Becoming sober is challenging enough. Working through detox and then completing residential treatment is an achievement. No one plans to relapse, and yet more than half of the people who complete residential treatment will relapse within the first year of their recovery. How can you prevent a relapse?
Education About Relapse Prevention During Treatment
Preventing a relapse begins with your initial treatment process. From the day you step into treatment, you begin learning not just how to stop using substances but how to prevent yourself from a mental, emotional, and physical relapse of substance abuse. Every day in treatment, everything you learn about yourself and recovery points to healing and preventing relapse.
Your education about relapse prevention should continue throughout treatment, into your aftercare, and then throughout your recovery process. You can never learn too much about preventing relapse, as there is always new information or coping techniques to help you. You may not need everything you learn, but the more you learn, the more you will have to draw from in a time of crisis, such as when a craving hits.
Daily Commitment to Continued Learning and Improving
You also demonstrate your desire to prevent relapse by renewing your commitment daily with continued learning about yourself and healing, as well as being willing to look at yourself and continue to improve yourself. Being satisfied with your recovery or telling yourself that you have learned enough is asking to face a trigger or experience an intense craving and be tested. Staying humble and being willing to keep learning and growing will allow you to be prepared when a situation arises.
Giving Yourself the Gift of Aftercare
Another way to prevent relapse is to give yourself the gift of aftercare. Once you have completed residential treatment, you have the opportunity to enroll in continued care, such as an outpatient program. These programs allow you to live on your own, but attend continued treatment, often five to seven days a week, but for fewer hours per day than residential care.
Aftercare makes sense. During residential treatment, you are not really tested, as you live at the facility and are monitored around the clock. Rather than just jumping back into your life full-time, it makes more sense to gradually develop more freedoms again while still maintaining the regular support of a program such as an outpatient program. Eventually, you will complete your aftercare program as well and be prepared to take on even more freedom by simply attending support meetings while you go back to work and try to reclaim your life in recovery.
Continuing Your Progress to Prevent Relapse in Therapy
You will also have the opportunity to continue the support of individual or possibly group therapy. As you continue with therapy, you can also continue to make progress in your healing. Your therapist can also help you to prevent relapse by talking you through potentially triggering scenarios and can help provide support for you should you begin to emotionally or mentally relapse. Continuing therapy demonstrates your continued progress in your recovery and also your continued commitment to preventing relapse.
Attending Support Meetings Regularly for Relapse Prevention
Another important protection against relapse is to regularly attend 12-Step, or other support meetings, such as She Recovers meetings. Here, you will continue to gain knowledge and support for relapse prevention. You will have the opportunity to network and make new friends and meet new people with whom you will be able to reach out for support. They can also share their experiences to help you prevent relapses in your life. By attending regularly, you give yourself greater protection against relapse.
Using What You Have Learned Daily to Prevent Relapse
By using what you have learned and translating it into positive daily habits, you can prevent relapse in the best of ways. Daily practices like mindfulness meditation, yoga, eating three meals a day plus snacks, self-care, and more will help your mind to become stronger and can help directly prevent a relapse.
Practicing the coping strategies and techniques that you learn beginning in treatment and going forward will help you be prepared to use them each time they are needed. The more you practice them, the stronger your mind will become, and the more effective the skills and techniques will be when called upon. By having many different strategies and skills, you will be able to ward off cravings and triggers and continue to remain strong in your recovery. Using what you have learned every day, you are more likely to prevent a relapse.
How can you prevent a relapse? Learning everything you can about relapse prevention and then applying that knowledge will help make a relapse prevention plan that you can stick to. Attending aftercare, continuing with therapy, and attending support meetings regularly will also help strengthen you and protect you against relapse. By using what you learned daily and continuing to learn throughout your recovery, you can strengthen your mind against relapse and be prepared when triggers happen, or cravings hit. The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women is a detox and residential treatment facility for women in Costa Mesa, California. We believe that education is essential to relapse prevention, and we support you in all you do to prevent relapse. We use evidence-based practices and trauma-informed care to support your healing and relapse prevention. Do you have a relapse prevention plan? Call us at (714) 581-3974 to make one today.