To put it plainly, stress can lead to substance abuse. Stress and relapse are unfortunately intrinsically linked because when the level of stress is high during recovery, you are more likely to experience a relapse. Learning how to manage, cope with, and control stress in a relapse prevention program is essential for a successful recovery. Fortunately, Gulf Breeze Recovery can help with avoiding relapse. Reach out to us online or call 833.551.2304 today to learn how a holistic addiction recovery in a safe, comfortable and professional environment can help you sustain your recovery efforts.
What is Relapse?
A relapse is defined as the worsening of a clinical condition that had previously improved. In the case of addiction treatment and recovery, a relapse is when you begin to use those harmful substance(s) again after an attempt to stop or an extended period of non-use. For example, a person who returns to using drugs after months of successful rehab would be considered to have experienced a relapse. Avoiding relapse is one of the pieces of a professional, caring, and experienced addiction treatment plan. Stress and relapse are connected, and relapse is a normal part of the recovery process. Therefore, a holistic addiction recovery that focuses on the whole of you can be critical to long-term success. By addressing your struggles, stressors, triggers, and environment, you will learn how to manage, cope with, and control your stress.
When a person relapses, they need to seek care immediately to understand what happened (and why), and discover the next steps to prevent it from happening again. This may involve returning to treatment, revising a treatment plan, or trying a different approach to recovery.
What are the Signs of Relapse?
Remaining sober after detox and rehab is the goal of everyone who undergoes addiction treatment. The road to recovery, however, may involve relapse. It is important that you are fully aware of the warning signs of stress and relapse, in order to deal with the triggers correctly. Some of the signs of relapse include:
- Significant emotional changes
- Doing a different gateway drug
- Negative self-esteem and self-talk
- Harmful influences
The Link Between Stress and Relapse
Avoiding relapse is key to a lifetime of sober living, but staying on the straight and narrow is more nuanced than simply staying away from drugs and alcohol. Understanding your stress and how it impacts you is going to be key to a complete and long-term recovery. Thanks largely to important changes in brain activity, stress is known to increase the risk of relapse. Such changes can lead to dependency despite the actual healthier coping behavior you will have learned during rehab. In a holistic addiction recovery, you will learn to replace the bad habits of coping with stress with healthier ones.
Studies show that a stressed individual may use drugs to self-medicate, and in the case of multiple stressors experienced concurrently, you’re even more likely to experience a relapse. Because drugs and alcohol can regulate emotions and ease psychological distress, you may be drawn back to substances as a way of coping with the stress, and ‘getting through the day.’ When you’re stressed, the part of your brain that deals with deliberative cognition shuts down/ Then, you are without the ability to be reflective, which makes it harder to resist giving in to impulses (including the use of harmful substances).
Learn More at Gulf Breeze Recovery
Learn more about how stress and relapse are connected, and how you can take vital steps in avoiding relapse at Gulf Breeze Recovery. Contact us using our secure online form or call us confidentially at 833.551.2304 today.