Between 40 and 60% of people relapse within a year after receiving treatment for addiction or alcoholism. If you’ve recently completed a rehab program, it’s important to learn how to prevent relapse. Otherwise, you could find yourself completing another treatment.
Worse yet, you might lose your relationships, career, freedom, or even your life.
How do you stop a relapse? With these nine tips, you can use what you learned in rehab to avoid relapsing. Instead of losing your life, you can live life to the fullest!
Keep reading to learn how to avoid and prevent relapse with these helpful tips today.
1. Establish a Routine
About one in seven Americans develop a substance addiction. Only 10% of addicts, however, receive treatment.
If you’ve undergone rehabilitation, you probably developed a routine during the course of your treatment. A routine can give you a sense of stability and accountability.
Once you complete your rehab treatment, try to recreate your schedule to maintain structure in your new life.
What regular activities are important to your new life? What type of life do you want to live?
If your priority is avoiding temptations to maintain your sobriety, make time for meetings and therapy.
Your routine might also include work, time for hobbies, time with family and friends, or other activities. Regardless of what’s on your list, try to create a schedule for yourself. Then, turn that schedule into a habit.
As you continue with your sobriety, make adjustments to your routine as needed. Are you noticing potential relapse symptoms such as cravings? Maybe you want to increase how often you go to therapy or group meetings.
Adjusting your schedule can help you learn how to not relapse.
2. Find a New Purpose
Did you abandon hobbies you once loved while you were using or drinking? If you don’t want to pick those old hobbies up again, that’s okay. Instead, try to find direction in your life by discovering new passions.
It takes time and effort to learn a new skill. By dedicating your time to a new hobby, you can avoid relapsing by distracting yourself.
Try to use a healthy distraction, such as art or a sport, instead of a dangerous distraction like eating and binge-watching.
Healthy distractions can help you make a positive change in your life. Your new hobby might even help you discover a new passion and career path. Then, you can discover a new purpose in your life!
Once you discover that new purpose, you can let that passion take the place of your addiction.
3. Establish Goals
Instead of focusing on your past mistakes, try to look ahead. Enjoying the present moment and creating goals for your future can help when preventing relapse.
After you complete rehab, you have a chance at a fresh start! Use that second chance to its full advantage by creating short-term and long-term goals for yourself.
You can set goals for your health, your career, or even your relationships.
Try setting SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Results-Driven, Time-Orientated).
Do you want to get a new job by the end of the month or save up for a trip to the Bahamas? Make sure your goals are specific.
Focusing on SMART goals will help you track your progress. Seeing how much you accomplish will help motivate you to accomplish new goals down the road!
4. Avoid Temptations
How do you stop a relapse? One of the most effective tactics is to learn how to avoid temptations.
Do you have old haunts where you used to drink or use? Do you have any friends who enjoy using drugs and drinking with you? Would they pressure you to start using again?
Temptations are sometimes a place, a person, or even a bad mood.
Try to avoid these temptations by finding healthy distractions. For example, you can turn toward your new hobbies or go for a walk.
It’s also important to mind your HALT. Take notice if you feel hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. If you start to experience one or more pieces of HALT, take action.
These sensations can often lead to relapse.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercising is a great way to avoid potential relapse symptoms.
Exercise helps your body produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is a feel-good chemical. Have you ever heard of a “runner’s high”? Serotonin produces that feeling to help boost your mood.
Exercising regularly can help you get sleep, too. Avoiding sleep deprivation can help you learn how to prevent relapse. Otherwise, you might turn to drugs for an energy boost.
6. Get Some Rest
Remember, sleep is important. Each time you go to sleep, you’re giving your body a chance to heal from the previous day. Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your body.
Your mood could plummet along with your ability to focus and make smart decisions.
If you want to learn how to not relapse, start by learning how to take care of your body.
7. Develop a Support Team
A positive support network can help you manage your sobriety with a little help. Surround yourself with people who understand what you went through. They can help you make smart decisions to continue living drug-free.
You can build a support group by attending group meetings or turning to friends and family members when you feel the need to use.
8. Stay in Therapy
Staying in therapy can help you navigate your new life, too. If you ever feel stressed or doubt yourself, turn to your therapist. They can help you confront your problems.
In addition to one-on-one sessions, consider group therapy as well. Working with a group can help you discover coping mechanisms that you can use to avoid relapse.
How Do You Stop a Relapse?: 8 Tips for Living Happier and Healthier
To recap, how do you stop a relapse? Some days are easier than others. With these eight tips, you can maintain your sobriety to live happier and healthier than before!
Remember, you don’t have to go through the process alone. Get a free consultation from our team today to seek help!