Relapse is a common occurrence in recovery, but it doesn’t have to be. Relapse can be avoided with proper care and relapse prevention strategies. Whether you’ve completed treatment and are preparing for the transition back to life outside of a treatment center or are already living in sobriety, relapse prevention is an essential part of ongoing recovery.
A relapse prevention therapy program is one of the best ways to avoid relapse. It’s designed to help individuals in recovery identify personal triggers, recognize how they cope with cravings and other negative emotions, and build life skills that will equip them to handle difficult situations.
Before learning how to avoid relapse, it can be helpful to understand what it is and why it’s such a common part of the recovery journey. A relapse occurs when an individual returns to addictive behaviors after an extended period of abstinence or sobriety. Those in recovery need to understand that relapse does not necessarily mean failure; rather, it is an opportunity for growth and transformation.
However, understanding why relapses occur is key when trying to avoid them. Common triggers of relapse include:
- Negative emotions or thoughts
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Social pressure from peers who don’t support sobriety or don’t understand addiction
- Not having enough support from family or friends in one’s recovery journey
- Not taking care of one’s physical health needs such as exercise or proper diet
If you’ve experienced relapse, it’s important to recognize how triggers can be avoided and how to build better coping mechanisms.
How to Avoid Relapse: Five Tips
1. Have a Plan
A relapse prevention plan helps people identify their triggers before they become overwhelming and provides steps for managing these triggers if they do arise. Having a plan also gives those in recovery something tangible to refer back to whenever necessary.
2. Know Your Limits
When faced with certain situations or environments that make you uncomfortable or bring up old patterns of behavior related to substance use disorders (SUDs), it is important that you know your limits. This means stepping away or leaving if necessary. Identify what you can and cannot handle and practice saying no to environments or people that do not support your recovery.
3. Connect with Your Support System
Whether through attending 12-step meetings such as AA, participating in a group therapy program, or talking with friends who understand your struggles with SUDs, it is essential to connect with your support system when you’re feeling overwhelmed or vulnerable. Reach out and ask for help if you need it.
4. Prioritize Self-Care
Self-care isn’t selfish—it’s an important part of relapse prevention. Make sure to take care of yourself physically and mentally by making time for exercise, eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, and engaging in activities that you enjoy. When you put yourself last on the list of priorities, you increase your chances of burnout.
5. Seek Professional Help
If you find yourself struggling with addiction relapses even after implementing these tips into your daily routine, then seeking professional help can make a difference. A treatment center that features a focus on relapse prevention can help you identify and address their triggers before they become overwhelming.
Contact Tree House Recovery for Relapse Prevention Therapy
There are many ways that those in recovery can avoid relapse. One of the most effective is through a relapse prevention therapy program. At Tree House Recovery, we offer individualized treatment plans that include relapse prevention strategies and the necessary tools to help those in recovery stay on track. If you’re ready to take the next step and learn how to avoid relapse, contact us today by calling 910.812.1728 or connect with us online.