Strategies for Managing High-Risk Situations
November 4, 2019
Those who have gone from active addiction to recovery know the disease of addiction is difficult to live with, even when in recovery. A person who stops abusing drugs or alcohol does not magically return to “normal.” It takes a great deal of effort, dedication, and hard work to learn how to live in recovery.
If you are in active recovery, one of the most important areas to focus on is learning to manage high-risk situations. A high-risk situation is one with the potential to trigger using again. Common high-risk situations that people in recovery encounter often include:
- Being offered drugs or alcohol by colleagues, friends, family, or even strangers
- Experiencing boredom
- Developing feelings of depression, such as sadness, agitation, or apathy
- Keeping an unhealthy diet, missing sleep and regular exercise
- Avoiding those in your support system when experiencing emotions that are better talked through than bottled up
There is no way for you to avoid high-risk situations for the rest of your life. There is, however, a great level of importance in learning how to manage them.
How to Cope
Setting yourself up for recovery success is key to avoiding relapse. Developing strategies to help you cope with high-risk situations when they occur, as well as prevent them from occurring in the first place, can serve as your first line of defense against relapse and its consequences.
What can you do when you experiencing a high-risk situation? Consider the following:
- Have a plan already in place for if and when you get caught in a high-risk situation. For example, always bring your own method of transportation when attending gatherings or events. This empowers you with the ability to leave if you are feeling triggered to use.
- Get a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who is also in recovery and who has offered to help you navigate yours. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, or when you find yourself in the middle of something that is threatening your sobriety, call your sponsor right away. He or she can offer the support needed to cope with the situation at hand without using.
- Avoid people, places, and events that have the potential of throwing your recovery off track. Do not continue to hang out with people who still use or go to places associated with past drug use.
Half of managing high-risk situations is putting in place preventative practices, such as those listed above. The other half is comprised of remembering which actions to take when caught in the middle of a high-risk situation. By covering all of these bases, you can manage high-risk situations in a healthy way.
Do You Need Help?
There is no shame in asking for help. If you are in recovery and are struggling to maintain your sobriety, do not wait for a relapse to happen. At JourneyPure Louisville, we can help you keep your recovery on track.
Call JourneyPure Louisville right now to learn more about what we can do to help support you in your journey.
Michelle Rosenker is a content writer where she gets to exercise her journalistic skills by working with different addiction treatment centers nationwide. She has 10 years of experience in the field of addiction treatment and mental health and has written content for some of the country’s most prominent treatment centers and behavioral hospitals. Through her writing, Michelle is proud to continually raise awareness about the disease of addiction and share hope for the future. She lives next to the ocean in Massachusetts with her husband, two young children, and faithful dog.