Drug addiction is a tragic, debilitating condition that affects millions of people in the United States alone. Addiction is characterized by a compulsive need to use drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences, including early death and passing on addiction to others. It can also lead to homelessness, unemployment, financial ruin, and family strife.
A relapse is an individual’s return to drug use after abstinence. With the development of substance abuse treatment plans, relapse rates have significantly declined over the last decade. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment is much more effective with rehabilitation than without it.
For people who have undergone drug rehab, relapse prevention measures are needed to keep them from returning to their addictive patterns. Discussed below are ways you can use to avoid a relapse.
People addicted to drugs often neglect the importance of caring for themselves to maintain their drug use. This may be because they do not want to gain weight or stay clean and sober. Self-care includes physical health and emotional well-being, but it also involves developing healthy ways of dealing with negative emotions such as stress and anger. The importance of self-care cannot be understated, as relapse can occur when an addict does not take care of themselves.
2. Stay Positive
Negative emotions and moods can cause you to seek solace in drugs and alcohol. The more positive you are, the less likely you will return to your old drug use patterns. You can accomplish this by frequently reminding yourself that you are no longer an addict, that your cravings will pass, and by talking with others in recovery who have faced similar problems. Avoid people who do not support your sobriety or encourage drug use.
3. Get Involved in a New Hobby
When you first get sober, it is very easy to fall back into old habits, such as hanging out with people who use drugs and attending places associated with drug and alcohol use. Thus, it is vital to engage in a new hobby or interest. When you are interested in something, you will have the drive to share your experiences or thoughts about the topic with others. You will also be able to use your new skills in everyday situations. Some hobbies you can try are creative writing, photography, music, art, and writing.
4. Surround Yourself with People Who Support Recovery
When you begin working on your recovery process, you will want to surround yourself with people who support your efforts. This includes family members and friends who can offer encouragement or advice when you get discouraged. A great way to meet people who are also interested in living a sober life is through a Twelve Step program or other types of self-help groups. You can also talk to people who have been in recovery long enough to offer advice.
5. Take a Self-Assessment
Taking a self-assessment is one of the first steps to getting sober and maintaining your sobriety for the long term. A self-assessment will allow you to figure out why you became addicted in the first place and what triggers your cravings and drug use. Additionally, it will help you build an action plan that you can use in the future to avoid relapsing.
6. Stay Involved in Recovery
While working toward sobriety, it is important to find ways to stay involved in your recovery process, so you do not feel isolated or left out. Creating a social support network and attending self-help group meetings are ways to maintain your sobriety while feeling like you are still a part of the recovery community.
7. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a form of training that involves focusing solely on what the body is experiencing in the present moment. This can help you avoid relapsing and help you stay focused on your recovery process. Mindfulness meditation is also beneficial for other issues, such as stress and anxiety, and can be used to combat cravings.
When you work on your recovery process and implement a relapse prevention plan, you can greatly reduce your chances of returning to drug use. You may also seek professional help from a therapist or group counselor. If you feel you need help, please do not hesitate to contact us at 614-705-0611. We will be there for you during your difficult time. We have a team of professionals that can meet with you and help you get back on track.