Addiction has greatly affected many people and their families within our nation. Millions around the nation are struggling with addiction, and this condition has led to children being taken from their parents, relationships falling apart, and many lost lives. With how severe addiction can become, it often requires treatment to overcome it. When an individual is finally able to break free of their addiction, it can feel like a tremendous achievement, which it obviously is. Although, there is also more to overcoming addiction than the initial ceasing of substance use. In fact, the period after treatment can often be one of the hardest times for individuals, as now comes the matter of maintaining sobriety. Realistically, an individual has to be able to arrange and live their life in such a way that it does not jeopardize their sobriety. There are many methods that can help an individual along this avenue, with one of the largest being coping skills.
High-Risk Factors During Addiction Recovery
One of the very well known coping skills has been around for quite some time, and it goes by the acronym, H.A.L.T. This acronym explains high-risk factors that could potentially jeopardize one’s sobriety. HALT stands for:
Many of an individual’s cravings often come toward the end of the day, largely because they are experiencing one of the above. Hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness can all be risky when it comes to addiction recovery. They can place an individual in a bad mood or state of mind, which could lead to them considering using drugs or potentially even relapsing. There are also other factors that could be considered risky when it comes to recovery such as:
- Places – Places where an individual had been obtaining or using drugs.
- People – People that the individual used substances with or associated with to obtain substances. This can also include people that the individual has conflicts with, those who celebrate by using substances, or anyone else that directly or indirectly encourages use.
- Things – Anything that reminds the individual of using, such as paraphernalia.
It can be difficult to constantly avoid these various risks, but being prepared can help you to avoid them more often than not. If an individual is not prepared to recognize these factors, they could easily be exposed to them frequently without even realizing it. Over time, this could begin to lead them down the path of relapse. This is why it is so vital to learning to recognize high-risk situations and things that could jeopardize sobriety. You could even make a list of the various factors like this that you may encounter, which allows you to better steer away from them. This list can then be reviewed by someone else in recovery, as they may be able to offer valuable advice or insight on ones you may have missed. While making a list may seem unnecessary or boring, it could actually be a lifesaver down the road while you are working to maintain sobriety.
Coping Skills Include Learning How to Relax
One thing that many individuals neglect when it comes to coping skills and addiction prevention is relaxation. It can be far too easy to brush off relaxing because of being too busy, but this is very important. Addiction can come about through many different vectors, but it often begins with substances being an escape, reward, or relaxation method. Life can bring numerous difficult and stressful factors, and substances can become an easy reprieve from these things. In other words, substances can become a way for the person to artificially relax or relieve tension. This is where an individual must realize that they need to change certain behaviors in their life. If they do not find a way to relax or relieve tension in other more positive ways, it could lead to them falling back into old habits of substance use.
The reality is that if an individual does not learn how to properly relax, it can lead to built up tension. If the individual is unable to relieve their tension in a productive way, it can build up until they relapse in attempts to feel better. While it can seem like there is no time to relax, this can be easily put into perspective by looking at all of the time that addiction consumes. When compared to the time it takes to obtain and use substances, as well as suffer the consequences, taking some time to relax each day is quite minute. Taking this bit of time can help to reward the person and ease tension, which helps to keep them on the path of sobriety.
Under this category of coping skills can also come the proper management of stress. Stress and tension can result in an individual falling back into patterns of behavior due to familiarity, instead of concentrating on what is new and correct. These factors can make it much more difficult for an individual to change and stick to their changes, hence why they need to be able to properly manage stress. There are several things that an individual can do to help relieve stress and tension, including taking walks, meditation, and positive social interaction to name a few. An individual can also attend therapy or recovery groups to help address their underlying difficulties like depression or anxiety.
How Taking Care of Yourself Contributes to Addiction Prevention
Taking care of yourself is another largely important part of addiction recovery. Two of the most vital thing that come under this heading are eating properly and exercise. It is easily observable in both ourselves and others that when we are in poor physical condition, it often puts us in a worse state of mind. This is where taking care of yourself in recovery plays an important role. An individual who has struggled with addiction for some time has is often in pretty poor physical condition, but it does not have to stay that way. Much of the physical damage done by addiction can potentially be repaired through proper eating and exercise. Firstly, consuming proper food provides our bodies the nourishment for them to function in their best capacity. Eating unhealthy foods like lots of sugars, bad fats, and processed foods leads to our bodies functioning poorly. Bad eating habits can also lead to some of the high-risk factors that were mentioned above, such as hunger or tiredness. Then comes exercise, which has numerous benefits. It helps to greatly improve our state of mind, which leads to clearer thinking and decisions. In fact, exercise has actually shown to make us happier due to its effects on the body. And of course, there are numerous direct physical benefits of exercise. As an individual exercise, the benefits are observable, which inspires and encourages them in the path forward.
Seeking Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction
While addiction can be an incredibly arduous battle, it can be overcome through proper treatment. Many facilities offer comprehensive addiction treatment and create a custom program for each person that enters their facility. This is because every single person and their addiction are unique in many ways and this needs to be considered when providing treatment. Most programs offer numerous modalities, which allows clients to craft a fitting program.
With our expertise in finding the best treatment program for our clients, we have helped thousands of people to overcome addiction every year and want to do the same for you or your loved one. Call us today and we can answer any questions that you may have about our services or about more information on coping skills.