Relapse Prevention Tips

tips for preventing relapse

Relapse: the elephant in the recovery room. The thing that looms over every recovering addict’s head. It can happen at any time, sneak up on you when you least expect it. Will today be the day that I use again? Will tomorrow be? Although it’s very common to experience these thoughts in recovery, you definitely don’t have to have them. At Footprints of Serenity, we want to rid the elephant of the room. We want to openly talk about relapse and let you know that with the right coping strategies, relapse is preventable. 

So, What Is a Relapse?

Relapse is the term used when an addict is in recovery and starts using drugs or alcohol again. Relapses can happen at any time. Sometimes someone relapses right after they complete detox and sometimes people relapse after being sober for 10 years. Like an addiction, relapse can take many shapes and forms. Relapse can be a vicious cycle of getting sober, making a mistake, feeling bad, then using again. Relapse can also be an ‘innocent’ slip up – like having one drink because nothing will happen to you if you just drink one beer. 

Relapse is common in recovery and sobriety so if you have relapsed, don’t let it get in the way of you getting sober again. Just because you relapse doesn’t mean you can never achieve long term sobriety. Whether you’re new to recovery or have relapsed, below are some tips on how to prevent a future relapse. 

How to Prevent a Relapse

There are a few tips that people can follow to help them maintain sobriety. Some of the most important tips to remember include:

Tip 1: Although relapse can technically happen at any time during your sobriety, there are warning signs that will let you know you’re on the brink of relapse. All relapses will start in your mind before anything actually happens. If you can be in tune with yourself, and spot the mental signs, you can reach out for help before it happens. Common signs are feeling like you want to isolate, feeling hopeless or like nothing else matters, feeling angry, feeling unmotivated to take care of yourself, starting to think about what it would be like to drink or do drugs again. 

Tip 2: Be aware of how you’re feeling. This includes both physically and emotionally. If you aren’t totally aware that you’re anxious, depressed, or angry often, you may not be able to realize you’re on the verge of a relapse. All of the negative feelings mentioned can trigger drug or alcohol use. By staying in touch with your emotions, you can determine whether or not you need to talk to someone, attend a support group, or do some self-care, instead of turning to drugs or alcohol. 

Tip 3: Stay busy and productive. Boredom is going to happen from time to time and it is important to learn ways to manage boredom in recovery. Constructive hobbies like exercise, reading, and writing, are all healthy ways to cope with boredom. Feelings of excessive boredom and restlessness can lead to feelings of not having a purpose, which can lead to a relapse. 

 

Tip 4: Prioritize sobriety. The most effective relapse prevention tip is to work at recovery every day. Unfortly addiction is a chronic disease. There’s no magic pill you can take to make it go away. Actively working on recovery daily can look like a lot of things: you can attend 12-step support groups, you can meditate, you can make a gratitude list, or go to individual therapy. Addiction is different for everyone so it’s only natural that working at sobriety is different for everyone as well.

If you’re sober and experience a relapse, don’t be discouraged. Relapsing doesn’t mean you will never be sober. Relapse is just a bump in the road. The most important thing to do if you relapse is examine why it happened. You can then use that information in the future to avoid future relapses. 

We’re Here to Help

At Footprints of Serenity, we are a drug & alcohol intervention service provider located in the gorgeous area of Southern California. We also provide services such as recovery coaches, recovery companionship, detox placement, treatment placement, addiction counseling, relapse prevention, and transportation for your recovery needs. Reach out to us today & let us know how we can help you. 

The Financial Side Of Addiction

What is Addiction?

Addiction is all-consuming, “I love you more than my home, parents, wife, children, and job” need.  People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life.

Although there are many forms of addiction, the two most common are drugs and alcohol. Addiction starts out somewhat subtle and progressively gets worse. Generally speaking, someone doesn’t wake up one day randomly and is addicted to heroin. They may start taking pain killers, then start to build a tolerance and buy them illegally. Soon enough they can no longer afford to buy prescription pills and turn to a more affordable opioid, such as heroin. 

How Addiction Affects Finances

Addiction directly affects the finances of the drug user and the people around them. Drugs and alcohol cost money. The more of a substance someone abuses, the more they have to spend to sustain the habit. Addicts will spend all of their money and then often resort to borrowing or stealing money from someone else. 

Spending Own Money

If someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is able to maintain employment, they’ll have money to buy substances. Since this person is making their own money they feel they can spend it however they please. What they don’t realize is in their altered state of mind, not only are they wasting money, they probably are spending all of their money on drugs or alcohol. It’s common for addicts to get into debt because while all of their money is being spent on drugs, they still need to feed themselves and buy things like gas for their car. 

When Their Money’s Gone

When someone is deeply addicted to drugs, it’s nearly impossible to work. Eventually, drug users will quit or get fired from their job. They’ll run out of money of their own and not know what to do next. Since the cravings to use drugs are so powerful nothing else feels like it matters, it’s common for drug users to steal from loved ones.

Stealing money from loved ones becomes just another way to sustain the addiction. They can reach a point where they feel like they have nothing left and nothing to lose. As a friend, family member, or loved one, it’s easy to get upset but important to remember that this person isn’t stealing to be malicious, they’re just so desperate to get high that they’ll do anything it takes.

Repairing What’s Broken

Personal finances are overwhelming regardless if you’re a drug addict or not. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and in a bad place financially, the best thing to do is treat your addiction. It’s nearly impossible to repair your financial situation if you’re still using drugs or alcohol. At Footprints of Serenity, we can help you get your life back and become financially independent. Contact us today!

 

How to Make Sobriety a Good Time

Footprints of Serenity is a drug and alcohol intervention service provider located in Southern California. Our rehab center offers a unique personalized approach to detox and rehab that combines traditional treatment and modern therapies. With our luxury therapy and personalized programs, we aim to assist clients in overcoming substance abuse for good. No matter how long they have been fighting your addiction, we can develop a plan that works with you and for you.  Sobriety is achievable so take the step and get the help you need to maintain the sober lifestyle.

Finding the Reasons to Get Sober

One of the biggest factors in determining how successful you will be in your journey to get sober is how motivated you are and how badly you want it. Finding things you can enjoy when you are not chained to the bottle can be the motivation and the reason you hold onto when you struggle to get and stay sober. Here are some fun things you can look forward to when you are sober:

Take a class

Many people who enter rehab centers and are working to get sober and give up the drink find they need to express themselves in other ways. Rather than drinking many find that they enjoy art or writing as these provide a reliable outlet to deal with stress, feelings, and emotions. Taking a class to develop a new skill or focus can be a good way of recovering alcoholics as they work to maintain a sober life.

Be more active

Exercise has been scientifically shown to release feel-good endorphins into the brain, and this gives us that little boost that we all need from time to time. Whether it’s a hike, a walk with the dog, going to the gym, or a quick workout at home, exercising can help give you a new focus. Yoga, meditation, and tai chi can also be good ways to stay active and keep the positive hormones flowing.

Be a volunteer

Volunteer somewhere and find ways to use your skills and interests to give back to someone else. Work with local animal shelters, boys and girls club, senior home, or someplace else that you have a passion or interest that you can turn into aid. Giving of yourself will not only help the recipients but can also make you feel better about yourself and give you a positive focus for your energy.

Explore new hobbies

Ask yourself one question and fill in the blank – “I have always wanted to learn how to do …..”Whatever you put in that blank spot can become your new hobby. Look for local classes, study groups and workshops, local get-togethers, and other options to learn and hone your craft, whether it is sewing, woodworking, cooking, gardening, playing an instrument, or something else.

Remember the everyday fun

The final way you can enjoy your new sober life is by simply relearning how to enjoy everyday life. People who abuse alcohol often tell themselves they had fun, but they really don’t and often don’t remember the events surrounding their drinking binges. Sobriety means you can enjoy walks in the park, sunsets, birds singing, flowers growing, and time with family once again.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction and needs help getting sober and staying sober, contact Footprints of Serenity of Southern California. We can help you achieve a life of sobriety and can help you overcome your addiction the right way- a way that will last. We know recovery and can help you, no matter where you are on your recovery journey so call now to learn more and to get started!

Use gratitude to stay focused during and beyond addiction recovery

An important part of overcoming addiction is improving your lifestyle for the better. For some, this takes the shape of focusing on health and wellness and for others, it involves more meditation, greater spirituality and a deeper connection with others. Gratitude can also be an important part of a focused recovery effort because it provides a deeper appreciation for the positive parts of your life. 

Correlate gratitude and compassion 

Many addiction recovery programs, including the services provided by Footprints of Serenity in Beverly Hills, offer a compassionate treatment environment. By focusing on care and companionship through all aspects of the recovery process, your journey to sobriety will be less harsh and uncertain. Learning to express gratitude can help you better accept the loving assistance of others and lean on the help provided to you when the path gets rocky. 

Develop a grateful attitude and outlook

For many battling addiction, the world does not seem like a happy place. Negative emotions, including feelings of despair as you attempt to sober up, can overwhelm your life. During recovery, starting a daily or regular practice of gratitude helps you gradually change your mindset. By acknowledging what you have, how you feel and how others have helped you, you start to reprogram how you feel about life. When you realize what you have — even when it’s primarily intangibles like health, a clear mind or a committed family — it is so much easier to be happy. As your outlook improves, you may find it easier to stay sober. 

Explore gratitude and recovery 

Expressing gratitude for the addiction recovery process itself also reinforces your acceptance of sobriety and its value in your life. By regularly acknowledging how your life has improved, you commit to continuing on the journey. This can take place as part of a solo journaling habit, daily affirmations or in the presence of others at recovery meetings and counseling sessions. Focus on thanking those who have helped you along the way and less on the negative aspects of your life, such as friends or family who are unsupportive. By doing so, you lessen the power of the negative acts by inflating the positive.

Embrace simple efforts 

Grateful feelings do not always have to apply to sobriety or other weighty topics. You can be appreciative for so many different things — large and small. You can reflect on these privately and also say “thank you” more daily. When a barista nails your coffee order, that is a win. If a person holds the elevator door for you, you can tell them thank you and pay it forward to make yourself feel even better. Try to make it a regular habit to make the day of one person brighter and enjoy the positive feelings it brings. Over time, the short burst of joy will become a regular feeling as considering the feelings of others becomes second nature.

Experience little treasures

As you start to see the world through new, sober eyes, you may start to notice little things more as your senses return to “normal.” Embrace those new sensations and remember how it feels to be totally in touch with the world. Gratitude can include loving the sounds of leaves crunching under your feet on your morning walk with your dog or appreciating the clarity of downtown lights without a buzz. 

Learn how to face struggles

A practice of gratitude isn’t 100% easy. You must also be able to face struggles with an open mind and a strategic plan instead of crumbling under their weight. See new challenges, such as a difficult conversation with a family member or friend, as an opportunity to improve your life instead of a weight making you feel oppressed. 

Establish a gratitude ritual

Giving thanks daily should become a part of your life. In the beginning, it will likely be more purposeful. Daily journaling of a few things you are grateful for helps you acknowledge the good and hard parts of life. It can help you sort through difficult emotions as you search for the bright spots in a day that felt dark and gloomy overall. 

As time goes by, helping others and acknowledging positive acts is likely to become second nature, and you may find daily journaling feels less necessary. This is perfectly fine. However, you should always be ready to pick up the writing or typing habit again if you start to feel less hope.

For the more spiritually inclined, daily meditation and prayer can serve the same purpose as a gratitude journal. If you prefer action more than reflection, flip the script and express your gratitude out loud. Speak words of thanks to others more frequently and with more meaning and start a dialogue on gratitude with your friends and family.