Did you know that those with substance use disorder have a rate of relapse between 40% to 60%?
If you’ve been struggling with addiction and are finally sober, then congratulations! It’s not an easy feat at all. But beating addiction is just one hurdle in many you’ll have in your life, as you’ll be battling to stay in recovery.
Relapse isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it’s pretty normal. But obviously, you’ll want to work hard on relapse prevention to increase your chances of living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
To help you out, this article will discuss how not to relapse so you can stay on the path that you’ve worked so hard to get on.
Focus on Distractions
Distractions are immensely helpful when you’re getting cravings. While they might feel immediately pressing, if you can think of or do something else, temporarily refocusing on other things can help you get through these challenging times.
There are a number of things you can do to distract yourself. For instance, you can:
- Go for a walk
- Go to the gym
- Do arts and crafts
- Call a friend
- Count things outside
When you keep in mind that cravings are fleeting, this can help you power through and resist using again.
On that note, it’s always a good idea to exercise! Not only is it good for your body, but it’s good for your mind as well.
You might have a bunch of pent-up energy, as well as anxiety. Exercises such as jogging or weightlifting can help burn off that energy and also produce endorphins, a natural feel-good hormone your body makes.
You don’t even need to do anything rigorous! Simply walking around the neighborhood daily can make a world of difference.
See a Therapist
If you’ve been in rehab before, then you might’ve worked with therapists before. Even if you’ve completed the program successfully, it’s always a good idea to keep seeing a therapist. In fact, those without substance abuse issues benefit from therapy too!
The fact is, stress can be a huge trigger for relapse. So if you don’t have the tools to handle it, you can easily resort to drugs and alcohol to self-soothe.
Therapists are trained to educate their patients on healthy ways to handle triggers and stressful situations. They’ll be able to teach you ways to avoid relapsing, through effective techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Also, if you have underlying mental health issues that are tied to substance abuse, they can help with that as well. Together, you can unpack why you use drugs and alcohol, as well as help you navigate through some tough emotions as you discover and accept your past.
Avoid Hanging With Bad Crowds
One of the easiest ways to relapse is to stick with your original social circle. Chances are, they’re still abusing drugs and alcohol, and they won’t hesitate to pressure you into doing so again.
It might be hard to break off from these groups, especially if you’re afraid of being lonely. But once you’ve taken that brave step to cut yourself off from these people, it’ll be monumental in your road to recovery!
Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you can then look forward to starting a new chapter of your life with more wholesome new friends!
Find New Hobbies
Now that you’re sober, you might find yourself with a lot of time on your hands. Boredom can actually be a trigger for relapse!
So fill that extra time with some new hobbies. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to paint or crochet. There’s never been a better time to start than now!
What’s even better is once you find new wholesome hobbies to indulge in, you’ll also fall into better crowds with people of similar interests. So instead of spending a whole night partying, you might spend a whole afternoon with them stitching.
Attend Recovery Support Meetings
Another way to keep relapse at bay is to attend recovery support meetings. While your friends can lend a helpful ear, many of them don’t understand the struggles of addiction. Recovery support meetings give you a room full of people who are in your shoes, which can help the loneliness go away.
Verbalizing your challenges in such a safe space can help you gain the strength needed to resist falling back into substance abuse. And when you hear how others have been strong as well, this can inspire you to do the same.
Check Into Rehab
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be actively using substances to go to rehab. If you’ve tried everything possible to resist temptation but still feel a strong pull to relapse, then going to rehab is beneficial. This is especially true if you’ve never been before and could use the guidance of experienced professionals.
While at the facility, you’ll be in a positive and encouraging environment with others who also have substance abuse issues. Together, you’ll form a strong and supportive group, where you can rely on one another, even once you’ve left rehab.
Not only that, but you can also receive professional help from trained and experienced therapists.
Need Help With Relapse Prevention?
If you’ve been struggling with drug addiction and feel like you need additional help with relapse prevention, then it’s always a good idea to get into an addiction treatment program. There’s only so much you can do on your own, and with the help and support of others, you’ll be able to stand up against addiction!If you’d like more help on how to stay sober, then get in touch with us today. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff can give you more resources to stay in recovery.