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Relapse Prevention: Emotional Triggers and Coping Mechanisms

If you are getting help at a Massachusetts drug abuse center, then you are probably sick of the phrase “relapse prevention.”

Before you roll your eyes, take the time to pat yourself on the back for choosing a quality substance abuse treatment center; losing count of how many times relapse triggers are brought up is a sign that the addiction professionals at your recovery program are doing their job.

With awareness comes power, and once you reenter the real world, you will need all of the power and knowledge you can get. Prior to sobering up, anytime you felt an emotion you most likely reacted by reaching for the drugs before your brain had enough time to make a judgement call. Since those same emotions will be triggered on a daily basis, you need a relapse prevention plan from your Massachusetts drug abuse program in order to allow your brain can catch up with your immediate impulses.

Manage your reactions with this relapse prevention plan from Treatment Alternatives Massachusetts.

Identify your emotions.

More likely than not, you will be overwhelmed with emotions more than once when you first complete your Massachusetts drug abuse program. Each time this happens is another opportunity to use the coping mechanisms you learned in therapy. Part of handling the situation proactively includes correctly identifying triggering emotions, which include:

  • Feeling like you want to hit walls and break things because you are having a hard time adjusting to living sober.
  • Getting overwhelmed with prepping for a job interview, having to spend time with your family, or simply trying to walk past a bar without going inside.
  • Adjusting to life without the chaos of addiction, and accepting that it is okay to wake up at the same time every day, have a routine, and feel stable.
  • Figuring out healthy ways to celebrate without drugs, alcohol, or partying.
  • Wanting to fight exhaustion by taking uppers and having a hard time listening to what your body needs.
  • Self-Pity. Ignoring the negative and cynical thoughts that cross your mind when adjusting to living sober because it is not as easy as you thought it would be.
  • Having a hard time dealing with the flood of memories that come rushing back about how you acted when you were abusing drugs.


Take a breather.

The go-to reaction for most addicts is to use drugs to cure any of the above feelings. This only worsens the problem by amplifying your negative emotions and burying the real issue at hand.  With a relapse prevention plan from your Massachusetts drug abuse rehab, addiction specialists will help you accept that emotions are temporary and apart of the recovery journey. Instead, take a breather; deep breathing is a fantastic coping mechanism for anxiety and stress.

Redirect your energy.

When it comes to relapse prevention, one of the best things you can do with unwanted emotions is to channel your energy into something positive. Calm down by going for a run, doing yoga, meditating, cleaning your house, or playing a sport. By using the coping mechanisms learned at your Massachusetts drug abuse program, you will be able to identify and overcome any potential relapse triggers.

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