3 Tips for Relapse Prevention

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Discover 3 Essential Tips for Relapse Prevention

Rehab centers provide a safe space for addicts to recover in. During intensive inpatient treatment, relapse is not a concern as there are no drugs or alcohol allowed. However, once a person leaves treatment, they must face the stressors of life while avoiding relapse. It can be a difficult feat with as many as 60 percent of people falling victim to a relapse within the first year of treatment. Tips for relapse prevention become a key component in long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addictions.

The following explores some of the most essential relapse prevention tips that can assist you in maintaining sobriety when faced with triggers.

1. Find What Brings You Joy

When a person starts to take drugs or drink alcohol every day, they usually find very little time for anything else. Their time is preoccupied with acquiring, using and recovering from a substance. As such, the person usually loses touch with what used to bring them joy, such as sports or other fun activities.

Tips for relapse prevention can include finding out what brings you joy and fun in your life now that alcohol and drugs are no longer around. Essentially, you are replacing substance abuse with another activity that can give you something new to do with your free time. During recovery, your relapse prevention plan should involve not only trying previously enjoyed activities but also opening yourself up to new ideas that you may have wanted to try before.

2. Look After Yourself Physically

Addiction can not only cause problems in a person’s mental state, but it can also put a major toll on the body.  One of the tips for relapse prevention is to take care of your body, especially since the habit of taking good care of yourself has likely fallen by the way side during the substance abuse period. By taking care of your body physically, you can achieve mental health improvement since the two are connected in several ways.

Start by making sure that you get a good night’s rest each night. Getting the right amount of sleep has been shown to help with anxiety, depression and irritability. Oversleeping can be just as bad as not getting enough sleep. Make sure to set your alarm so that you have a reasonable amount of sleep.

Proper nutrition is another one of the tips for relapse prevention that can be very easy to get into. Recovering from substance abuse can take a lot of energy from the addict, showing the importance of eating healthy. The increased energy from proper nutrition and diet can then be put to good use through exercise. A relapse prevention plan usually always has exercise as a part of the prevention skills needed. It can help to reduce stress and improve mood due to the chemical release that occurs in the brain.

3. Make Use of Support Systems

One of the best relapse prevention tips is to use support systems. No matter what situation a person may be have in their home, support systems are available. It can come through caring friends, loving family members, support group meetings or a counselor. Sometimes all one needs to prevent relapse is to talk about what’s bothering you. The optimal time to reach out is if you begin to feel the emotional stage of relapse, which is when you start to feel overwhelmed emotionally by various stressors.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/193144

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276339/