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10 Relapse Prevention Tips
Challenges After Recovery
The team at JC’s Recovery Center understands that even when you’re in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, there can still be challenges to overcome. Addiction is treatable, yet 40-60% of people in recovery experience a relapse, which makes learning relapse prevention tips a vital component of recovery.
This rate of failure explains why a significant element of the addiction treatment programs at our treatment facility in South Florida is creating a comprehensive relapse prevention plan. We provide patients with the tools, education, and critical relapse prevention tips you need to help ensure you maintain your sobriety upon completion of treatment.
Keeping these relapse prevention tips in mind will help keep you on track so you can continue to enjoy freedom from addiction for a lifetime.
Warning Signs and Stages of Relapse
Returning to substance use after recovery can occur in stages, which include:
At this stage, you’ve started caring about using again. You might feel a range of emotions at this stage of relapse, including:
You’re debating using drugs again in this stage. Early on in this phase, these thoughts may be fleeting. Later on, though, you’re seriously considering returning to drug or alcohol use. The signs of mental relapse can include:
- Thoughts of the friends, places, and things reminding you of using
- Having fond memories of those days
- Fantasizing about using substances
- Planning when and where you’ll relapse
This is when someone actually uses a substance after recovery. Going from the mental stage to physical relapse can happen very quickly. It is imperative to have relapse prevention tips and plans in place so that you can recognize when you are in one of the earlier stages and prevent getting to the point of physical relapse.
Relapse Prevention Tips for Daily Use
1. Understand and recognize the signs of relapse
Once you know the warning signs of relapse, you’ll be better able to ask for help or use the relapse prevention tips you’ve learned during rehab treatment.
2. Stay in touch with your feelings
To know whether you’re experiencing an emotional or mental relapse, you’ll need to be highly aware of your feelings. This self-awareness will help you determine when you need to talk to someone, get some exercise, or attend a 12-step meeting.
3. Stay busy
When you have too much free time on your hands, the temptation to use substances can threaten your sobriety. Find a new hobby, volunteer your time, or take up an exercise or a sport you enjoy to fill your days with healthy activity.
4. Go to your group meetings religiously
Skipping a group meeting can lead you onto a slippery slope to relapse. Even if you’re feeling down or have no motivation to attend a meeting, force yourself to go anyway.
5. Keep an emergency contact list with you
You never know when or where life will present you with a temptation to use again. Relapse always remains a possibility, so be prepared to make the call for help if you are struggling. Whether your contact list is on paper or speed dial, be sure you always have it with you.
6. Always have an alternative plan
Even if you’ve completed rehab and are living in a sober house, it doesn’t ensure relapse can’t happen to you. You have to continue working on your sobriety every day. Have a backup plan for every possible occasion you can imagine, such as going to a friend’s party, attending a work event, or traveling somewhere new.
7. Focus on self-care
It’s not selfish to take care of your well-being. Eat a healthy diet, relax, sleep well, exercise, pray, and do all you can to remain in good physical and emotional health.
8. Concentrate on building healthy new relationships
It’s essential to focus on having healthy relationships that won’t interfere with your sober lifestyle rather than trying to keep in touch with people who can disrupt your sobriety.
9. Find a distraction if you have mental urges
If you’re having thoughts of relapse, call a friend, take a walk, put on a movie, or do whatever you can to occupy your thoughts and steer your mind in a different direction. It may take up to 30 minutes to make your urges disappear, so plan to keep yourself busy doing productive activities.
10. Take it one day at a time
Every day is different, so only focus on being here now, in this time and on this day. Don’t become overwhelmed by thinking ahead and wondering whether you can remain sober in the future.
JC’s Recovery Center is a faith-based addiction rehab facility offering comprehensive treatment plans. Our relapse prevention tips will help you remain focused and sober in recovery. Call 844-524-6873 to learn more today.