Relapse refers to a resumption of addictive behaviours that are detrimental to oneself or others after a period of abstinence from drug use or alcohol consumption.
To overcome an addiction is a marathon, not a sprint. Even while relapse is prevalent, it is not inevitable, and there are things you can do to stay on the road to recovery and not slip back into old habits.
Follow your treatment plan
Treatment fatigue, or general weariness with the treatment process, is a typical phenomenon among persons receiving care for substance use disorders, according to White River Recovery.
Mental and physical fatigue are common during recovery from addiction. However, prematurely abandoning your treatment plant will undo all the hard work you’ve done and the progress you’ve made.
The tools necessary to deal with the difficulties that will inevitably come throughout recovery must be honed over time. Just relax into the process. If you are concerned that your treatment isn’t having the desired effect, discuss other treatment alternatives with your healthcare providers.
Know your triggers
In order to maintain sobriety throughout recovery from addiction, it is important to recognise and avoid situations that may cause a relapse. These triggers differ from person to person, and often with the help of treatment therapy we can unearth both the emotional and environmental triggers that cause us to turn to drugs or alcohol.
Identifying your triggers, either on your own or with the help of a counsellor, will help you be better prepared to deal with them if and when they arise during recovery.
Stay focused on the reasons for your recovery
Addiction has far-reaching consequences, both for the individual and their loved ones. Struggles with addiction impact your physical and emotional health, hurt your relationships, and deplete your finances.
By staying focused on the reasons for your recovery – and the aforementioned effects which relapse will inevitably bring – you will be able to welcome the new, sober life you have worked so hard to achieve.
Bring structure into your life
Research on drug addiction and treatment shows that former addicts’ boredom and lack of activity are strong indicators of a return to substance abuse.
Having a set schedule to follow each day can be a powerful tool in the fight against cravings and other physical withdrawal symptoms.
Going to appointments for treatment like counselling can also provide structure. This is why it can be beneficial for those just starting out in recovery to check into an inpatient or intense outpatient programme at a treatment facility.
Find a support group
People in recovery might benefit from the continued support and structure offered by groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and AA alternatives. From this vantage point, you can gain insight into the lives of those who have struggled with addiction, and learn how to integrate the tools needed for your ongoing recovery.
Remember that addiction afflicts million of people, so that you are not alone in your journey to recovery.
Get into the habit of journaling
Having doubts about the value of healing is a common experience for those undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.
Keeping a journal or blog during rehabilitation can be a helpful tool to record experiences and insights you gain along the way. Allow this to be a space for honest self-reflection: record the achievements you’ve made, and the struggles you might be having.
You might be surprised to find how far you’ve come on your journey to recovery when reading back on the process.