Drug and alcohol addiction relapse triggers run gamut
Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is a long-term process that doesn’t simply end with the completion of treatment. The days, weeks or months that you spend participating in treatment are filled with counseling, group work and careful medical oversight — and that’s what allows you to create a solid foundation for your recovery. However, all of the tools you learn in treatment have to be kept sharp after you finish your allotted time in rehab. Otherwise, you may immediately find yourself face-to-face with what scares every recovering individual most: relapse.
Relapse is not inevitable. Recognizing causes, signs and symptoms of relapse can help you or someone you care about avoid the pain of returning to drugs, alcohol, and destructive behavior. The reasons for relapse vary from person to person, but coping skills you need to deal with it are universal.
What Is Relapse?
In a general sense, to relapse means to experience a period of regression after temporary improvement. The term is often used to describe diseases — addiction included. Because drug and alcohol addiction is a chronic brain disease, every recovery carries the risk of relapse. In fact, relapse rates for addiction are very similar to those of other long-term diseases like diabetes or asthma.
Addiction is the result of complex behavior patterns becoming embedded in the brain, and recovery is about learning and using tools to combat that compulsive behavior. As such, relapse isn’t as simple as suddenly returning to drug and alcohol use — it’s a process that affects multiple aspects of a person’s life.
What Causes Relapse?
For many people, it may not make sense that someone would go through weeks or months of intensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment only to turn around and relapse into drug or alcohol abuse in the time afterward. The unfortunate reality is that addiction is a long-term disease that requires careful management — and even with the best laid plans and intentions, it’s not always possible to anticipate when someone will relapse.
Living in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a process of recognizing, avoiding and minimizing triggers, which are people, places or things that forcefully recall memories of substance use. Triggers kick the addicted brain into overtime by stimulating its motivation system to get you to use drugs again, and they can be incredibly difficult to resist. While triggers are different for everyone, these are some of the more common examples:
TV & movies featuring drugs or alcohol
Old drinking or drug friends
Places where you had used in the past
Certain types of stress (work, family, etc.)
Even if you have excellent coping skills and other recovery tools, being exposed to triggers can still catalyze what seems like a sudden relapse.
Types of Relapse
The first step to preventing drug and alcohol relapse, and staying clean and sober after treatment is to recognize the signs that a recovery is moving off the rails, and those signs of drug relapse can be much subtler than most people think. One vital aspect of rehab treatment is learning to monitor and work with the emotions and stressors that drove addiction in the first place, but that can become a lot harder once treatment is over and you’re back in the real world. It’s helpful to break down relapse into three different stages and learn the indicators of each one:
Although it can be more difficult to identify, knowing when you or someone you care about is displaying signs of emotional relapse can put a stop to the process right as it first begins. Emotional relapse sets the groundwork for mental and physical aspects to emerge by priming your feelings to work against your recovery. You may experience:
Irritability and anxiety
Sadness and depression
Difficulty processing emotions
Defensiveness and tendencies to self-isolate
Deteriorating sleep and eating habits
Increased emotional sensitivity
Anger or frustration
Lack of motivation to go to meetings
Loss of drive in recovery
Emotional relapse is difficult to recognize because the overwhelming feelings you experience are so common in those who have just completed rehab treatment — especially if you’re still suffering some of the lingering symptoms of withdrawal. However, if you notice your emotions are consistently overwhelming and you are either refusing to deal with them or are letting them take over your life, you’re in very real danger of emotional relapse.
To combat emotional relapse, you have to take charge of your emotions. Of course, such a simple task is one of the most monumental — but these situations are exactly what you spent your time in treatment preparing for. Managing your feelings with healthy coping skills is one of the most important things you can do to prevent relapse from continuing along its destructive path.
This stage of relapse is significantly more recognizable for most of us because it’s when we become conscious of negative thoughts pertaining to drug and alcohol abuse. Where emotional relapse causes you to feel generally negative and uncomfortable, mental relapse tells you to do something about it — by returning to substance abuse. In this phase you are likely to spend time:
Thinking about where to get drugs or alcohol
Envisioning your physical relapse
Socializing with old friends who use
Romanticizing your past substance abuse
Fantasizing about drugs or alcohol
This phase can be traumatizing for newly recovered individuals since the recovered part of you doesn’t want to break down and use, but your addicted brain keeps pushing you to think about drugs and alcohol to the point of obsession. This can be dangerous and hard to identify in others. Someone can be making all the right moves on the surface — like going to meetings, and practicing other healthy skills — while their head is somewhere entirely different and fantasizing about future drug or alcohol use.
At this point, open communication about your cravings and drug-related thoughts is vital. Personal logic is often no match for the addicted brain, even after rehab is over. Engaging with a one-on-one sponsor or other trusted individual is one form of failsafe that can help you keep mental relapse from transitioning into physical.
Physical relapse is the form most people are fairly familiar with, due to many tearful — and often inaccurate — depictions in television and film. While physical relapse means actually taking the drug you went to drug and alcohol addiction treatment for, it doesn’t always end in a life-destroying catastrophe. A physical relapse could be anything from sneaking a single shot of alcohol to overdosing on heroin, and it depends on each person’s situation.
Though the severity of relapses varies widely, they are always a result of both emotional and mental relapse working together unchecked. If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to emotionally regulate and find a way to stave off negative thoughts and fantasies of drug and alcohol abuse, physical relapse is a very real risk.
Stages of Relapse
While the above are the three bigger categories of relapse, it’s also helpful to break them down into a step-by-step rundown of how recovery can change to relapse if not caught in the early stages:
If you can’t balance the negative emotions you are feeling surrounding your recovery, they tend to accumulate to the point where it seems impossible to deal with them at all. When you can’t deal with your negative emotions, it can be very tempting to simply shut them off as best as possible and pretend nothing is wrong.
In order to keep your mind off the emotions you are ignoring, you may find yourself giving in to compulsive behaviors now and again. These often manifest as over-working, over-eating, over-exercising and other forms of excess.
Triggers are situations, people, sights or emotions that cause our brains to prompt us to use drugs or alcohol again. When recovery is going well, coping tools can often make triggers easier to deal with — but if you’re already in the throes of emotional relapse, the slightest trigger can set off a destructive chain reaction.
Feeling overwhelmed by emotions and triggers can destroy your sense of inner peace at a devastating pace. In turn, that leads to distorted patterns of thought — which are certainly not your friend when trying to avoid physical relapse.
Emotional and even mental relapse can sit on the shelf for a while, as we convince ourselves that our interior chaos isn’t that big of a deal. However, all these issues are accumulating, and at some point, you will become uncomfortably aware of them. It’s important to make sure you don’t project your emotional turbulence at home, work, school or social situations.
Loss of control.
At this point in the relapse trajectory, you’ve seen personal and external indicators that your recovery isn’t going well at the moment. You likely feel extremely on edge and like your life is about to careen completely out of your control. Life can feel like a series of unsolvable problems — and that can be one of the greatest catalysts for physical relapse.
Once you reach this point, it’s tempting to think about anything except the problems in your life —emotional and otherwise. That makes it much easier for the addicted brain to fill your mind with unwanted thoughts about using drugs and alcohol. Addictive mechanisms come back in full force, possibly convincing you that recovery isn’t working and you may as well give up altogether.
On the brink of fully-fledged physical relapse, you will find yourself flirting with situations you know are dangerous — sometimes just to see how far you can push your recovery boundaries. You may try to reconnect with old friends who use or drink, or you might hang around in places you know you could easily get to your substance of choice. These bad moves are often justified by the flawed logic of mental relapse and can easily lead to a physical relapse as well.
Making the decision to turn your life around and take the first step to enter rehab is a brave, monumental decision. Addiction is a complex disease that grips people in a multitude of ways, so any efforts in the direction of recovery should be celebrated.
Drug and alcohol addiction recovery is a series of small victories. Each one shows you have learned something new about yourself and accomplished another goal. As you move along your journey, you face your fears one at a time and build strength.
The further you progress in your journey toward overcoming addiction, the more you may fear a relapse. After all of your hard work, there is more at stake if you happen to relapse. There is some data to indicate that there are signs along the way that might predict a relapse. Knowing these signs for yourself or for a loved one struggling to overcome addiction can help reduce your chances of relapse. When you recognize the triggers of relapse, you can avoid them or have a strategy in place to overcome them in a positive way.
What Is a Relapse Trigger?
Did you ever hear a song out of the blue and instantly get tears in your eyes? Or smell bread baking in the oven and experience a random memory of your grandmother? Those are physical cues, the song and the bread, that bring out an emotional response. They are triggers.
Relapse triggers are seemingly random events or experiences that suddenly strengthen your craving for your old substance of choice. When you first begin, it seems like everything makes you want to drink or get high. Life has turned into one endless cycle of getting drugs and using recovery them. But as you complete detox and get into your recovery therapy, you start to sort out your feelings and better understand your emotions. After a lot of work, you begin to make sense of your past and how you ended up here. When you start to regain a sense of control over your life, relapse triggers can sneak up on you.
Although everyone’s drug and alcohol addiction recovery journey is different, there are some universal truths. The relapse rate among substance abusers in recovery for less than a year is over 60%. As time in recovery increases, that is, the amount of time spent drug-free, the rate of relapse decreases so that by the end of the first year it is less than half. After someone is clean for five years, their chances of relapsing improve to only 15%.
Drug and alcohol addiction actually has a similar relapse rate to other chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Relapse does not indicate a failure in treatment, but it is certainly a milestone that most people in recovery want to avoid. Studies show that there are some common elements to incidents of addiction recovery relapse. Understanding and watching for these most common relapse triggers can help anyone reduce their chances of relapse, especially during the first year when a recovery is still very fragile.
Recognize the Most Common Relapse Triggers
Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (HALT)
These four most common triggers to relapse are so widespread that they are collectively referred to by the acronym HALT. Hunger seems like an easy problem to solve without involving old habits with old substances, but it is actually a common relapse trigger. When people become addicted to substances, they lose the connection with their basic physical needs and have a hard time translating impulses into appropriate action. Hunger is often a feeling that triggers impulsive action, and when the recovery is too new, healthy habits are not solidly in place yet. When they get hungry, people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction can quickly fall back on old behaviors for satisfying themselves, almost without really thinking about it.
In most cases of addiction, anger is the only emotion left. Drugs and alcohol mute all the other emotions, but anger tends to come through because it is one of the most obvious emotions. When you tell someone you are angry, it doesn’t require a lot of explanation. People who are struggling with addiction and substance abuse tend to become increasingly angry — at everyone and everything. During recovery, other emotions begin to surface and are processed, but a sudden flash of anger can bring a person back to the dark days of addiction instantly.
Loneliness is another emotion common to drug and alcohol addiction recovery. There are approximately 23.5 million Americans in recovery from addiction, yet each one of them feels alone and isolated at some point. No matter how many people are involved, addiction recovery is a very personal struggle. People in recovery can feel isolated from their former lives while they are struggling to build new ones. Feeling that lack of connectedness has been known to trigger a relapse.
Relapse associated with fatigue is common as well. Similar to hunger, tiredness seems like an easy problem to solve. Many people who struggle with substance abuse, however, also suffer insomnia. It takes time to get the drugs out of your system and let your brain redevelop normal sleep-wake cycles. In the meantime, exhaustion can happen, and it brings on a frustration that can trigger a return to substance abuse.
Stress is an extremely common problem for everyone, not just people in drug and alcohol addiction recovery. Roughly 22% of Americans report being under extreme stress in their lives, and stress is negatively associated with all chronic diseases. It is a particular concern for people facing addiction, though, for whom it will likely become a relapse trigger.
One of the changes that occurs in the brain under prolonged stress causes neurons to fire faster than normal. This has the effect of speeding up thoughts, which is not something that can be tolerated for an extended period of time. People recovering from drug and alcohol addiction are already dealing with similar brain function issues. Compounding them with stress often makes the situation unbearable, at which point someone recovering from addiction cannot resist the urge to get high.
It’s hard to imagine when someone begins rehab and is so shameful and broken down that they would ever become self-assertive. This happens, though, and it is a relapse trigger. Some people reach a point in their recovery where they feel they have mastered the principals of sobriety to the point that they can preach them to others. They use their preaching to put themselves on a pedestal of morality, high above everyone else. Unfortunately, this is a set up to a big fall.
This cockiness usually represents a change in focus away from the difficult work of recovery. Even though a person may be talking about recovery all the time, they’re not concentrating on their own feelings and behaviors. While they are analyzing everyone else’s behavior and finding it inferior to their own, their recovery is being neglected. Often people who get overly confident about their recovery reach a point where they believe they are so accomplished, they can use drugs again — just one time — and not relapse. This, of course, is never the case.
Addiction recovery deals with a lot of emotion. People who are in the throes of addiction don’t experience much emotion. That is usually their goal, either conscious or subconscious. Recovery involves letting those emotions back in and dealing with them in a safe and controlled way. For some, feelings have become very scary, and they have worked hard to avoid emotion for several years.
Someone who is dealing with emotions for the first time in a long time is extremely vulnerable. The impulse to use drugs to cover up feelings is ingrained in anyone who has suffered addiction. When the emotions become too extreme, that impulse to use is likely to kick in.
There is a lot of emphasis placed on consistency and routine in addiction recovery programs. Clients learn to do the things that work for them and are encouraged to do them every day. Some of these routines are basic, like sticking to a healthy meal plan and exercising at the same time every day, and some are more recovery-oriented, like attending group therapy sessions, 12-step program meetings or one-on-one meetings with a sponsor.
Sometimes a person in drug and alcohol addiction recovery becomes complacent about their program. They get off of their healthy routine because they feel they don’t need it anymore. They stop doing some of the things that helped them get and remain sober. Usually, this type of behavior will trigger a relapse. When a person in recovery stops “working their program,” they are not cured and are headed for a relapse.
If you’ve experienced long-term or chronic pain, you know how emotional it can be. Pain can limit your mobility and eventually limit your outlook. Things you want to do cannot be accomplished in the timeframe you planned, if at all. Pain makes people irritable, depressed and tired.
These are all feelings that naturally trigger people with addiction to use drugs. Drugs, legal or illegal, are most often used to reduce or eliminate pain, irritability, depression and fatigue. In addition, someone in recovery who seeks pain medication for a legitimate injury could end up discovering a new substance of choice.
This is one of the most obvious triggers, but it’s still overlooked by many. If you are in drug and alcohol addiction recovery and you are near drugs, you are more likely to relapse. One of the first stages of recovery is to separate from your drug-using associates and stop going to bars and other places you used to go to use. It is important to cut those ties so they are not constantly pulling you back into addiction.
People often have reasons to reconnect with the people and places from their drug abuse past. None of these reasons is as important as maintaining their recovery. No matter how strong you are feeling in your recovery, getting close to the source of your addiction, the places where you know there are drugs, is a big risk.
How to Avoid Relapse Triggers
It’s probably not possible to completely avoid all of the most common triggers to relapse, but you can at least lessen the impact of them. Recognizing that these are dangerous areas is the first step: awareness. When you encounter one of these situations, if you can remember it makes you particularly vulnerable to relapse, you may be more likely to resolve it without giving in to your urge to use.
The best way to avoid these relapse triggers is to have a plan. Realize that you are going to encounter triggers and figure out how to deal with them in advance. They all involve being in a situation that triggers you to make an impulsive decision. Most people who have struggled with addiction have one very strong impulse in crisis, and that is to get high. If you can avoid being impulsive, you can stay safe.
Try to create a routine for yourself that accommodates frequent meal breaks, plenty of time for sleep and regular social interactions. When you have a particularly strong craving, think of HALT. If you discover that you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired, have an emergency plan for how to resolve those conditions. Carry some healthy snacks with you when you travel. Identify a particular friend to call when you need to feel connected. Recall a punchline that always makes you laugh to distract yourself from anger.
Thinking out a plan in advance that you can implement easily in a crisis can help you avoid a bad decision. Find ways to avoid stressful situations by saying no if your schedule is too full. Use your daily routine to keep you grounded, include yoga or meditation to reduce stress and calm extreme emotions and always remain humble about your recovery. Recovery is a special gift you give yourself every day. Although it involves an extensive support network, it is all about you and no one else. You’ve come this far. You can keep going.
Actions You Can Take to Avoid Relapse
Acknowledging the signs of an oncoming relapse early is a critical step for prevention. If you are beginning to notice these warning signs in your life, there are some steps you can take to attempt to ward off any potential set backs.
The first and most important step you can take is to ask for help. Reflect on your personal goals and aspirations you set during recovery, and if you wrote in a recovery journal—go back and reflect on it. Make maintaining sobriety and self care your absolute top priority and allow everything else to take a backseat until your symptoms subside. Share your fears of relapse with people in your trusted circle and avoid any tempting situations. If you still maintain your oncoming relapse symptoms, it is important to contact a professional.
10 Ways to Prevent Drug and Alcohol Addiction Relapse
If you’re seeing any of the signs of drug and alcohol addiction relapse in yourself or someone you care about, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent it. Here are ten tips you can use to stop relapse in its tracks and stay sober after rehab:
Relapse can seem like the end of the world, especially if you’ve just completed rehab. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Don’t let a relapse cause you to second-guess or dismiss all the hard work you’ve done up to this point. Maintaining a healthy self-image is key to sustaining recovery and preventing relapse. Even if you’ve relapsed in the past, it’s much more important to focus on what you can do better in the future.
One of the bigger signs of relapse is a tendency to push boundaries when it comes to temptation. No matter what your addicted brain tells you, “challenging” your recovery by putting yourself in dangerous situations is never a better option than avoiding them altogether.
If at all possible, avoid situations (including people, places, and things), where you might see others partaking in drug and alcohol use — even if it means turning down some things you’d really like to go do. If relapse is a concern, your true friends will hopefully understand that the health of your recovery easily trumps a night of potentially-triggering festivities.
Change your environment.
In addition to avoiding negative situations, it’s equally vital to create healthy spaces for yourself. If your usual Friday evening haunt was a corner pub, you’ll need to find another place to unwind for the weekend. For example, your local park, garden, library or museum can provide a place for you to meet up with friends or co-workers — or find alone time without most of the triggers and relapse risks that can come with other environments.
Create a schedule.
While everyone needs a bit of free time to break up stress and monotony, too much of it simply leaves room for creeping thoughts of substance abuse to take hold. When you’re addicted, every free moment becomes a potential opportunity to use, and completing treatment doesn’t fix that altogether. You likely picked up helpful tools to shut down obsessive drug-related thoughts during the quiet moments, but the more free time you have, the more time you’ll spend combatting those thoughts.
You don’t need to regiment every second of the day, but knowing your schedule, and developing structure ahead of time gives you things to look forward to and focus on when cravings hit.
Physical activity can fall by the wayside pretty quickly when the stress of everyday life takes over. But adding a bit of movement into your day can greatly increase your mental and emotional health overall, as studies have shown. In fact, regular vigorous exercise can decrease your chances of developing anxiety or depression by up to 25%. As anxiety and depression are huge factors in addiction, a little exercise can go a very long way in relapse prevention.
In addition to adding a little exercise to your regimen, it’s important not to neglect your nutritional health. There are many different nutritional imbalances and nutrient deficiencies that can lead to depression, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B and magnesium, and they can worsen your chances at staying sober after treatment. Keep an eye on what you’re eating — a healthier diet can steeply reduce your relapse chances.
Develop a support network.
Isolation is a big factor in addiction, so your recovery strategy should include reaching out to as many healthy support sources as you can in order to find the one that’s right for you. While there are many different support groups out there, the 12-step treatment format is one of the most effective. Joining a recovery group and/or finding a sponsor to support you in recovery provides one-of-a-kind accountability, and thereby reduces your risk of relapse.
Find meaningful activities.
To avoid returning to the substance abuse habits of old, you have to find something better to replace them. And while hobbies might be better than nothing to fill that void, it’s best to find an activity that adds real meaning or purpose to your life. Many people in recovery know the benefits of volunteering, and they’re certainly hard to deny. In a recent study of people who had volunteered in the last 12 months, 76% said volunteering made them feel healthier and 96% said it improved their mood.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that centers on creating intense focus on the self and the present in order to heighten awareness and clarity. There are many techniques you can use to practice mindfulness, and many of them are short exercises that help you focus on your breathing, physical presence or environment.
For instance, take the time to concentrate on what a few deep breaths feel like. Really focus on the air coming in and going out. You might also concentrate on how the wind feels on your hand or your arm. The clarity you can gain with regular practice of mindfulness can help you think more rationally when it comes to cravings so you can help stop relapse.
Above all, don’t let the importance of your recovery fall to the wayside. Even with a strong showing in rehab treatment and a heap of initial motivation, the stress of life can make you devote less attention to the nuts and bolts of recovery. You may work late and figure you can skip a meeting or two or pay less attention to the places you spend your time in. Each time you choose not to actively work on recovery, you’re adding to a buildup that can leave you up craving creek without a paddle — where you’re much more likely to sink into relapse.
Signs and Symptoms of a Relapse
You’re not alone if you are struggling with relapse, even following treatment. It takes time and consistent care following an intensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program. The chronic tendency of the disease of addiction makes relapsing a likely outcome following treatment. Although relapse is a disappointing result, it is exceedingly common for individuals struggling with addiction. Like any chronic disease, addiction treatment involves altering deep-rooted behaviors. Relapse is never a personal failure and it does not mean that treatment has failed. When an individual who has undergone treatment experiences a relapse, it simply means that therapy needs to be reinstated, adjusted, or another method needs to be utilized.
Relapse Can Be Part of Recovery
Did you know that the relapse rates of drug and alcohol addiction are 40 to 60%? There are many reasons that people relapse back to their addiction. Some of the common causes are:
Not being prepared to transition from an inpatient facility to a home environment.
Maintaining unhealthy relationships with other substance abusers.
Not possessing an active support system following rehabilitation.
Although you can take the appropriate steps to avoid relapse—sometimes it is a realistic part of the journey to recovery. Relapse can be a major disappointment following an extended treatment program, but don’t give up. There are relapse warning signs that are easy to spot so you can quickly get the help you need to avoid a potential disaster.
If a recovering addict starts to cut themselves off from others—this is an enormous warning sign. Generally, the individual will stop attending group therapies and avoid any type of accountability.
Everyone experiences problems in their new life away from addiction. If an individual is denying any and all difficulties, relapse is very likely. Problems that are not appropriately dealt with will cause major obstacles during the recovery process.
Again, life after rehab is very difficult and includes new complications. These unexpected issues can lead to feelings of resentment towards the recovery process—which can lead individuals to start using again.
Inability to cope. Addiction is often a way for people to cope with their feelings, and once substances are eliminated, past addicts can have difficulty dealing with their emotions. This will lead the individual to desire an escape from their discomfort—making relapse a likely coping mechanism.
Spending time with old crowds. Recovery can involve leaving parts of your old life behind. If an individual starts spending time with past groups of users and engaging in risky situations, there is a high risk of using again.
Help for Addicted Loved Ones
Being able to recognize the most common relapse triggers can help you support someone else who is going through drug and alcohol addiction recovery. When your loved one avoids certain people or certain situations, you can understand and support these decisions, knowing they are important to their continued recovery.
If you recognize triggers that maybe your loved one doesn’t realize, like a complacency about their recovery program, you may be able to gently point them out. This is a tough position to be in because it is easy to make someone defensive when talking about their addiction. If your loved one is being overly confident about their recovery, they may not take your suggestions very well. Sometimes the best thing you can do is contact an objective party to deliver your messages.
When you need help understanding or supporting a loved one struggling with drug and alcohol addiction recovery, you can contact JourneyPure Emerald Coast. We’ll answer your questions and give you some suggestions for your specific situation. The road to recovery is a difficult one, but you don’t need to travel it alone.
Get Help With Relapse Prevention
Staying clean after rehab is an achievable goal, but it is extremely difficult without help. Even with the assistance of a 12-step group and an excellent sponsor, recovery is a tough road to travel. That’s why you should utilize every expert resource you can. JourneyPure Emerald Coast, Florida’s premier drug and alcohol rehab center, understands that preventing relapse is just as important as completing an effective addiction treatment program.
At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, our comprehensive aftercare includes a relapse prevention program that’s open to everyone looking to stay clean after rehab, not just those who have completed our initial treatments. With individually-molded programs, expert clinical care and a wealth of support from peers and professionals alike, we are your destination for top-tier rehab and relapse prevention programs.
If you or someone you care about needs drug relapse help, don’t hesitate. Contact JourneyPure Emerald Coast to find out more about beating drug and alcohol addiction and living the healthy life you deserve.