To relapse post addiction treatment is one of the biggest fears for recovering addicts. It’s understandable why, as rehab will have been completed, which takes commitment and perseverance, whilst providing hope towards long-term recovery.
Displaying such a mindset is natural, as you’ll be protecting yourself, your efforts, and your sobriety milestones. Yet, it’s also vital to be aware that relapse does happen, that it isn’t the ‘be all end all’, and that relapse prevention can assist with both preventing and reducing the weight of possible regress.
It’s also important that fixating on relapse and the risks of possibly encountering symptoms are avoided, as this can add even greater pressure onto yourself, in fact jeopardising your progress. Instead, it’s wise to plan with relapse prevention, relax into post-rehab life and manage your recovery efforts.
Here are 8 ways to prevent relapse after addiction treatment, to make use of, to actively manage your post-rehab journey. While full security cannot be guaranteed, as every client reacts differently after addiction treatment, you can do your best to avoid triggering situations.
Remember, 40-60% of people will relapse within the initial stages of addiction recovery. This is low in comparison to other conditions, yet of course will still concern you. Reduce your chances by working to understand, prevent and taper back relapse risks with our help at Rehab Clinics Group.
What is relapse?
Relapse is defined as a form of regress from a state of recovery. This is in fact true, yet it has such a significant image attached to it, that many recovering addicts fixate on its likelihood and attract relapse, rather than work to prevent one.
A drug and alcohol relapse will present itself in three different ways. An emotional relapse where feelings start to lean towards consumption, a mental relapse where those feelings start to turn into emotional responses and justifications, and physical relapse where consumption in fact takes place.
Like addiction, a relapse will manifest differently for every individual, carrying certain lessons or consequences. With that being said, the word relapse shouldn’t scare you, as a simple thought about consumption can reflect one, resolvable through a therapy session and greater prevention.
It is however wise to be sensible around the prospect of relapse, which can be found through partaking in relapse prevention planning, commonly a step-through rehab. Such efforts should continue on a post-rehab basis, to help to preserve sobriety while also working subconsciously to prevent relapse.
Ongoing efforts through your lifestyle choices and support network exposure will help to create a positive platform, which can deter relapse risks. For some inspiration around this, here are 8 ways to prevent relapse after addiction treatment, easily adoptable and manageable after rehab.
8 ways to prevent relapse after addiction treatment
Coping strategies, on a post-rehab basis, will be personal to you. All depending on your addiction type and triggering situations, you’ll need to develop a plan which assists you through exposure, to relax, to surpass and strengthen your recovery.
Here are 8 ways to prevent relapse after addiction treatment, which will assist with your coping processes, preparing you for any degree of craving or relapse.
1. Understand relapse
It’s firstly vital that you understand relapse. There are many misconceptions around relapse that suggest that relapsing will require invasive and residential addiction treatment to revert such regress. Yet this isn’t the case for every relapse, which in fact can act as a lesson, rather than a negative consequence.
Understanding relapse, its risks, its signs, and its impact on addiction recovery will therefore be a good starting point, to prepare you for potential events.
2. Be aware of triggering situations
It’s also essential that you’re aware of your own triggers. This may be a place, a feeling, a connection with a person or an activity, which triggers your cravings and addictive behaviours.
With such awareness, you’ll be able to spot a triggering situation, which will then be followed by your relapse prevention plan, to reduce the impacts of your triggers.
3. Lead a positive and healthy lifestyle
One of the most natural ways, standing as one of the 8 ways to prevent relapse after addiction treatment will be to lead a positive and healthy lifestyle. Pre-rehab, may not be natural to you. Yet through your rehab experience, you’ll develop healthy habits and routines to take forward with you.
A full and grateful life will not require the presence of drugs and alcohol. You can reach this level of happiness and positivity by ensuring that your lifestyle choices reflect your intentions.
4. Make use of aftercare programmes
Aftercare programmes are in place to assist you with life after addiction treatment. They can be extremely helpful when looking to prevent relapse, as you’re provided with an outlet to emotionally invest yourself.
Support groups and anonymous sessions will be offered to help you build a routine of accountability, while also setting yourself some positive goals. This will focus on progress, rather than the idea of regress linked to relapse.
5. Partake in relapse prevention planning
Relapse prevention planning will be promoted throughout rehab. However, it will be encouraged for you to strengthen and adapt your plan where and when appropriate. The change will happen throughout your recovery experience, which means you’ll need to adapt your coping strategies, motivations, and helplines.
Your relapse prevention plan will offer structure, guidance, and assurance through the harder times of addiction recovery. This is a helpful tool for recovering addicts to offer a way out in the event of triggering situations.
6. Accept additional treatment options
A further tip within the 8 ways to prevent relapse after addiction treatment is to accept additional treatment when necessary. For example, through vulnerable times, outpatient therapy may be offered to you.
Following up with this recommendation will be wise, to ensure that you’re fully supported and invested in maintaining sobriety.
7. Build support networks
Support will be invaluable through addiction treatment and recovery. By building a positive support network, you’ll have outlets of support available to you throughout your recovery journey.
You can find support through a variety of means, from personal friends and family to online forums and community spaces. Any degree of positive support can help you keep on track, preventing relapse risks.
8. Be honest with yourself
It’s very important, to be honest with yourself through this time. You may spot the signs of relapse, which honesty will help you act appropriately, with your best interests at heart.
This is the time to fuel your mental health instead of jeopardising it. Be your own supporter, by being honest with how you feel.
Overcoming any signs of relapse
If you do encounter any signs of relapse, it’s important to remember that this is just a hiccup within your long-term recovery journey. You can overcome this, by taking a step back and by focusing on your recovery efforts.
In most cases, relapse will be a lesson, to take greater action on preventing relapse. In some cases, it can develop into a physical relapse which will require addiction treatment. Yet all steps will work to promote progress rather than regression.
With our advice and 8 ways to prevent relapse after addiction treatment, we hope that preventing relapse is possible. Yet encountering any signs can be reversed with planning, positive coping strategies and support.
Reach out for advice on relapse prevention planning along with general addiction recovery guidance here at Rehab Clinics Group.