Prevent relapse

Like happiness, relapse is a journey and never a destination. However, while the journey to continue being sober is difficult, it is also deeply rewarding. When sober, you are no longer controlled by substances and can genuinely think for yourself again. Addiction and dangerous behaviors are a thing of the past now, and all there is to look forward to is progress and making the most out of life. It’s up to you to fight for the life you want; preventing relapse is just one of the many steps to take.

These are tips to prevent relapse that will encourage you to continue long-term sobriety and live life to the fullest.

1. Make use of a therapist and the medications prescribed to you by your psychiatrist

Therapists and psychiatrists are advocates of your mental health and only seek to help you. With a therapist’s advice and coping method recommendations, you can become self-aware of your habits and triggers and strategize the best way to combat or change them, especially if you learn to recognize the signs of an impending relapse. Psychiatrists work closely with you to find the best medication that suits your needs and concerns. Medication can ease the withdrawal symptoms from addictive substances, fight lingering mental illness, stabilize serotonin levels, balance mood, and give you that extra push to function normally each day.

2. Go to support group meetings and therapy sessions

Support groups are vital to prevent relapse. There are always others that will share the same stories and struggles as you. By going to a support group and therapy sessions, you can share your experiences and connect with others who have the same goal in mind: stay clean. Each person in the group can encourage one another and offer their own perspectives to help ease the stress of current situations, guide them towards better choices from their mistakes, and ultimately remind everyone that there is hope – and people do find it.

3. Avoid any triggers from the past

Eliminate every trigger that reminds you of the past addiction and fight the urge to welcome them back into your life. That means: remove every object that stirs up negative feelings and avoid going to triggering events like parties. These triggers will serve you no good and will only hinder progress. Once you remove these triggers, dedicate your time and energy to more important things such as eating healthy, attending therapy, and sticking to a schedule that gives your life structure.

4. Eliminate toxic people that are still present in your life

Toxic people can also be triggers from the past and are the most difficult to remove from your life – but it is vital to your sobriety to cut off contact. Toxic people from the past can drag you back to old habits and tempt you with drugs again. Find the strength to walk away from these people – even if they are family or friends. At the end of the day, your progress and mental health are more important than what they think of you.

5. Take a rehab refresher course

It’s common for recovering addicts to take a rehab refresher course because they didn’t absorb everything during their first time undergoing the program. An individual shouldn’t feel embarrassed or think they’re taking a step back by re-experiencing rehab. Instead, it means they are taking the initiative to remind themselves again of why they started their sobriety journey in the first place.

6. Solidify a support system in friends and family

The love and support of other people not only remind you of your worth and value, but they can hold you accountable for the expectations and promises you made to yourself. Also, you can spend time enjoying fun activities and reconnecting with them again. They can also offer their support by giving you daily reminders and affirmations as well. Remember, it’s not a burden to have or want their support. Your loved ones want you to avoid relapse just as much as you do.

7. Develop a functional routinely schedule – and follow it every single day

A functional routinely schedule is powerful. It sets up your week with events that inspire you to keep going through the motions in order to reach the next day with purpose. There is rarely any room for faltering into a relapse because you keep yourself to a constant schedule. Schedules force you to keep up personal hygiene, exercise, attend therapy appointments, and small events important to you, like meeting up with a friend to walk in the park. The organization of a schedule also prevents your mind and daily life from feeling chaotic.

Article provided by Trevor McDonald