Tag Archives: Relapse in Recovery

Tag Archives: Relapse in Recovery


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.

Experiencing a relapse does not mean you have failed

In 2017, Live Science – a website that publishes information related to news, technology, health and more, explained that actor Ben Affleck entered rehabilitation for alcoholism for at least his second time; a Facebook post published by him stated,

“…Something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront.”

Ben Affleck is just one of many celebrities – and people – across the world, who’ve battled with sobriety. As much as relapse is downplayed, the reality is that it’s quite common – and of all things, it doesn’t mean you (or anyone) have failed. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that relapse is less of a sign of failure, and more of a sign that certain aspects of treatment need to become incorporated, changed or reinforced – and it would make sense that this would occur, because each person is different. We all have to take our time in recovery to discover exactly what works for us versus what doesn’t, and sometimes relapse is the guiding factor that tells us what needs to change in our lives.

From a basic biological standpoint, addiction is a disease that affects the way we think – and even in recovery, the brain can have moments where it reverts back to what it learned when addiction was active. In the brain, sensations can occur where it almost feels like a person will die if they don’t have that substance again – and, naturally, our survival mode wants to protect us from this. U.S. News explains that even if a person has relapsed, there are several steps they can take to either minimize the risk of relapse or reinforce positive aspects of recovery in a person’s life:

  1. Attending a 12-Step program.
  2. Surrounding oneself with loving, supportive people.
  3. Becoming more strongly aware of H.A.L.T. – that is, the emotions that can yield a higher risk of relapse (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)

If you’re ready to take a stand for your health and recovery, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.


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