How to Prevent Relapse

Steps to prevent a relapse

Relapse happens. Like some other unwanted things in life we’d rather avoid, relapse is a very real possibility for people in recovery. Relapse from addiction to alcohol or drugs occurs for several reasons. Meeting up with friends who misuse substances can trigger the urge to use. A sudden memory has the power to unleash the desire for alcohol or drugs. And sometimes stress that feels overwhelming can trigger the belief that there is no other, or better, way to relieve the pressure, anxiety or tension.

Of course, all of these thoughts can be countered and the tools learned in treatment can be used to push back on unwanted thoughts or feelings in order to prevent relapse.

Experts Recommend Several Skills to Prevent Relapse

Perhaps the best method to use to prevent relapse is the consistent practice of healthy coping skills learned in treatment. Avoiding risk factors for use, and building and using a support system are other key elements.

For example, cutting back on support group meetings or counseling sessions can be a detriment to recovery. Emotional challenges are part of everyday life, and studies show that a recovering brain is susceptible to anxiety and depression. But without a social support system, alcohol or drug use can look like an easy means of “fixing” problems and feeling better.

Keep in mind that if you stop using appropriate coping behaviors and begin to think that drinking or drug use can be controlled, the risk of relapse increases.

Creating a relapse prevention plan is an excellent prevention strategy. The best relapse prevention plan is simple and realistic and easily accessed. You can work out such a plan with your counselor and it can be as detailed or straightforward as you like.

Hope For The Best, Plan For Challenges

A relapse prevention plan includes the resources you can use if you feel as though you may relapse. With this in mind, be sure that your plan includes someone to call for support, hotline or crisis line numbers, a safe place to go, a schedule of support group meetings in your area and a list of personal reasons for staying sober.

Recovery is possible—recover your unique, purposeful, sober life by reaching out to the dedicated experts at Cumberland Heights.

Addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. For over 50 years we have carefully provided the highest quality of care for adults, adolescents and families who suffer from, or are affected by this devastating disease.

Our nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center is located on a peaceful, pastoral 177-acre campus on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. We provide a continuum of services through two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes.

At Cumberland Heights, we always put the patient first, and value the importance of family participation in the recovery process. Take the first step toward healing by calling us at (866) 899-5231 today.