When someone is suffering from an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or gambling, the best thing to do is visit a recognised behavioural, alcohol or drug rehabilitation centre.
An integral aspect of this rehab centres treatment programme should be to deliver relapse prevention sessions.
Learning how to prevent a potential relapse is crucial to achieving your long-term recovery, particularly once you’ve completed the treatment programme and return home to continue your journey to recovery.
Within your relapse prevention sessions, your team of recovery workers should work with you to identify the underlying causes of your addiction. This means that the cause can be treated, allowing your patterns of behaviour to change in a positive way as you work towards sobriety.
You’ll learn important skills which will help you to cope with any triggers which may present themselves in your familiar environment when you’re at home. UK Rehab describe the early warning signs of a potential relapse as “typically starting with poor self-care such as poor eating and sleeping habits and not dealing with emotional stressors by bottling up emotions”.
It’s important to note that if you do experience a relapse, don’t be too hard on yourself or become disheartened to get back on track. It’s not uncommon for people struggling with addictions to relapse at least once during their recovery.
In fact, VeryWellMind.com states “more than two-thirds of individuals will relapse after initiating treatment”. Understanding your triggers is essential when it comes to addiction relapse strategies whilst creating an addiction relapse prevention plan.
What are the 5 tips for Addiction Relapse Prevention?
To help you continue your successful journey to recovery without experiencing a relapse, or to get you back on track after going through a relapse, these are some useful tips for how to prevent drug addiction relapse.
1. List your potential triggers: Being able to identify your triggers is essential if you want to avoid them. It’s very important that you understand these triggers to avoid repeating the same mistakes further down the line. Self-reflection in addition to the tools learned from a professional rehabilitation centre can be invaluable to recognising your triggers.
2. Create a schedule: As part of most rehabilitation programmes, you will receive a personalised aftercare plan. Included within this plan should be a detailed schedule to aid your recovery without any relapses. This could involve regular sessions with local support groups or ongoing sessions with your rehab centre.
3. Set yourself goals: Setting goals is a highly effective tool, particularly when it comes to relapse prevention. Having goals to work towards will focus your mind and prevent you from becoming distracted whilst you maintain your healthy lifestyle and continuously improve your physical and psychological well-being.
4. Create a plan for cravings: When it comes to relapsing, you’ll experience cravings for the substance which will typically disappear in around 30 minutes. If you can create a distraction during this period, then it will help you to forget about your cravings and hopefully avoid a relapse. This could be something simple like playing a game on your phone, calling a friend, or making a cup of tea, anything to take your mind off the cravings.
5. Create a support network: Never underestimate the power of sharing your thoughts and feelings with others, whether this is with strangers at groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, or with your friends and family, you’ll benefit greatly from opening up. Additionally, sharing you concerns with others can help you to feel less isolated which in itself can have a positive impact on your recovery.
These are some great tips which will help you to avoid a relapse. One of the main triggers which can cause you to relapse is feeling stressed and anxious, so it’s very important to find new ways to keep relaxed.
Have a think about what you can do to bring your stress and anxiety levels down, maybe having a bath, listening to some music, or practising some breathing techniques.
It’s also important to consider the consequences of relapsing. If you get to a point where you’re seriously nearing a relapse, try to take a moment to consider the consequences and who a relapse would impact. Think about all of the hard work you’ve put into your rehabilitation and how proud your family and friends are of your progress.
Do you want to let them down? Do you want to let yourself down? Is relapse really worth it? It’s a challenge, but once you push past the cravings, the reward is like no other, its life changing.
What can cause you to Relapse?
There are many factors which could ruin your drug or alcohol addiction relapse prevention plan. One of the most common causes of suffering from a relapse is stress. This is because stress is so commonplace in all of our lives and it’s possible that your substance abuse began as a way to cope with stress, resulting in stress becoming a trigger for relapse.
It can be very difficult to disassociate the feelings as substance abuse relieving your anger and fear in stressful situations and to instead find an alternative release for stress. This could be anything which suits you, for example some exercise, getting outdoors, or practising mindfulness or meditation.
Becoming involved with old peer groups who are still abusing drugs, alcohol, or gambling, can be detrimental to your recovery and is highly likely to result in a relapse. The best thing to do is limit your contact with old social circles to protect your recovery process, particularly during the early stages when you’re most susceptible to relapsing.
It’s completely normal to experience negative or challenging emotions but when you’re in recovery from a severe addiction, these emotions become heightened, making them appear worse than they are; these could include feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
These negative feelings can create an imbalance in your mind which may have influenced your addition to begin with, meaning these emotions are likely to be a trigger for relapse. Looking at all of these potential causes of experiencing a relapse highlights how vital it is to have an effective addiction relapse prevention plan in place.
Posted on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 9:25 am in Latest News.