When recovering from alcohol or drug abuse, the number one fear is that you’ll fall into relapse from the slightest urge. Well, fortunately, the tough part is over. Overcoming the painful rigors of detoxing is the most physically demanding aspect, everything else is just psychological. As long as you have the willpower to overcome your addiction then you have all the tools necessary to succeed. That isn’t to say living a completely sober life won’t be difficult at times. However, there are methods and techniques you can proactively do for relapse prevention.
Tips for Relapse Prevention
Identify Risky Situations
For relapse prevention, you are the expert on your urges. The best way to deal with these trigger situations is to create a list, either on paper or in your head, of all the locations, people, and anything else that might tempt you and stay away from them. If these situations can’t be avoided, have a strategy and a backup plan to help you cope with it beforehand. This way you’ll never be caught off-guard.
Take Care of Your Body
Statistically, people who recover from drug abuse are more likely to relapse if they are in poor physical health. You need to make sure that you are: eating healthy, sleeping well, avoiding stressful situations and some physical exercise has proven to help with emotional states too. Many rehab centers advocate meditation and yoga as ways to relieve stress and build physical endurance at the same time. With a healthier body and mind, you’ll be better able to resist urges and strengthen your resolve for relapse prevention efforts overall.
Dealing with Urges
Relapse prevention consists of many coping mechanisms to help you manage your urges throughout the day. The trick is finding and developing techniques that are specifically designed to help fight your personal urges. It will help to have someone close to you to confide in whenever you feel like using as well. Most urges for drug use only last between 15-25 minutes. Find a way to make it past this time and you’ll likely have overcome the urge altogether. Knowing this, distractions are key. If you have a positive hobby like hiking, biking, playing an instrument, or even just watching a movie it will help you through this rough period.
You have everything you need for relapse prevention. You just need people and hobbies to lean on long enough to stand on your own. That day will come if you’re strong willed and consistent.