Ten Relapse Prevention Strategies And Techniques

When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction treatment, relapse prevention is critical.

To maintain sobriety and keep on the path to recovery, it’s essential to have a plan in place for when you feel like you might be slipping. You may be wondering how I can get information on such topics, well this website can help you with that. A lot!

That said, here are ten relapse prevention strategies and techniques that can help you stay on track.

Understanding Relapse

Relapse can be a complex and confusing experience, but it is essential to remember that it is not a sign of failure. Instead, it is a usual part of the recovery process.

There are different types of relapse, including:

Physical Relapse:

Physical relapse means you are not feeling good and might start using drugs or alcohol again. You should know what the warning signs are so you can prevent them from happening.

Emotional Relapse:

Emotional relapse is when you are not taking care of yourself emotionally. This can happen if you are not dealing with your emotions healthily or are not connected to a support system.

Mental Relapse:

Mental relapse occurs when you start thinking and fanaticizing about using drugs or alcohol again. This can happen if you are not taking care of yourself mentally or are triggered.

Remember that relapse can never be the end of your journey; it is simply a bump in the road. 

With determination and perseverance, you will eventually reach your destination.

Can I Relapse After Being Drug Or Alcohol-Free For Years?

Yes, you can relapse even after being sober for many years. Drug or alcohol addiction is a persistent and relapsing disease, meaning there is no cure.

According to abbeycarefoundation.com, relapse is common to those who are under recovery.

However, this does not mean that recovery is impossible. Many people have been able to stay sober for years or even decades.

The key is never to let your guard down.

Just because you have been sober long does not mean you are immune to relapse.

But one should be aware of the factors that cause relapse.

Many factors can contribute to relapse, such as:

  • Stress
  • Boredom
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Loneliness

If you are facing any of these emotions, you must seek help. Talk to your sponsor, therapist, or doctor.

Do not try to tough it out on your own. There is no shame in seeking help; it is one of the bravest things you can do.

Relapse Prevention Strategies

Implementing relapse prevention skills is a great way to avoid them in the first place, and there are way many things you can do to prevent relapse.

However, here are ten of the most effective relapse prevention strategies:

#1 Identify Your Triggers

As we mentioned before, knowing what triggers your cravings is essential. Once you identify your triggers, you can develop a relapse prevention plan to avoid your triggers.

#2 Avoid High-Risk Situations

If you know that certain situations will be too tempting, do your best to avoid them.

For example, if you are ever invited to a party where there will be substance abuse, it’d probably be best to decline the invitation.

#3 Develop A Support Network

Recovery is not a solo journey. Surround yourself with a circle of people who will support your sobriety.

This could include family, friends, a therapist, or a sponsor.

#4 Stay Busy

Boredom comes as one of the most common triggers for relapse. To avoid boredom, make sure you have plenty of things to do.

Join a club, learn a new skill, take a class, or volunteer. Find something that makes you happy and stick with it.

#5 Get Enough Sleep

Fatigue can lead to cravings and mental relapse. Make sure you are getting enough good night’s sleep each night. 

If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about possible solutions.

#6 Eat Healthily

Do you know what a simple helpful relapse prevention skill would be? To eat, but healthy.

A diet that is healthy is essential for both your physical and mental health. Eating nutritious meals will help you feel better and focus on your recovery.

#7 Exercise

Exercise is another helpful relapse prevention technique to relieve stress and boost your mood.

It can also be helpful to let you sleep better and eat healthier.

#8 Practice Meditation Or Yoga

Both meditation and yoga can help you relax and stay centered. Yoga is also a great way to enhance your coping skills.

If you are new to meditation, many helpful resources are available to help you get started.

#9 See Your Doctor Regularly

You must see your doctor regularly if you have any underlying medical conditions.

These conditions can contribute to relapse if they are not adequately managed.

#10 Always Seek Help If You Feel Like You Are About To Relapse

If you are feeling urges for drug or alcohol use, do not try to tough it out on your own. Talk to your sponsor, therapist, or doctor. These people can help you get back on track.

Although it is typical to relapse during recovery, this does not mean you have failed.

How Can An Emergency Contact List Be A Good Call?

If you are in recovery, one of the best things you can do is create an emergency contact list.

This also comes in relapse prevention tools.

The list should hold and contain the names and phone numbers of people who can provide support if you feel like you are going to relapse.

Having this list handy can be a lifesaver.

If you feel tempted to drug abuse, you can call one of your contacts for help.

This list can also be helpful if you are having a bad day. Sometimes just talking to someone who understands can make all the difference.

If you are not sure who to have on your list, here are some suggestions:

  • Your sponsor
  • A therapist or counselor
  • A friend or family member
  • A recovery group
  • Your doctor

Creating an emergency contact list is an excellent way to prepare for relapse.

Having a list of people you can call makes you more likely to seek help when needed.

This can help make all the difference in your recovery.

Be A Tough Nut To Crack

It is always vital to remember that relapse does not have to be part of your recovery. Using the strategies we discussed can significantly reduce your risk of relapse.

However, it is also essential to be prepared for relapse. If you do relapse, do not give up on yourself.

You can get back on track by reaching out for help.

If you are struggling with addiction, please seek professional help.

There are many resources available to you. You are not alone.

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