Experiencing a relapse often becomes a person’s biggest fear once they’ve decided to get sober. While relapses are common in early sobriety, there are things that you can do to help yourself avoid giving in to a craving. Learning how to avoid relapse when you are in recovery helps you to feel confident as you work through your treatment and prepare for life after rehab.
Start With a Firm Foundation On Your Recovery
The time to start working on your relapse prevention plan is before you ever get fully sober. Most relapses happen because someone attempts to get sober on their own, or they don’t take the time to completely work through their underlying reasons for using drugs or alcohol. In an addiction treatment program, you’ll find out if you have coexisting mental health conditions that also need care. For instance, leaving your depression untreated can cause you to relapse when you go through a difficulty time emotionally.
In your addiction treatment program, you’ll also learn how to put together a strong support network that includes counselors, other sober people and your family and friends. Mending broken relationships in your life helps you to start your sobriety on a fresh slate. You’ll also begin to find new activities that you can use to replace your drug use or drinking habits. Discovering that doing yoga relaxes you or playing basketball helps you to burn off negative energy gives you a strong starting point for avoiding some of the common reasons why people relapse.
Learn About Your Triggers
Most people who have an addiction have certain things in their life that trigger their cravings. For some people, this might be experiencing a conflict with a spouse that causes them to want to drink to escape. For others, it might be a place or even a specific time of the day. Lots of people feel the urge to drink alcohol soon after they get off work or when they walk into their house.
Since you can have several triggers, it helps to think about whether or not these common ones could be on your list..
- being hungry, tired, angry or lonely
- experiencing new or ongoing stress
- feeling overly confident about your ability to handle a drink
- having a mental or physical illness
Some relapses are caused by things that are good, as well. You might be so excited about getting a promotion at work that all of your goals go out the window the moment someone pulls out a bottle of champagne. Or, you might think that you can have a drink at a wedding. Over time, you’ll learn more about what triggers your cravings, and you can rely on the tools that you learn in drug addiction treatment that help you to maintain your sobriety.
Stay Active In Your Recovery Community
Relapses often tend to occur when a person loses touch with the people and events that remind them of their goals. When you leave your addiction treatment center, you’ll have an aftercare program in place that you need to follow. Usually, this will include attending group meetings and counseling sessions that help you to stay strong throughout the first stages of your recovery.
After that, you might still need to attend therapy sessions or meetings on an ongoing basis. Staying active in sobriety also means doing things that you enjoy. Make sober friendships a priority, and make a commitment to be honest with the people in your support network about your life. If you feel a craving coming on, then reach out to someone who can help you to stay strong.
Whether you go watch a movie with your best friend or ask a sober mentor to talk you through it, you’ll find it easier to avoid relapse when you have good people in your life that provide you with support. Is relapse one of your biggest worries about being sober? Give us a call today at 772-266-5320. We’ll help you start sobriety with a strong foundation that helps you achieve your goals.