When we return to our normal lives after drug treatment, one of our main goals is to maintain a program of lifelong sobriety and recovery. This is of course the primary goal of any addiction treatment plan, yet in reality, drug relapse will always be a risk at some point during recovery. The following are six ways that the threat of relapse can help to be minimized:
1. Avoid Temptation
During the initial stages of recovery, addicts will see themselves restored physically and emotionally. While this can have an amazing feeling of optimism and opportunity, these new and good feelings can also be a kind of trap. For example, a common condition for relapse is when the addict feels that they can be around drugs or alcohol and not use them. This is a critical danger during the early recovery period that the addict must be vigilant against.
2. Get Support
It’s important during recovery that the addict is surrounded by supportive people who are also not engaged in any kind of substance abuse. A support system can be made up of friends, family, and others who are part of a recovery program or 12-step group. These positive people are able to provide the kind of encouragement and support that a recovering addict requires. Additionally, the addict will also need to cut ties with people who were fellow users, and also those who are not supportive of a drug or alcohol free lifestyle.
3. Don’t Think Of Relapse As Failure
If relapse were to occur, it’s important to not think of it as a failure. When this happens, the addict can become flooded with thoughts of guilt, anger, and shame. While those feelings are understandable, it’s wise to not stay stuck in those feelings, because in truth you have the skills and tools to get back into recovery. In that case, attend as many meetings as you can, and reach out to your support group and sponsor for help. And if you sense that your sponsor or group isn’t able to provide you with the right support, look for a new one.
4. Create A Healthy Schedule
During an addict’s treatment period, they will learn critical coping and life skills that are necessary in maintaining recovery. Keeping a healthy daily schedule is one of the most important skills to develop. Particularly in early recovery, your daily schedule should be made up of meetings, treatment, and important daily obligations, in addition to free time and leisure activities. Ultimately, a key concept is to eliminate idle time that can lead to risky behavior and thoughts of substance abuse.
5. Keep Track Of Your Feelings and How You’re Doing
Keep track of complacency during the first stages of recovery. Since it’s very possible to feel a surge of self-satisfaction during the early part of recovery, addicts may not see the potential for danger ahead. Many will complete their addiction recovery successfully at first, but then lose momentum over time. They may feel so successful initially, that they forget to maintain vigilance during their long-term recovery program.
6. Learn To Relax
Addiction is a powerful and complex disease that can seem to have a mind of its own. So while an addict is in recovery, old addictive ways of thinking may creep into the present. When daily living causes stress, it can trigger the old thoughts and patterns that lead to the addiction in the first place. So an important part of relapse avoidance is to integrate some kind of relaxation techniques into life. Part of our drug relapse treatment program in Scottsdale includes mindfulness activities, like yoga, meditation, and other similar practices that can help addicts to keep their minds in the present moment.
Learn more about our addiction recovery services offered at our Phoenix, Arizona area treatment center.