The Ultimate Guide to Relapse Prevention
If you are in recovery from addiction, relapse prevention is an important part of your journey. Relapse is the return to drug use after a period of abstinence. Even though it might seem like a part of the process, it’s not.
In this post, we’ll go through how you can create a relapse prevention plan to keep you on the road to recovery. Also, will provide you with information and tools to help you prevent relapse and stay on the path to recovery.
What Causes Relapse?
- Stress: Stress is a major trigger for relapse. When you are feeling stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol, which can increase cravings and make it harder to resist temptation.
- Isolation: Addiction is a disease of isolation. When you are isolated from others, you are more likely to relapse.
- Boredom: Boredom can lead to relapse because you might want to turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve the boredom.
- Triggers: Triggers can literally be anything. People, places, or things can remind you of your addiction and lead to cravings. It is important to identify what your triggers are and avoid them.
Relapse Prevention Strategies
Understand Your Triggers
The first way to avoid relapsing is by being conscious of your triggers. Your triggers are the individuals, locations, experiences, or things that make you want to use drugs or alcohol again. It might not be easy to figure out what these are right away, and it will take time and effort. However, once you know your triggers, you can begin developing a plan for avoiding them altogether. This won’t be straightforward — in fact, it’ll probably be tough-but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Some people find that they can’t completely avoid their triggers. In these cases, it’s necessary to have a backup plan for dealing with them. This might include things like calling a friend or sponsor, going to a meeting, or journaling.
Identify Your Emotions
Find your Support System
Get Professional Help
Avoid High-Risk Situations
Try to avoid high-risk situations that might trigger you to use drugs or alcohol.
These situations will be different for everyone, some common ones are being around people who are using, going to places where you used to use, or being in a situation where you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
If you can’t avoid these high-risk situations altogether, try to have a plan in place for how you’ll deal with them. For example, if you’re going to be around people who are using, you might plan to leave the room or leave the situation entirely if it gets too tempting.
Keeping your distal risk factors and cognitive factors in the forefront of your mind can help avoid withdrawal symptoms and make the relapse process less likely to occur fully. Substance use disorder isn’t easy to get over. There are lots of lifestyle factors that may cause relapse, which is why it’s important to avoid high-risk situations, especially in early recovery.
Join a Sober Living Community
If you’re struggling to stay sober on your own from alcohol dependence, a sober living community is a great option. These support groups or communities provide safe and drug-free housing for people in recovery.
They also typically have strict rules about drug and alcohol use, which can help you stay on track.
Sober living communities can be a great way to transition back into society after treatment and to get support from other people in recovery.
Design for Recovery is a sober living support group available if you’d prefer to seek help. We offer sober living homes and resources, and these can be a great way to connect with others in recovery and get support when you’re feeling tempted.
Call us today at (424) 327-4614 for a free consultation
Find a sponsor
When you’re looking for help to stay clean, it’s often helpful And sometimes necessary to find someone who has gone through the 12 steps and emerged on the other side. This is your sponsor. Sponsors have experience with addiction and sobriety and can offer much-needed support during difficult times or periods of temptation. Guiding you back to the right path, even if you’re not feeling strong enough to do it yourself.
Attend 12-step meetings
Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can be extremely helpful in preventing relapse.
These meetings provide support, accountability, and a sense of community. With it you can even connect with others in recovery and learn from their experiences.
Find a hobby
Developing a new hobby can be a great way to prevent relapse. When you have something going on outside of recovery, you’re less likely to turn back to drugs or alcohol.Finding a hobby that you’re passionate about can also help improve your overall well-being and provide a sense of purpose.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Not only is exercise a super effective way to destress, but it also comes with a plethora of other benefits. It can help prevent relapse because it can act as a distraction from triggers and provide a sense of accomplishment. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy – a simple walk around the block will do! You can slowly build up to more intense workouts as you feel ready! In this phase, just like your entire relapse prevention plan, you need to always take things one day at a time.
Only add in new things when you feel comfortable and confident that you can handle them. Exercise is one of the best healthy coping skills that you can try for substance use disorders with it, you’ll have more control over your recovery.
Communicate your needs
Get enough sleep
Eat a healthy diet
Manage your stress levels
Stress is one of the biggest triggers for relapse, so it’s important to find ways to manage it. Negative mood states can cause a negative effect on recovery.
Stressors are different for everyone, but some helpful coping mechanisms include exercise, journaling, and deep breathing. Find what works for you, and make sure to practice regularly!
Remember that relapse is not a failure
The Bottom Line
Are you struggling with relapses and looking for help?
Call us today at (424) 327-4614 for a free consultation, or visit our website to learn more about our program! We’re here to guide you on your journey to recovery.