Relapse occurs when those who have embraced sobriety turn back to addictive substances, even if it’s briefly. While relapse doesn’t have to derail your recovery, it’s certainly a setback. Learning how to prevent relapse in drug addiction recovery can be key to lasting health and happiness.
How to Prevent Relapse in Drug Addiction: Stick With a Routine
Knowing how to prevent relapse in drug addiction isn’t always obvious, but one thing is clear: there’s always a choice. However, making the choice to stay sober at every turn can be overwhelming. Creating—and adhering to—a routine can help.
Routine and structure are important during drug rehab and beyond. Creating a schedule means fewer impulsive decisions and choices each day. It also can make it easier to do the right thing. During recovery, healthy habits prevent dangerous choices.
How to Prevent Relapse in Drug Addiction: Make Recovery an Ongoing Process
One of the most common mistakes people make during addiction recovery is thinking that the work is over when rehab ends. That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. In order for it to stick, recovery has to be an ongoing process.
There are many ways to make recovery ongoing. Many individuals decide to choose sober living environments after residential rehab ends. While this allows for a more independent lifestyle, it still offers accountability and support as needed.
Other patients for weekly therapy sessions to stay on track and confront issues when they crop up. Attending support group meetings can also be a helpful way to make the most of a support network that understands what you’re going through.
How to Prevent Relapse in Drug Addiction: Be Aware of “HALT” Symptoms
In the world of relapse prevention, “HALT” is an especially important acronym. “HALT” stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired. When individuals experience one or more of these feelings, they become more prone to relapse.
Those in recovery need to recognize when they’re lacking sleep or when they need to take a break to get some food. Self-care and self-awareness are two key components to maintaining sobriety and avoiding relapse.
How to Prevent Relapse in Drug Addiction: Avoid Obvious Temptations
Even individuals with a solid foundation will face temptations and cravings. These are normal obstacles during lifelong addiction recovery. However, there’s no reason to deal with more temptations than necessary. That’s why avoiding risky situations is smart.
For example, individuals in active recovery may not be able to help their cravings. However, they can avoid friends who use drugs regularly. Out of sight, out of mind may not be entirely true, but it’s a good start. Get rid of temptations whenever possible, even if that means avoiding certain people, places or things.
Starting recovery with high-quality addiction treatment programs is another way to effectively prevent relapse. At The Hills Treatment Center in L.A., California, our proven programs and therapies can prepare you or someone you love for life-long sobriety. Call us today at 866-323-4665 to learn more.