A relapse is a return to drug abuse behaviors that led a person to addiction in the past. A relapse can be caused by many different factors, but there are a few that are quite common. Understanding these causes can aid in drug addiction relapse prevention efforts. For instance, stress is a top cause of relapse, and although it’s impossible to avoid all forms of stress, changes in lifestyle, priorities, and relationships can lower relapse-inducing stress.
Avoiding people and places that are related to addictive behavior is essential to preventing a relapse. Alcohol and drug relapse prevention efforts are much stronger when the individual is removed from peers who will influence them to use and places where the substance is readily available. Negative and challenging emotions often prompt a relapse, whether in the withdrawal phase of recovery or much later in life. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great treatment to employ in drug and alcohol relapse prevention. Visual and sensory reminders of the substance can also trigger relapse. Think carefully before attending parties and other events where you might be tempted to backslide.
Ways to Prevent Relapse
There are three different types of relapse that require varying drug and alcohol relapse prevention strategies. An emotional relapse means an individual is experiencing feelings that will make them wish to relapse, including anxiety, anger, isolation, and lack of sleep. These feelings can sometimes be caused by withdrawal symptoms. Good self-care is key to avoiding emotional relapse. That means having healthy sleep patterns, positive relationships, and a good reward and relaxation system to use in place of substance abuse.
During a mental relapse, a person is battling with thoughts that urge them to use. A part of them does not want to use, but substance abuse is on their mind. There are many successful cognitive behavioral therapy strategies that can help a person deal with these thoughts. These include relaxation techniques and identifying people to talk to when the urge to use strikes.
A physical relapse means that a person is about to relapse: They are going to the liquor store or finding their dealer. It is difficult to prevent relapse at this point, although there are some steps a person can take to prevent themselves from acquiring substances even if they want them.
Find Relapse Counseling
If you or a loved one is facing the possibility of relapse, you don’t have to face the struggle alone. Remember that even if you have relapsed, that doesn’t mean that your recovery has failed. BetterAddictionCare can help you learn more about drug addiction relapse prevention or help you find a rehab that fits your situation. Call now or fill out our contact form to speak confidentially with our addiction care specialists. We will work with you to create a customized plan for your best chance at long-term recovery.