Preventing relapse is one of the most significant long-term goals of recovery. Treatment lays the foundation, but once people leave formal treatment, they must exercise independence and self-sufficiency without resorting to drug use again. Addiction treatment programs are careful to build in education about relapse prevention strategies so that clients are set up for success when they enter a period of aftercare.
Implementing relapse prevention strategies can go a long way toward fending off cravings, managing stressors and triggers effectively, and ultimately staying sober for the long term. Learn more about Gulf Breeze Recovery’s relapse prevention program in Gulf Breeze, Florida, by calling 833.551.2304.
5 Effective Relapse Prevention Strategies
Many different types of relapse prevention strategies exist. Finding the right combination of best strategies for you may take trial and error. A relapse prevention program combines relapse prevention strategies that a person puts into place to remain sober.
Sometimes, addiction treatment centers also offer relapse prevention programs that help people develop these strategies and put them into practice. Below are some effective relapse prevention strategies that should be considered as part of your relapse prevention plan.
1. Recognize the Stages of Relapse
The addiction treatment community considers relapse far more than a single moment of drug use after a period of sobriety. That may be the action that tips the final domino. However, most relapses follow three stages leading up to the actual instance of drug use. The three stages are emotional, mental, and physical.
First, the emotional stage is when relapse thoughts remain unconscious, but a person’s behaviors begin to set them up for relapse. They may isolate or withdraw from others. They may not eat or sleep well and begin to lose the healthy habits they developed in recovery. The second stage is mental. This is the stage when someone begins to consider using drugs again mentally. They may only recall the good parts of using or feel like their social life isn’t the same without the presence of drugs. Last comes the physical stage, when someone resorts to drug use again. If you can learn to recognize when you are in the first or second stage, you can disrupt the slide into relapse and avoid reaching the physical stage.
2. Identify Your Triggers
Common relapse triggers include:
- Poor self-care
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Relationships that center on drug use
Everyone has triggers that lead them to consider using drugs. Identifying these is critical to maintaining sobriety. Once identified, you can put plans into place for dealing with these triggers positively.
3. Ask for Help
Struggling with a potential relapse is normal. Don’t bottle your emotions inside. If you feel like you are on the verge of a relapse, reach out to a trusted friend or a medical professional for support.
4. Practice Self-Care
Taking care of your physical and emotional needs goes a long way toward avoiding relapse. Make sure you eat healthy meals, get adequate sleep, and exercise regularly. It is also essential to invest in sober social connections. That could mean attending a weekly support group or scheduling regular get-togethers with close friends.
5. Reward Yourself
It’s okay to admit you need a little motivation to remain sober. Supply subtle motivation by rewarding yourself for meeting recovery goals. Schedule a massage or plan a fun day trip to a museum. Abstinence and recovery need not be boring. Invest in things that bring you joy.
Find a Relapse Prevention Program in Florida at Gulf Breeze Recovery
You do not have to main sobriety alone after professional treatment ends. Consider engaging in a relapse prevention program to bolster your efforts to stay sober. Contact Gulf Breeze Recovery today at 833.551.2304 to learn more about our relapse prevention program.