Addiction treatment and recovery are more about the journey than the destination. If you’ve completed drug or alcohol treatment, and are currently in recovery, you’ve probably heard about relapsing. Relapse can be a scary concept, but it’s avoidable.
To help avoid relapse, it’s important to make a commitment to sobriety every morning you wake up, and every evening before you go to bed. There are a few points to keep in mind when it comes to addiction, drug abuse, and most importantly, relapses.
What is a Relapse?
A relapse takes place when someone who suffers from addiction gets sober, and then starts using drugs or alcohol again. The sad part is that relapses often happen when you least expect them. Some people might suffer a relapse during the withdrawal phases of detox. Other people might suffer a relapse after 30 years of sobriety.
Tips for Avoiding Relapses
- Know the signs: You can suffer a relapse in your mind before you use drugs or alcohol again. When the cravings start, this is your mind warning you that a relapse is on the way. It’s important to educate yourself on what a craving feels like so you can watch out for it. By staying focused during sobriety, and making an effort to be in touch with your feelings, you can recognize these signs, and stop the relapse.
- Be in touch with your emotions: Being in touch with your emotions is a big component to avoiding relapse. Your emotional state is directly related to your addiction. If you’ve completed treatment, you probably learned about your triggers that drive you to drink alcohol or use drugs. By checking in with yourself daily and taking the right measures to stay happy, you’re much more likely to use the healthy coping mechanisms you learned in treatment and way less likely to relapse.
- Stay busy: There is a saying that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. This is particularly true for addicts. If you’re bored, you’re more likely to think about drugs or alcohol. A great way to stay busy is by picking up a new hobby such as exercise, painting, reading, or volunteering.
- Create a routine and stick to it: If you’ve been sober for a while, you may feel like you no longer have to work on yourself. You may stop going to group therapy meetings, or you may want to stop seeing your therapist. Don’t do this. The main reason you’ve been able to stay sober is because of your routine. Your routine helps you keep working on things a day at a time.
- Always have an emergency contact: Having that one person you can call day or night, no matter what the circumstances are, can help immensely in sobriety. Getting sober is hard, and it’s nice not to have to do hard things alone. Find someone who is nonjudgmental and always happy to lend an ear. They’ll do a much better job than drugs or alcohol at making you feel better.
- Have a backup plan: This can also be thought of as protecting yourself. Just because you’re sober doesn’t mean your life should stop. If you want to see friends and they’re at a place where alcohol is involved, drive yourself there, so you can leave at any time. You’ll be less likely to feel like you want to drink, if you know you can leave the place if you start to feel uncomfortable. If you rely on public transportation to get around, look up the schedule before you head out, so you know when the next train or bus is coming.
Let Us Help!
At Soba Mesa, we are one of the premier drug & alcohol treatment programs located in the Mesa, AZ area. Our detox and inpatient treatment programs help individuals overcome addiction and regain control of their lives. Our unique luxury program that combines traditional addiction treatment with modern therapies to assist our participants in overcoming substance abuse for good. If you are interested in learning more about how our professionals can help you beat addiction, contact us today!