Relapse Prevention Strategies
Preventing Relapse From A Drug or Alcohol Addiction
One of the biggest reasons people relapse is that they only break their physical addiction. To truly recover and find sobriety that lasts a lifetime, individuals must also look at the root of their addiction issues. At Silver Pines, recovery includes relapse prevention therapy which involves addressing related mental health concerns.
In some cases, mental illness may be the root cause of addiction so it’s critical to address, understand, and resolve these illnesses. Only then can clients begin meaningful recovery from addiction. Other clients may benefit from trauma therapy, which can resolve a trauma history and be an important part of relapse prevention in addiction recovery.
Healthy Ways to Manage Stress
People often turn to substances to manage stress. Even someone without a substance abuse problem may reach for a glass of wine after a tough day. The problem is that for some newly sober people, they’ve lost their means of stress relief. Relapse prevention strategies should include a plan for healthy stress management.
Learning how to manage stress is a big part of our relapse prevention program. Some people find that talking to a friend or attending a group therapy session relieves stress. For others, it includes keeping busy and staying active. Stress relief can begin during treatment, especially if clients have access to recreational activities like gardening, yoga therapy, outdoor activities, social activities, and exercise like what we offer at Silver Pines.
Building a Support Network for Ongoing Recovery
Relapse Prevention Tips for Social Settings
Part of our relapse prevention program involves relapse prevention therapy which includes teaching clients how to avoid peer pressure. They also learn how to say no to temptations in social settings, which many people find the toughest of all. In a group setting, clients can practice the responses they’ll use when others offer them drugs or alcohol in the future. This might sound simple, but just saying the words out loud can give individuals the confidence to move forward.
Warning Signs of A Relapse
Even after successfully completing a residential treatment program, relapse can only be prevented by understanding your triggers. The part of the brain that addiction affects is responsible for many different thought processes including:
- Logical decision making
- Connecting with others
When these thought processes are affected, it can be dangerous. Without self-awareness and the ability to make decisions, an individual is at a greater risk of relapsing. Additionally, when an individual is having difficulty connecting with others, staying sober can be a challenge.
In the case of many people who relapse, the process begins months, weeks, or even days before the relapse. Being mindful and aware of the signs of relapse can help an individual prevent relapsing again. Warning signs of a relapse vary by individual, but some can include:
- Isolating from support groups
- Romanticizing drinking alcohol or using drugs
Learning relapse prevention tips and techniques are vital to help individuals struggling in recovery. This is why relapse prevention treatment that includes creating a relapse prevention plan should be a part of addiction treatment.