How Can I Avoid Relapse?
Published: December 9, 2021
It is a common misconception that once individuals have stopped using drugs or alcohol, they are safe from addiction. Addiction is a life-long battle that takes time and dedication, but there are steps you can take to avoid relapse and stay on the path of sobriety. Rockland Treatment Center builds a strong foundation for its patients by offering the tips, tools, and support needed to live a healthy, drug-free life.
Types of Relapse:
To avoid a relapse, we must first identify the types of relapses and identify their triggers. There are two main types of relapse: a slip and a full-fledged relapse. A slip is usually an isolated incident – meaning that it doesn’t indicate that you have fallen back into destructive patterns, while a full-fledged relapse involves returning to harmful behaviors after periods of abstinence.
It is important to note that relapse is typically a gradual process that happens over time. A relapse can be broken down into three stages: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse.
During an emotional relapse, you might begin to feel hopeless and lose the desire to fight your addiction. During a mental relapse, you start thinking about using again; and during physical relapse, you reach a point where you actively seek out substances and start using again.
The best way to avoid relapse is to recognize your triggers and stay on top of any signs that you might be falling into a relapse trap. If you identify signs that indicate you are in danger of sliding back into old habits, you can take steps to manage your emotions and thoughts before they reach the point where you need to seek out substances again.
Ways to Avoid Relapse
Get support: Rockland Treatment Center offers many support systems such as 12-step programs, counseling, outpatient programs, group/individual therapy sessions, and more. Having a solid support group can help give an addict hope when they feel like they’re at their lowest point. Getting support from friends and family may also help avoid relapse. Remember, you are never alone.
Avoid isolation: Isolation is dangerous because it allows negative emotions and thoughts to consume you, making relapse more likely. In addition, when we feel alone, we are more likely to think or do destructive things that may lead to a relapse.
Discover new hobbies or revisit old ones: We all know that drugs and alcohol can become an addiction, but so can other activities. Therefore, finding new hobbies or revisiting old ones is important when you have decided that addiction is no longer an option.
Stay active: Exercising and staying active gives someone something to focus on other than their addiction. Working out is also a great way to deal with stress that may come with sobriety.
Promote self-care: Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, as well as your mind and body. It’s essential to stay healthy and avoid stressors if avoiding relapse is a priority.
Countless things can trigger the urge to use again. However, there are specific triggers that appear more frequently than others. These include social pressure, depression, anxiety, anger, isolation, financial stressors, and boredom. Addicts in recovery need to recognize these relapse triggers to avoid them if possible or get help if they can’t control their urges.
Avoid triggers: Triggers are the things that cause an individual to relapse. These can be people, places, or even emotions such as stress and anxiety. By avoiding triggers, you reduce the chances of a relapse occurring. Triggers to watch out for include:
- Stress – Try to manage your stress levels by exercising regularly, practicing meditation, and getting enough sleep at night.
- People – Stay away from old friends that may be encouraging the use of drugs or alcohol.
- Places – Avoid places you used to go when in active addiction and try not to drive past them on a daily basis to avoid triggering cravings.
- Times of celebration – Celebrating milestones and holidays with drugs or alcohol may be tempting, but you can easily celebrate without giving into temptation.
Contact Rockland Treatment Center
When you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it can seem like there’s no hope for recovery. Rockland Treatment Center specializes in mental health and drug rehab that will help guide you on the path to sobriety and a healthy lifestyle.