When you live with addiction, one of the first things to understand is that you have a lifelong illness. And, just like with other chronic diseases, you’ll need to learn long-term strategies to manage it – including finding healthy ways to prevent relapse.
Entering a qualified drug detox program is a positive first step to getting your addiction under control. However, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes, going through rehab isn’t a “cure.” They report that, for as many as 40 to 60 percent of people, relapse is part of the cycle of recovery.
What Is Relapse?
Though many recovering addicts view relapse as a single event, it’s closer to the truth to describe relapse as a multi-stage process:
- Relapse through thoughts – “I have been sober for long enough to be cured of my addiction. I deserve just one drink to help me unwind.”
- Relapse through behavior – “My preoccupation with using again is affecting my feelings and how I treat others.”
- Relapse through controlled use – “Using a substance in a controlled way will help me handle everyday problems more easily.”
People in the third stage of relapse may begin using small quantities of drugs or alcohol, believing they can manage their substance use on their own. However, the compulsive nature of addiction can bring them all the way back to where they were before they sought treatment.
Understanding Relapse Triggers
To be successful in recovery, it is essential to recognize the triggers that can lead to a relapse, and what coping strategies are available to help prevent relapse and keep you sober. Your unique triggers may include stress, anxiety or depression. Or, perhaps you find yourself in situations that remind you of the days when you were using your drug of choice, awakening cravings to use again.
Five Ways to Prevent Relapse
- Have a support network of family and friends who will encourage you to stay sober.
- Attend 12-step meetings where you can talk with people who have worked through similar challenges.
- Start a physical fitness regimen to improve your physical and emotional well-being.
- Write down a list of the negative consequences of using again.
- Remind yourself you’re not alone in your challenges.
Get Drug Rehab in Prescott, AZ
Understanding how to prevent the relapse process can help you avoid returning to addiction. If you are on the verge of or in the middle of a relapse, reach out to our helpful team to learn more about how our treatment plans can help you get back on the road to sobriety – and equip you with the necessary tools to stay there.