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Recovery Tips Courtesy of Sober Housing in Baltimore, MD

If you're successfully recovering from a substance use disorder, you already understand how much work it took to get there, and you’re likely doing everything possible to avoid having a relapse. While relapses may be unfortunate, the truth is they are very common for people new to recovery, and it’s estimated that up to 80% of people who achieve long term sobriety had at least one relapse along the way.

Experts who manage sober housing in Baltimore, MD, will confirm that staying sober isn't straightforward for most people. The more strategies you learn to identify and cope with triggers and stress, and to manage your new life, the easier it is to prevent relapse.

Identify Your Personal Triggers

An essential part of preventing relapse is finding and understanding your external triggers (people, situations, places, and things that prompt thoughts or cravings associated with substance use). Sober housing programs also educate people that it is equally important to acknowledge your internal triggers (feelings, thoughts, or emotions associated with substance abuse). Once you ascertain your biggest risk points, you can create a plan to avoid them or to at least prepare for them.

Some common triggers may include:

  • Stress
  • Emotional Distress
  • Relationship Troubles
  • Job or Financial Problems
  • Environmental Cues Resulting In Cravings
  • People Who Still Use Drugs or Alcohol  

Recognize Relapse Warning Signs

Substance abuse experts running sober housing programs will often share that relapses can sneak up on people, usually because they don't recognize the warning signs. Relapse begins long before a person actually takes a drink or a drug. It involves three phases: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse.

Warning signs of relapse include:

  • Seeking Out People and Situations Where Alcohol and Drugs Are Being Used
  • Returning to Addictive Thinking Patterns
  • Engaging in Compulsive, Self-Defeating Behaviors
  • Thinking Less Rationally, and Acting Less Responsibly
  • Thinking Alcohol or Drug Use May Be An Escape From Pain