Top 5 Tips for Relapse Prevention
Whether you have a 1-week chip or a 5-year medallion, everyone in addiction recovery is at risk for relapse. This is a chronic disease that has no cure, only vigilant attention can keep it from recurring. Relapse prevention is key to helping you find the peace of a life free from substance abuse.
The National Institutes of Health found in a 2013 study that there is an 85% chance of relapse during the first year of recovery. That number is very telling as to how difficult this disease is to overcome and keep at bay.
The Sands Treatment Center offers many outpatient options for anyone seeking long-term help after in-patient treatment. Our goal is to help you keep it together and live a life free from substance abuse.
Please take a moment to read a few of the tips we’ve listed below. They can either help you or someone you know who is struggling with addiction get the treatment they need.
1. Start by creating a lifelong treatment program.
Doing it on your own is usually pretty difficult and only makes treatment more challenging. You need the help of others, a shoulder to lean on and people to talk to free of judgment.
It’s not just about getting a sponsor; you need a support system and that’s what you’ll get here at The Sands Treatment Center.
Medically assisted or holistic treatments could also help you with relapse prevention. It all depends on your needs and how quickly you want to see results.
The main priority is to find a program and stick to it. Don’t start skipping meetings because you’ve kicked the cravings or you’ve successfully gone a few months without the substance. It is in those moments that relapse can be the most tempting.
2. Recognize the signs that you are heading towards a relapse.
If you recognize any of the following behaviors, head to a meeting. Talk to a counselor or ask your friends for help. Relapse prevention can only happen if you are honest with yourself.
- You find yourself looking up old friends that you know will get you in trouble.
- You’re going back to hangouts, clubs, or places you used to use.
- Friends mention that you seem to be more irritable than usual.
- Depression has reared its ugly head and you can’t seem to shake it.
- Someone mentions they haven’t seen you at a meeting in a while.
- Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
- You start to look back fondly at the “old days” and think maybe things weren’t so bad after all.
3. Sharing at meetings is key to relapse prevention.
Don’t be the one who spends every meeting just staring at the floor. Every person at that meeting is going through the same things you are. Bottling it up is not much different from never showing up at all.
You have to take account of your actions and feelings.
The only way you can be truly honest with yourself about your addiction is by talking about it. When you start speaking at meetings and sharing with others, you will likely learn more about yourself and the factors that contributed to addiction.
By simply speaking out loud, you will start to learn new things about yourself while letting others in. You need feedback from people who are going through the same thing you are.
That can only happen when you are open and honest.
4. Staying healthy is essential for recovery.
One of the easiest methods of relapse prevention is to “get your steps in”. Staying active and keeping your body healthy will improve your outlook on life. It will help keep you in a positive state of mind and give you less room to think about indulging in any addictive substances.
Most people when using, either don’t eat at all or when they do, have a “gas station” diet. Your body is already physically struggling from the recovery process. With this, it is important to give yourself the proper nutrients needed to keep your body moving.
5. Building a support network goes a long way in relapse prevention.
Surround yourself with people that care not just about recovery, but care about you. You also need to be one of these people for someone else who is struggling. By sticking together and looking out for each other, a relapse is far less likely.
Make new friends and go out of your way to spend time with them. Being alone is hard for someone who is recovering from addiction. Share your feelings and openly discuss your cares and concerns. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen for you to find the answer or be the answer for someone else.
The Sands Treatment Center Can Help
Are you still battling with the disease of addiction even after inpatient treatment? For consistent addiction therapy with schedule flexibility, we are the solution!
Call The Sands Treatment Center in Pompano Beach, FL at (954) 526-6400.