The process of addressing your addiction and taking the necessary steps to get help is an
amazingly brave and courageous personal decision. This initial move sets into motion the journey of recovery, from achieving sobriety to sustaining substance abstinence and improving all facets of your life.
Along that journey, however, it becomes evident that addiction and all of the triggers associated with the disease can flood back into your life around every turn, so remaining vigilant and steadfast in your sobriety is essential.
In order to achieve this feat and maintain your rediscovered health and happiness, you must equip your mind with relapse prevention tips and strategies to help overcome inevitable relapse triggers before they attempt to erode your hard-earned, personal progress.
Discover the top three ways to fight off relapse and remain confident and committed to your long-term substance abstinence.
Is Relapse Common?
The short answer is, yes. While the decision to enter a treatment facility is a commendable first step in your recovery journey, the reality of relapsing at some point is common among recovering addicts.
In fact, up to 60 percent of people who receive treatment for a substance addiction will relapse within the first year.1
To those who haven’t experienced the grip of addiction or struggled with the disease, relapsing on a substance that has destroyed your life may seem baffling. However, the disease of addiction is no different than cancer or diabetes: it is unforgiving and unrelenting. That is why beginning your recovery journey with a qualified and clinically-sound treatment facility is so important to improving your odds of sustained sobriety.
Any precautionary measures you can take to decrease your potential for relapse should be fully
embraced, and it all starts with centering your mind on relapse prevention.
How to Prevent Relapse: 3 Relapse Prevention Tips and Strategies
While the statistics may say that relapse is a common occurrence among those individuals battling addiction, taking necessary steps to increase your chance of avoiding addictive pitfalls is a proactive method of addressing the threat preemptively.
The following relapse prevention tips are proven and effective techniques to addressing a potential relapse before it has the chance to derail the clean life you have fought so hard for:
1.Work to Establish a Positive Social Support Network
By focusing on the people you surround yourself with, and actively working to remove the maladaptive influences who encourage your addictive behaviors and negative decision patterns, you are improving the foundation upon which your sobriety can be built.
When you choose to stop your substance abuse, you are drawing a line in the sand. That line states you are a fundamentally different person and those who you are allowing into your life from this point on will share your same beliefs and convictions.
Sobriety works best when a person surrounds themselves with sober individuals, and relapse is best avoided when you remove the relapse triggers that used to precede your substance use.
Places to look for new sober connections and positive peer influences include:
• AA and NA support groups
• Church groups and organizations
• Yoga courses
• Community-based sport leagues
2. Avoid Situations that Trigger Substance Use
When you are living with your addiction, you know exactly where to score your substance and who you can count on to get high with you. Achieving sustained sobriety means making the decision to stay away from those people, places and things that trigger you to use and increase the temptation to relapse.
Creating a list of “off-limit” places is a great method of verbalizing the areas you know you need to avoid. This aids in avoiding the justification some people make of hanging out in negative scenarios because they’ve been sober for a while.
The fact of the matter is that a substance use disorder can rear its ugly head at any time, causing you to impulsively react and potentially fall back into addictive behavioral patterns. By preparing for these temptations by actively avoiding dangerous situations and scenarios, you are increasing the likelihood of avoiding a relapse in the first place.
3. If You Relapse, Reach Out for Help and Embrace Your Imperfection
One of God’s most beloved disciples, Peter, made mistake after mistake after mistake, and yet, God forgave him and considered Peter to be one of his closest confidants.
This example highlights the manner in which you can find unwavering forgiveness and
strength during your darkest moments. As this post previously stated, the majority of addicts who complete substance treatment face the reality of relapse within their first year of recovery. This does not mean that a majority of people who complete treatment are failures, however.
It simply emphasizes the severity of a substance use disorder. Understanding that
the true indicator of success in therapy is not whether you relapse, but whether you turn toward sobriety again and continue to forge a clean life.
God asks you to be persistent, not perfect; so, if you find yourself dealing with a relapse, remember the life of Paul – an imperfect individual who epitomized what a sinner is, yet was chosen by God to achieve great things after asking for forgiveness and embracing his imperfections.
Christian-Based Addiction Treatment and Relapse Prevention Therapy at Covenant Hills
Without question, your addiction can end. With true dedication and unwavering hard work, you can turn your life around.
At Covenant Hills, we are confident that our addiction treatment programs and relapse prevention therapy can work for addicts who are serious about ridding their life of addiction. However, we understand that we cannot provide a cure for addictive disorders or promise that our clients will never experience relapse.
Because of this, we offer Recovery Assurance Guarantee to individuals who relapse, for any reason, after completing one of our addiction treatment programs. Through this initiative, you can return for a week of stabilization and evaluation at no cost.
You are never alone in this battle. At Covenant Hills, we will fight right alongside you because you are worthy of health, happiness, and prosperity.
Learn more about our Christian-based addiction treatment programs and our treatment guarantee, or contact us for a free and confidential assessment.
1 U.S. News & World Reports. Why Do Alcoholics and Addicts Relapse So Often? Accessed October 12, 2018. https://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2017-04-24/why-do-alcoholics-and-addicts-relapse-so-often