their aftercare plan.
- Discontinuing regular exercise.
- Returning to an unhealthy diet that consists of junk foods, fast foods, etc.
- Not taking phone calls from their sponsor or peer support specialist.
What are Common Relapse Triggers?
Just like the reasons why people relapse, they can also have their own unique relapse triggers. However, some of the more common potential relapse triggers can include:
- Being around family and friends that drink and use drugs.
- Visiting locations where there is easy access to drugs or alcohol
- Experiencing high levels of stress and not using sober coping techniques.
- Unresolved trauma or mental health condition.
- Experiencing cravings and not using coping skills to address them.
- Attending different types of celebrations, such as birthdays.
How to Avoid Relapse Triggers
Learning how to avoid relapse triggers is part of the addiction recovery process. While you probably have already identified some of your triggers during rehab, there can be other hidden triggers you have not yet discovered.
One of the best ways to avoid relapse triggers is to restructure your life to avoid putting yourself into situations or around people that you know could cause you to want to take a drink or use drugs.
Another thing that can be beneficial is to move into a sober living facility after rehab. A sober living facility helps provide ongoing support as you continue to work on your sobriety. Plus, you can meet new friends who want to maintain their sobriety.
A third thing you can do is continue practicing and developing your coping skills and mechanisms. As you do, you will find it easier not to give in when experiencing a craving or a trigger. Furthermore, you should have an action plan in place when your cravings or triggers become too strong. This could include calling your sponsor, going to a meeting, or going somewhere you feel secure and will not be tempted to use.
What You Can Do if You Relapse: Getting Back Into Sober Living After Relapse
Even with coping skills and relapse prevention plans in place, there could be a time when you do give in and drink or use drugs. It is normal to experience guilt and beat yourself up emotionally for giving in. However, to avoid heading back down the road to addiction, you need to accept your moment of weakness, acknowledge it happened, move forward with your recovery, and regain your sobriety.
After relapse, getting back into sober living begins by not continuing to drink or use drugs. You should consider different things that helped you achieve sobriety last time, such as going to meetings, individual counseling, or moving into a sober living facility.
Sober Living in Redondo Beach, CA
If you find that you are struggling with your sobriety and are facing difficulties after relapse, help is available at New Life House in Redondo Beach, CA. Our sober living facility for young men provides a stable and structured environment where you can get the support and guidance you need to get back into sober living. Plus, we allow you to live in our facility for as long as you need. We never want you to feel rushed when working on your sobriety and want to help enable you with the skills needed to maintain long-term sobriety and reduce the risk of relapse.