Relapse prevention after rehab takes more than willpower. You need to plan early to be strong against cravings and triggers that will inevitably happen. Having a solid plan like this will help you through stress, social struggles and other times that test your sobriety.
After rehab, it’s important to keep your addiction at bay by avoiding triggers. These can be people or places that remind you of your old lifestyle and tempt you back into the dangerous spiral of addiction. As well as this, stress is very triggering for most people suffering from addiction. Aftercare is the time when you learn how to manage these feelings without resorting to your drug of choice, and this needs to be planned in advance.
In recovery, positive coping skills aren’t just helpful. They are, in fact, the only way to build a lasting recovery. You can learn coping skills and gain other tools for relapse prevention in a quality addiction treatment program. Aftercare will help you keep these skills strong.
Below are some tips for your relapse prevention:
Engage with Positive People
You need help in recovery to avoid falling back into old habits of addiction, like isolation. When you have a network of positive people in your life, it’s easier to keep interacting in healthy ways.
A support group can help you:
- Maintain a plan for prevention of relapse
- Reduce stress or depression
- Build positive sober friendships
- Maintain control in your life
- Gain support when you need it
Women are less likely to relapse than men, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This is most likely due to the fact that women tend to rely more on support groups after rehab.
Watch for Relapse Warnings
Relapse may seem sudden. But if you know your signs of risk factors of relapse, you’re more likely to keep your recovery safe. You can learn about your individual signs and risk factors for relapse in a quality rehab program.
Some of your warning signs or triggers may be:
- Death of a loved one
- Difficult or negative relationships
- Money problems
- Job changes
- Social pressure
- Health problems
You need to keep an eye on your own recovery. If your loved one is the one who is overcoming addiction, you can also help them. It’s important to not nag or stress your friend or relative about their sobriety. Be supportive in ways that work for them and always keep yourself available for open, honest communication.
Develop a Relapse Prevention Plan
Like any emergency in life, prevention of relapse is easiest with a plan. By having a plan in place, you can turn to it when you need it. You won’t get stuck trying to figure your way out of a possible relapse situation, as the plan will already exist.
Remember that you can’t control everything in your life. Stressful things will happen from time-to-time and you may even experience multiple issues at once.
Most people in recovery find it very helpful to write a relapse emergency plan down on index cards or in a notebook. This plan should be what works for you, not based entirely on what works for others. Keep this relapse prevention card or notebook with you at all times.
Your relapse emergency plan should include:
- Sponsor and agency phone numbers
- Family and friends’ contact information
- Five things you can do to get past cravings, like going for a walk or run, attending a meeting, or other activity
Get the Help You Need With Relapse Prevention in Portland
Remember that relapse prevention is about doing small things consistently over time. You will still face good and bad days, but the important thing is to keep trying even when you feel like giving up. Nobody can make you change, but after rehab yourself for the chance of a happy and healthy life.
A relapse prevention program is the single most powerful resource for learning how to prevent relapse. Caring professionals can help you through drug withdrawal and guide you to a healthy recovery, even after you return home.
In Portland, Oregon, Crestview Recovery treats drug and alcohol addiction for lasting recovery. Call Crestview Recovery at 866.262.0531 now to gain sobriety and learn how to keep your recovery strong.