For starters, know that a relapse doesn’t mean you’ve failed. When you remember that a drug addiction is a chronic disease just like diabetes, it puts a setback into perspective. Nobody would condemn a diabetic patient for suffering a health setback. In the same way, your relapse to using a drug again is not a failure but merely a setback to deal with head-on.
Typical Relapse Prevention Techniques
Not all relapse prevention techniques you’ve learned may be perfect. That said, they’re invaluable tools to make it through a tempting moment.
- Trigger identification: Know your triggers. They may be stress, a particular setting, or even a group of friends. Dealing with triggers is easier when you know that it’s coming.
- Coping strategies: You’ve learned how to handle stress in a healthy way. Rehab therapy probably went over other problem situations, too. You may remember role-playing through various scenarios from someone offering you the drug to removing yourself from a situation.
- Behavior modification: Have you noticed that therapists at the detox facility and any subsequent rehab stressed healthy living? They might’ve talked about nutritional choices and shown you exercises that help with building muscle mass and endurance. Falling back on what you learned and focusing on your wellness may help you overcome destructive cravings.
- Contact with a 12-step sponsor: Introduction to the 12-step principles may be a vital component of relapse prevention. If peer pressure got you started with drugs, peer assistance can help you steer clear.
You’re Not Alone
One of the most dangerous thought processes revolves around feeling alone and out of touch. Remember from your group therapy sessions that there are plenty of folks in the same boat as you. Because this understanding helped create bonds during your active rehab phase, you can now capitalize on it by enlisting the help of others. Also, the counselors you’ve met along the way or at A Way Out are available to help.
Perhaps the worst thing you can do is isolate yourself. Instead, reach out to others – before it’s too late and you suffer a setback. Even if you’re in the middle of a relapse with the drug already in your system, you can still call for help. Your group has been where you’re at now, and they can help you tremendously without passing judgment.
Top 3 Crucial Tips When Coming Home after Detox or Rehab
The first few weeks of early recovery are the toughest. Hopefully, a friend or family member has removed all drugs and associated paraphernalia from your home. If not, enlist someone’s help to handle this task or at least be with you while you do it.
- Join a support group: The 12-step network is your biggest ally in staying sober. Don’t feel like you’re bothering people. They’ve been there themselves. In the future, you may be able to pay it back and become someone’s sponsor.
- Take time off work: If you can, give yourself additional time to rest. Find ways to continue your healthy living program and exercise regimens.
- Change peer groups if needed: Get out of a party environment and associate with people who’re not drinking or doing drugs.