Relapse Excuses

Relapse Excuses

There is no good excuse for a relapse. However, there are several emotional triggers that are commonly used excuses people will use in order to justify a relapse.

Relapse Excuse #1. Resentment

Many of us have probably heard this: Resentments will take you back out. Holding a resentment is probably the most common relapse excuse. Resentments are usually in the form of:

Perceiving that others are trying to control their life

Expectations not being met

Perceiving that others are acting as if they are superior

Perceiving others to be hypocrites, taking others’ inventory

Superiors who abuse their power

Being hurt but others saying or doing something that negatively impacts the their self-esteem

When other people lie

Feeling slighted

Perceiving others to act unfair towards them and/or others

Relapse Excuse #2. Anger

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” When feeling angry towards someone else, the recovering addict/alcoholic often thinks that they will punish these other people by relapsing; of course the only person they are going to hurt is themselves.

Relapse Excuse #3. Boredom

After getting clean and sober, you might find that you have a lot of free time on your hands. Without hobbies or pursuing other healthy interests, you may become bored. This is another common relapse excuse: boredom. When we become bored, we may begin romanticizing our previous lifestyle, remembering the “good ol’ times” and conveniently forget about all the horrible stuff. This is a dangerous trend because, in the newly sober person’s mind, addiction wasn’t so bad after all. That mindset combined with agony of boredom is enough to convince most that relapse is the way to remedy their situation.

Relapse Excuse #4. Loneliness

This is kind of like the boredom excuse. When we stop drinking and drugging, we have to change people, places, and things. We may begin to miss our drinking and using buddies and, if we are not proactive in making new sober friends and getting sober supports in our life, then being lonely is the perfect relapse excuse.

Relapse Excuse #5. Disappointment in sobriety

As recovering addicts and alcoholics, we are used to instant gratification. That said, a life beyond our wildest in dreams in recovery takes time. Often times, we have to rebuild our lives from scratch. For some in recovery, this is frustrating and upsetting. They expect results and immediately! When this doesn’t happen, they will use that as an excuse to relapse

Relapse Excuse #6. Feeling depressed

Many addicts and alcoholics also have a co-occurring, or dual diagnosis mental disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder. In fact, that is why many of us sought out drugs: to numb those bad feelings. So, in sobriety, when those feelings come back, we retreat to the way we always dealt with them – by using drugs.

For those who do not have an actual mental health diagnosis, depression is still a factor, as it is for non addicts and alcoholics. Depression is a fact of life. But again, for recovering addicts and alcoholics, the temptation to escape these negative feelings may become too great to deal with and lead them to relapse. It is important to learn coping mechanisms that don’t involve drug use in order to achieve emotional stability in recovery.

Relapse Excuse #7. Feeling happy

Conversely, many people who have experienced a relapse say that it is when things are going really well that they slip up. Perhaps it is a way of rewarding themselves for doing so well. For others, it is a way to increase the already good feeling they have naturally. As addicts and alcoholics, we seek to increase the pleasure-causing chemicals in our brains while in active addiction. Once we are sober, it might be that this “taste” of euphoria from normal everyday good things, that is enough of a high for others, is just what it takes to leave us craving something more intense therefore causing some to seek it in drugs and resulting in a relapse.

Relapse Excuse #8. “Forgetting”

So many times, I have heard people who relapse say that they weren’t sure anymore whether they were an alcoholic or addict. So, they decide to go back out and “test the waters.” People will use the relapse excuse that they decided they weren’t really an addict and/or alcoholic in order to start drinking and drugging again.

 

 

Sources:

http://alcoholism.about.com/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Success Rate of Sober Living

Success Rate of Sober Living

The success rate of sober living is unknown but it is most definitely better than the success rate of someone who doesn’t attend any kind of sober living after treatment. Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free place to live can be a serious and almost insurmountable obstacle for addicts and alcoholics. Destructive living arrangements can totally derail recovery for even the most highly motivated addicts and alcoholics.

Sober living is an alcohol and drug free living environment for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Sober living is not licensed for funded by state or local governments and the residents themselves pay for the cost. The philosophy of recovery in a sober living house emphasizes 12-step group attendance and peer support.

So what are the success rates of sober living?

Research in one California study measured treatment outcomes over an eighteen month period from a sample of patients who were provided sober living as part of their outpatient treatment. Participants were male, with an average age of around 40 years old. A fourth of them were criminal justice referrals. A third of them was either homeless or lived in a shelter. Residents were dependent on cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, heroin and amphetamines. Participants were interviewed at intake and at 6, 12, and 18 months.

The study found that sober living clients experienced significant improvements when it came to stay sober and even days worked. Involvement in 12-step groups was the strongest predictor of reductions in alcohol and drug use. The outcomes did not vary by demographics such as age, race, and education. The study concluded that sober living should be considered as a part of outpatient treatment for clients who have access to limited financial resources or reside in destructive living environments. The reason being, success of the individuals who were in sober living and staying sober.

The success rates of sober living are much higher in comparison to someone who doesn’t attend sober living. And it seems like the success rates of sober living go up even more if the clients of sober living also attend a 12-step group. The longer amount of time spent at a sober living residence the better too. Someone who stays at a sober living home and attends a 12-step group for a long period of time usually has a much higher chance of success than someone who just goes back to the original living environment and does not attend a 12 step group.

I know this is especially true for myself and most of the people I know who have multiple years sober. Sober living really can get addicts and alcoholics who have been unstable for so long the ability to start off on a stable and sturdy foundation instead of going back into the same unsteadiness once again. The success rates of sober living aren’t exact but they are good. The risks of going back into an old environment or giving yourself a better chance at staying sober with a sober living environment seems like an easy choice to make.

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

How to fight emotional triggers in recovery

How to fight emotional triggers in recovery

Triggers are specific memories, behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and situations that jeopardize recovery. Triggers are signals you are entering a stage that brings you closer to a relapse. Triggers are the stimuli, the people, places, situations, emotional states, thoughts, etc. that can “trigger” an ingrained ritualistic response which in most cases is to get high. Learning to identify relapse triggers and especially the emotional intensity that they invoke can be an effective tool in how to fight emotional triggers in recovery.

If you really want to know how to fight emotional triggers in recovery then the best place you can start is by learning what they are. For instance, deep sadness or extreme excitement might be emotional states that trigger you. If you know those are your emotional triggers in recovery then you can begin to fight against them.

Once you know what your emotional triggers in recovery are you can then begin to set in a place a plan of action for yourself. A plan of action for fighting emotional triggers in recovery can consist of multiple different things. For instance say an emotional trigger in recovery for you is excitement. If you begin to feel that excitement and it makes you think about using you can have a plan that first consist of calling a sober support, second doing something to get your mind off of it. No matter what it is that you use to fight emotional triggers in recovery make sure that you are taking action. Change your state.

A good way to fight emotional triggers in recovery is to go for a run when you begin thinking about using. You could also choose to turn on some music and dance your heart out. You can go workout at the gym. You can go for a bike ride. You can meditate. You can read a book. You can really do whatever it is that works for you to fight emotional triggers in recovery as long as it’s something different than what you would normally do. A lot of the times when addicts and alcoholics feel emotionally triggered in recovery they don’t know why they are thinking about using and they have no idea what to do instead of go and get high. This can lead to relapse without the proper identification of what is going on and what to do when it happens.

This is why identifying what triggers you emotionally and then making a plan of action for yourself when emotional triggers pop up is the best way to fight emotional triggers in recovery. It is not easy to fight emotional triggers in recovery in fact addicts and alcoholics are hardwired to use in certain instances that’s why its good to have a plan in place before you are ever get triggered. Once you are able to implement your plan to fight emotional triggers in recovery multiple times it will get easier to ward off. If you make a habit of fighting your emotional triggers in recovery eventually it won’t be so difficult and then you may even find you aren’t triggered by the emotional states at all now.

 

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Recovery in A Sober House

 

In order to recover in a sober house you must realize that your recovery does not lie within the people who you are living with nor does it lie within the rules of the halfway house. In order to recover in a sober house you have to find recovery through a fellowship and meetings outside of your “safe place”.

 

 Recovery has a higher chance of happening if you attend or reside in a sober house after attending inpatient or outpatient treatment. Although it is not guaranteed nor can it keep you sober. The way for alcoholics and addicts to truly recover within the area of a sober house is to utilize the resources given to them there in order to find recovery in the outside community. Attending a sober house is good for the accountability, the stability, the drug screening, and more. It does not necessarily ensure complete sobriety.

 

 A lot of the times when multiple recovering alcoholics cohabitate there’s a probability that at lease one person will relapse and the others will feel pressured to use or drink with them. If a roommate relapses, an alcoholic must have outside support otherwise that person could take them down with them. The best way to ensure sobriety within a sober house is to treat is as just a place where you sleep, eat and live.  Do not make your recovery base a sober house. It will not guarantee sobriety.

 

 Recovering in a sober house essentially can be as easy or as hard as you make it.  If you want to recover regardless if you are in a sober house or at home you can do it if you put the work and the willingness into it. Alcoholics and addicts with the right tools can recover anywhere even in the places where you would think it would be the hardest. Sober houses do make finding recovery a bit easier though. Simply put if you want to improve your chances of finding long-term sobriety then attend a sober house. A sober house maximizes an addict or alcoholic’s potential of staying sober if they are willing to do whatever it takes.

 

 Again, addicts and alcoholics must not rely completely on the sober house to keep them sober. They must go to outside meetings, meet plenty of people in the fellowship that have longer lengths of sobriety and begin working 12 steps with a sponsor. This is what can guarantee an alcoholic or addict will recover in a sober house. These simple steps and the knowledge that a sober house is a safe place but cant keep you sober are two paramount ideas that pushes an addict or alcoholic well on their way into recovery.

 

 If you use a sober house for what it is meant for then you can definitely recover during your stay.  The most important thing a recovering alcoholic or drug addict living in a sober house must understand is that it is another tool in the recovery process but not the solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.