During these uncertain times in the COVID-19 era, those undergoing addiction recovery may encounter many challenges in life, including relapse triggers.
As the (COVID-19) pandemic spreads across America, people are still following guidelines such as social distancing, self-quarantine and sanitization to control it. However, those confined to their homes under addiction recovery programs may be at high risk of relapse. Therefore, it is crucial if they identify triggers and prepare themselves with productive ways of coping with these feelings.
Meaning of a Trigger
When anxiety levels buildup, the chances of trigger relapses also increase. The average relapse rate for substance use disorders is about 40 to 60 percent, meaning many people experience relapsing episodes.
For coronavirus pandemic, one of the most common triggers is loneliness. Other internal isolation triggers may include stress, fear, boredom, anger, and shame.
Also, regular contact with friends who are into drug addiction habits using phone or social media can cause severe cravings for secondary drugs or alcohol abuse. Therefore, people should ensure they stay away from unsafe environments, especially those that remind them of drug or alcohol cravings.
Below are a few ways to prevent triggers and cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fill Up Your Free Time
Those under addiction recovery may have free time that causes boredom. Free time increases the risks of negative thoughts that involve drug or alcohol use. Any fantasizing thoughts during your free time can likely trigger overwhelming cravings for drugs.
Therefore, you should always keep busy and organize your time well. Some few ideas include:
- Create daily schedules and routines. For instance, you should plan the best time to be waking up, eating meals, working, interacting socially and sleeping at precisely the same time every day. Also, ensure you abide by the created schedules.
- Implement your time by being creative with a hobby. Currently, the internet is full of many resources and tutorials that can help you learn anything new.
- Be productive by doing extra activities around your home compound and backyard.
- Ensure to exercise every day to ensure you remain fit and healthy.
Be Consistent With Recovery Activities
Just because you can’t visit a rehab center for support groups or physically meet with friends doesn’t imply you pause your recovery activities.
Instead, utilize apps and resources that provide virtual training. Also, keep in touch with supportive people and family members using phone, social media, online video chats, among others means.
Be Optimistic and Hopeful
Fear and hopelessness can create high chances of relapse. To avoid triggers, avoid watching the news all the time and reading negative comments from social media about the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, focus on optimistic thoughts and positive aspects of your life that build your emotions and well-being.
Final Thoughts from the Recover
The most important thing to remember during the COVID-19 pandemic is that you are not alone. While these tough times involving social distancing, and self-quarantine can feel isolating, everyone else is still going through the same challenges.
Therefore, you must become an advocate for your addiction recovery as you avoid relapse triggers. If you learn to follow proper planning and to identify ways to prevent triggers, you will eventually recover from addiction during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, you can contact rehab centers near your home for additional information on how to cope with drug addiction during the pandemic.