When recovering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it?s important to create new habits. You can?t hang out in all the same places where you once consumed drugs and alcohol.
In the same way, it doesn’t make sense to hang out with the people you used to share drugs or alcohol with. These places and people are no longer good for you. During times of stress or frustration, these old haunts will seem very appealing and encourage you to start using again.
That’s why developing a system of relapse-prevention strategies is so important. Staying sober goes beyond avoiding people and places that you associate with drug use. You will need to establish a daily coping plan if you want to ensure your sobriety. This guide identifies practical strategies that you can use during your recovery journey.
The Philosophy Of Relapse Prevention
Don?t wait until you experience temptation to develop a prevention strategy. By then it may already be too late. True prevention means developing a plan before you leave the safe environment of a treatment facility.
A comprehensive plan takes into account not only specific people and places but also the emotional states that trigger your cravings. Similarly, a complete prevention plan identifies relationships, including those with friends and family, that might encourage you to return to your addiction. Before ending treatment,?make sure that you:
? Have a Support System in Place: Recovery requires a support network. Get involved with a support group to develop friendships with people who don?t encourage substance abuse.
? Understand Risk Factors for Relapse: Some situations make relapse more likely than others. Know your emotional triggers. Circumstances like a death in the family, new job, health problems or boredom can make relapse more likely.
? Follow the Plan for Relapse Prevention: During treatment, you were sheltered in a stress-free environment. Outside the treatment center, you?ll encounter things that are out of your control. You’ll need to stick to the plan when the unexpected happens. This approach will help keep you out of trouble.
Tips For Preventing Relapse
Use the following tips to avoid situations that might lead to relapse:
? Make a list of your trigger situations. Avoid the ones you can altogether and make an escape plan so you?ll know what to do if you?re caught in a high-stress situation.
? Deal with negative emotions as they come up instead of allowing them to build up and fester.
? Stay away from people who encouraged you to drink or use drugs in the past.
? Find healthy ways to manage stress or anxiety.
? Take care of your body. Eat right and exercise.
? Be productive. Work, volunteer, or start a new hobby to keep yourself engaged.
How To Deal With Mental Urges
It?s common to experience cravings, fantasize about using again and to have positive memories about the people and places surrounding old habits. You aren’t unusual for having these thoughts. When you experience those temptations, make an effort to guide your thought process.
Tell a trusted friend what you?re feeling or someone who has already been through the recovery process. Sometimes, opening up will help make them easier to manage. Remember that most cravings only last between 15 and 30 minutes. Distract yourself and give those thoughts time to pass.
Relapse Prevention Just For You
Don’t think you have to deal with the struggles of overcoming your addiction on your own. Your best chance for long-term success in recovery is to get help from experienced addiction specialists. The best relapse prevention plans are those guided by medical and psychiatric professionals.
The Treatment Center develops customized aftercare and relapse-prevention plans for those who complete our inpatient treatment program. With the help of our experienced medical staff, our patients start a new life filled with hope. We stay beside them each step of the way. Contact us today to find out more.