There is no magic pill or secret medication that can stop substance abuse. It requires dedication, focus and courage to live a life of sobriety. Recovery from drugs and alcohol is a huge accomplishment. If you or a loved one has successfully completed a residential treatment program, you know how incredible this milestone is.
Although completing a treatment program is an accomplishment, it’s not the end. It’s just the beginning. Cravings to drink or use drugs rise and fall like waves. The threat of relapse is always present because addiction is a chronic disease, but the good news is that the waves get smaller and smaller over time.
This is why it’s so important to learn proven relapse prevention techniques. A good addiction treatment program will teach you effective strategies to minimize cravings and stick to your plan.
Tools of Recovery: Utilize These Powerful Relapse Prevention Techniques
So you’ve successfully completed a drug rehab program. Now, it’s time to adjust to life in sobriety. No one intends to relapse. This is why it can be hard for others to understand why an addict would return to their addiction. Those who can’t adjust to a new and substance-free lifestyle are the most likely to relapse.
During an addiction treatment program, professional therapists and counselors will help you develop proven relapse prevention techniques to stay strong in recovery. By using these strategies, you can avoid a return to substance abuse.
The tools of recovery include:
- Developing a support network. Accountability partners and people who understand where you’re coming from are integral to your recovery. If you’re ever struggling, this network is there to support you, encourage you and hold you accountable for your decisions. This network is a positive environment for healthy personal growth and responsible decision-making. JourneyPure Coaching is one of the most powerful ways to stay connected in recovery. Through cutting-edge technology, JourneyPure Coaching gives you 24/7 access to a recovery coach and support team dedicated to your success after rehab.
- Remember the four Ds. The four Ds in this classic relapse prevention technique stand for Delay, Distract, Deep-Breathing (De-Stress) and De-catastrophize. Since cravings come in waves, knowing how to delay a decision means that often the craving will disappear on its own. If you find yourself still thinking about using, then distract yourself for a few minutes. Go workout, call a friend or grab coffee. Distracting yourself will help delay the decision. Use deep breathing to de-stress yourself and stay calm, which will help you make a rational decision. Finally, remember that it’s not the end of the world. De-catastrophize any panic or uncomfortable feeling you may have. It’s only temporary!
- Stay engaged. Just because you’ve finished inpatient drug rehab, it doesn’t mean that your journey is over. In fact, this is just the beginning. You cannot afford to get complacent. Complacency leads to relapse. Instead, it’s important to stick to your recovery place. To avoid relapse, continue attending your aftercare program and stay connected to your support network. Utilize resources such as JourneyPure Coaching to keep the encouragement and support you need in recovery.
- Avoid stressful or tempting situations. Many people relapse because they want to themselves (and sometimes others) that they can be around alcohol and drugs and not use. For example, a recovering alcoholic going to a Christmas party with an open bar is playing with fire, especially in early recovery. This isn’t to say that you can’t be sociable. However, it’s important to avoid places or situations that remind you of when you were using. These can be emotional triggers that put you at chance for relapse.
- Invest in a new lifestyle. If you’re avoiding tempting situations and any friends that are currently using, then it’s important to create a new, healthy schedule. Pick up hobbies that you previously might not have been interested in such as working out, cooking at home or creating art. Finding new hobbies will increase your happiness, which is key to preventing relapse. When you find joy in your daily life, you will be distracted from cravings and feel fulfilled without having to consider using drugs or alcohol.
What happens if I relapse?
Road bumps happen. Relapse isn’t a catastrophic end of the world. If you return to your addiction, don’t throw in the towel. Instead, it’s another opportunity for you to make a better decision – a healthy decision.
If you relapse after addiction treatment, consider:
- Re-entering treatment
- Getting in contact with your sponsor or recovery coach
- Connecting with your support network and others in recovery
- Continue attending your 12-step meetings
- Taking advantage of cognitive behavioral therapy
JourneyPure is here to provide support for those in recovery. If you or a loved one needs support or wants to learn more, contact us today.