Relapse Prevention: Tips That Enhance Recovery & Strength

Posted by Sara Niemiec on Jan 9, 2018 10:00:00 AM


Some people believe just because they have worked hard to eliminate drugs in their life in a recovery program that all work is done and they don't need relapse prevention. There are various issues you should overcome before you can defeat addiction and rebuild your life. It takes time to get used to the new way of life with all the changes made. For relapse prevention, here’re 7 tips that enhance your recovery and make you stronger.

When recovering from addiction, sometimes you will feel good about your change of lifestyle and sometimes you might not. You might get upset over losing friends and this is likely to upset you often.

It is during such moments that you’re more susceptible to a relapse. An excellent rehab treatment should have a plan in place to address relapse. Take time to think and plan on handling relapse; your full recovery will then be much more relaxed.



7 tips to enhance addiction recovery

A lightbulb on a sticky note. There are multiple relapse prevention tips individuals can use after leaving rehab

It’s a sad truth that most people are trying to recover from alcohol and drug addiction but never keep up with recovery. This explains relapse. It rarely occurs without warning. There’re some significant warnings which signal that you are at risk of relapse. So, it’s critical to get some ideas on enhancing your recovery process. Read on to get a few ideas.


1. Do whatever it takes to stay abstinent

After rehab, you’re supposed to keep going to 12 step meetings at the rehab center. Don’t make excuses to not go. Perhaps, you don’t like the fact that you will have to hear people talking about their past and experiences with substance abuse, and this seems trivial, unimportant or redundant. Try looking through the eyes of the peers at your support group in order to understand their problems and concerns. You should maintain a connection to the 12 step recovery program even when it’s just a weekly meeting.

Here, you’re continually reminded of the need for complete recovery and what you have at stake. You shouldn’t stop therapy for any reason. Continue doing whatever it takes to help you stay comfortable in sobriety.


2. Avoid romanticizing periods in which you abused substances

Do you have moments reminiscing about the good times you had when drinking or using drugs? Though they are moments in which you had some fun, don’t dwell on positive memories involving addiction for too long. Remember, you’re likely to have dire consequences from addiction than fun moments.

So, when you get a chance to get clean, stick to it. Avoid thinking only about the few moments of fun you got from addiction. Keep in mind that if you don’t recover from substance abuse, consequences will begin to pile up. Forget about the few good times with addiction to eliminate the chance of misery knocking at your door later in life.


3. Avoid getting dry drunk

A photo of the desert. Avoiding dry drinking is a good relapse prevention tip

This is acting the way you used to after drinking when you have not had any drink. During recovery, you should attempt to change your attitude. It’s important not to personalize things or overreact. Avoid having a low tolerance for frustration and getting upset if you don’t get whatever you want.

Never be the focus of everything. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t smile at you. If a colleague gets a promotion, it’s not an indication that your work is terrible. Make such beliefs and attitudes disappear if you’re to have a successful recovery from addiction.


4. Learn the triggers that lead to relapse

Do you sometimes find yourself saying “just one won’t hurt?” Well, that is a sign of weakness during recovery. You have to convince yourself that addiction is dangerous, and stay away from things which might tempt you to get back to the old ways. Don’t think that just because you are from rehab that one drink won’t have the same issues this time.

The trick is to the triggers that lead to relapse so that you are armed with knowledge and recovery skills that you can use when temptation to use drugs or alcohol strikes.


5. Avoid substance abuse friends

Full recovery entails making strong but painful decisions in your life. One of these requires getting rid of old friends who might take you back to substance abuse. After rehab, avoid seeking out old acquaintances with whom you shared the old habit of using drugs or drinking alcohol. It will be venturing into dangerous territory.

So, you should find new friends who can support you to recover from addictions fully. These can introduce you to activities to take up your time. There will be no time to indulge in substance abuse.


6. Keep everything which keeps your life anchored and balanced

A woman writing in her journal about her relapse prevention methods. By keeping a journal, it keeps her on track and organized.

You should consider keeping a journal, call some healthy friends and take daily walks to clear your head. Keep doing things that keep you sober, calm and centered. Avoid making your life chaotic and stressful. You should endeavor to take good care of your spiritual, emotional and physical health.


7. Look out for any mention of changes in behavior 

Do you have people who complement you on the new lifestyle? This should keep you motivated to stay sober. Avoid denial when someone mentions that you’re acting differently or is concerned that you are regressing back to unhealthy habits. It takes courage to take ownership of your life – so own it! Take note when someone mentions how you’re getting back into things which were making your life miserable.


It should be a benchmark to assess where you might be going wrong. Have you reconnected with old drinking friends? Well, why not drop them and find new sober friends? This will be your ultimate point of no return. You have to wake up and change direction to avoid a risk of ending up using drugs or grabbing a drink.


Here's the catch

Definitions of addiction are continuing to evolve. However, it’s a primary chronic progressive and relapsing disease. Further research concludes that addiction attacks the brain and is manifested through compulsive behavior.

Cross addiction happens when you are addicted to mood-altering drugs ingested. It’s a form of relapse and might make one get back into previous drug use. So, you don’t have to switch from one mood-altering drug to another during recover. It might be very tempting to change from one to another with not the same negative consequences.

Ensure to carry on with aftercare relapse prevention methods offered by the rehab center. It’s the best way to ensure you have a full recovery from your addictive past and normally live again.


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Topics: relapse prevention

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