Relapse is a terrifying prospect.
Knowing prevention methods can stop an addict from returning to their former drug use.
Here are some tips on maintaining sobriety after rehab.
1. Immediately talk to a loved one or sponsor about urges to use – The power of sharing in a supportive environment and talking about thoughts and feelings help urges dissipate.
2. Find a relapse prevention support group – Aftercare services offer quality addiction recovery support. Relapse prevention support groups are a recommended component in helping a former addict learn how to handle everyday challenges and apply many of the healthy alternative behaviors.
3. Play the tape through beforehand – When a person in recovery begins to think about using, the fantasy tape that is playing in their head tells them that they will be able to control their addiction this time and that they can stop after one more time. Playing the tape through before using substances reminds a user of past suffering and negative consequences which will happen if they experience a drug or alcohol relapse.
4. Maintaining a balanced diet and a regular exercise program – Poor diet is one of the leading causes of a relapse. A healthy diet will make an individual that is recovering feel significantly better and thus less likely to seek out mood altering substances. Diets can influence chemical and physiological changes within the brain and affects behavior and emotions.
5. Exercise – Exercise is a way to relieve stress, one of the major causes of a relapse. It can also help relieve depressive feelings.
6. Becoming acutely aware of relapse warning signs – If a person that is recovering from is not aware of relapse warning signs, they could automatically revert back to their former addictive behaviors. The individual and those in their support network should develop a list of relapse warning signs. Everyone involved in the recovery process, when the former addict is at risk, then step in to help.
7. Learning what to do in case of a relapse – Everyone involved knows what to do to prevent one incident into spiraling into full-blown addiction.
8. Being able to manage cravings – When a person is not aware of their cravings, they are vulnerable to a relapse. Having the skills to identify what a craving feels like enables managing addictive thoughts before a relapse occurs. It also is important they recognize cravings will decrease in frequency and intensity. Counseling and therapy in addiction treatment can help educate an individual.
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