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. 

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!