Learning how to prevent a relapse is an important part of addiction treatment at Painted Desert Recovery. This is because even though a person may be sober, everyone in society is not. There are a myriad of triggers and dangers one can face in recovery. It’s important to recognize these dangers so someone can protect and preserve their recovery. Thankfully, there are ways that someone can prevent a relapse or, at the least, lessen the chance of one.
However, before someone can learn how to prevent a relapse, they must know what a relapse is.
What Is a Relapse?
A relapse is when someone engages in substance use after a period of sobriety. Relapses can happen to anyone, even those deemed as low-risk. Just because someone is at low risk for a relapse doesn’t mean it can never happen, as many things can cause a relapse. The most common causes are peer pressure, experiencing difficulties or stress, and a lack of support.
Relapses can happen and that is a fact of life. No mental health care professional will judge or belittle someone for experiencing a relapse. It’s important to get help right away should you or a loved one experience a relapse.
Top 5 Tips to Prevent a Relapse
Thankfully, there are many steps a person can take to prevent a relapse or lessen the chance of one. Here are five common relapse prevention tips that anyone can use.
#1: Stay Away From Places Where Substance Use Is Encouraged
One way that most people prevent a relapse is to stay out of places where people commonly engage in substance use. For example, a person recovering from an alcohol addiction would stay out of bars or clubs. A person recovering from “party” drug addiction, such as cocaine, will stay away from parties where it’s known to be present. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in a place with encouraged substance use. It’s especially important to avoid these places if there’s no way for you to immediately leave when you want to.
#2: Set Healthy Boundaries and Resist Peer Pressure
Enforcing healthy boundaries and navigating peer pressure is another way to prevent a relapse. Many people start using substances because of pressure from their peers. Learning how to say no and stick with it is very important. Some do this by forbidding addictive substances in their homes as a hard boundary. Others will cut out friends and family that undermine their recovery and encourage them to use again. Healthy boundaries don’t just prevent a relapse, they also help people establish healthy relationships with others.
#3: Prevent a Relapse by Creating a Support Network
A support network is also important in recovery. These are people who support and understand you. They can be made up of anyone, but typically are made of family and friends. A good support network supports someone through recovery, encourages them to stay sober, and gets them help should they feel as though they may relapse. Sober-based support networks are often made during treatment and the relationships within can last for the rest of a person’s life.
#4: Utilize Preventative Mental Health Care
Engaging in preventative mental health care is another great way to prevent a relapse. You get checkups for your body by a doctor every year. Why not do the same for your mental health? Checking in often with a mental health professional can help prevent relapse by recognizing problems before they get worse. Having regular mental health checkups also offers a feeling of safety that can give people the confidence they need to tackle life.
#5: Prevent a Relapse by Learning Important Coping Skills
Finally, learning important skills such as stress management and distress tolerance can go a long way in preventing a relapse. Sometimes a relapse will occur because someone is experiencing difficulties. The urge to relieve the stress they feel as quickly and easily as possible is a strong one. That’s why people need to learn how to soothe their stress in a healthy, productive way. Art therapy is a great example of a way for someone to learn how to release feelings tangibly and satisfyingly.
How Painted Desert Recovery Can Help Prevent a Relapse
The staff at Painted Desert Recovery understands how important relapse prevention is. Because of this, we make sure all clients who utilize their addiction treatment program understand it as well. Care is taken to teach clients the skills they need to utilize all five tips above to prevent a relapse. Clients can use various treatments and therapies designed to build confidence and prepare someone to re-enter society. They also have an opportunity to practice these skills so they are prepared to use them when needed.
Of course, we all stumble here and there. Alumni are always welcome to return to Painted Desert Recovery in their time of need. Knowing when and how to ask for help is another cornerstone part of addiction treatment.
Once someone has completed their addiction treatment, they can return to their normal lives. However, several dangers exist that can trigger a relapse. Learning how to avoid a relapse is an important part of any addiction treatment program. Thankfully, people don’t have to be scared, especially with help readily available. Here at Painted Desert Recovery in New Harmony, Utah, our clients learn how to avoid relapses and protect their recovery. Clients are not simply dropped once they complete treatment. At Painted Desert Recovery, our clients know they can always ask for help and receive support when needed. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t wait to get help. Call (844) 540-0353 today.