Completing detox and rehab in order to win the battle for sobriety is something to celebrate, but after completing the processes it’s also important to protect your recovery and avoid a relapse.
Relapsing — slipping up and falling back into substance abuse — can undo weeks, months and even years of hard work. Thankfully, there are tools and techniques you can use to avoid relapse.
One of the most important things you can do to avoid a slipup is to lean on the recovery community. Going to meetings and staying in touch with support groups and sponsors who have been there will keep you accountable both when you’re feeling strong and during down times when you might be tempted to use. Seeing a therapist who specializes in addiction is also a vital resource to tap.
There will be situations that crop up that could lead to relapse if you’re not vigilant. Maybe you you sometimes pass a favorite pub you used to frequent near your home, or old party pals often reach out to see if you want to get together. While avoiding some triggers may be in your control, other unexpected stressors, such as a job loss or death in the family, could crop up whether you like it or not. At The Mend, we teach you to recognize your particular triggers and give you a plan of action to help you cope with them.
Develop New Routines
Your sober life shouldn’t be a replication of the past. That means friends, pastimes and hobbies that may trigger cravings and remind you of “good times” need to change if you’re serious about continued recovery. Engaging in a new sport or volunteering are just a couple ways to make positive changes that will lead to a more fulfilling and healthier lifestyle free from drugs and alcohol.
Stay in the Moment
Mindfulness is a vital technique for avoiding relapse. Mindfulness, which includes everything from yoga to breathwork, helps release and alleviate stress, a common relapse trigger, and improves your overall emotional and physical wellbeing. It can also help ease cravings when they strike seemingly out of nowhere.
If you’re experiencing a relapse or just hoping to begin recovery with the help of a detox or residential treatment program, contact one of The Mend’s care coordinators to discuss your options.
If you’re still not sure whether the time is right to quit drugs or alcohol, take our 10-question quiz HERE.