Tips to prevent relapse from addiction

smoking cannabis

Relapse prevention is an essential part of any addiction recovery program. There are several coping skills an individual can learn and implement to prevent relapse.

Recovery from drugs and alcohol is a personal growth process with several milestones of development. There is a risk of relapse at all stages of addiction recovery. This is why it is extremely important to know and understand prevention skills. Stress, boredom, relationship issues, anger, monetary problems, and certain smells and sights are some of the most common triggers of relapse.

What is a Relapse?

A person in the process of quitting an addiction may start using alcohol or drug once again, and this is referred to as a relapse. Relapse is common amongst individuals recovering from addiction and happens to a lot of people. Many people experience more than one relapse before finally learning to live without addiction.  Stopping drug us demands to do things differently and it is very easy to slip-up. However, as mentioned earlier, it is possible to prevent relapse by mastering certain kills.

Important Relapse Prevention Skills:

Most of the alcohol and drug addiction recovery centers educate their clients on the techniques to prevent relapse. There is a wide range of prevention tools that can be implemented in an individual’s daily routine to protect him or her from relapse. Some people believe that these tools should be used only when someone feels the urge to use drugs or alcohol. However, each recovering person should implement these skills in their daily schedule to stay safe from relapse.

According to ARC Project, mentioned below are some of the important skills for preventing relapse.

  • While recovering from addiction, fatigue and insomnia are two of the most commonly experienced post-acute withdrawal symptoms. These are also the most common triggers for relapse. Both these triggers can be managed by creating and following a structured schedule for sleep, diet, and exercise. This helps overcome fatigue and sleep better, reducing the probability of relapse.
  • HALT is an acronym that stands for some common triggers for numerous addicts and alcoholics in the process of recovery viz. hunger, anger, loneliness, and feeling tired. Whenever the person feels an urge to use, they should try to figure out if they are feeling any of these symptoms. It is possible to prevent the risk of relapse by carrying out a regular inventory of HALT.
  • Mindfulness meditation is one of the most effective ways to manage relapse. This is a popular concept that teaches people ways to achieve self-awareness. In general, high self-awareness helps individuals deal better with potential triggers to relapse. Recent studies have revealed that mindfulness meditation relapse prevention programs can help significantly in recovering. Some of the hallmarks of mindfulness meditation are acceptance, giving up personal control, and making use of meditation and prayer.
  • Knowing the potential triggers can be extremely helpful in preventing relapse. Triggers can be external such as places, people, and things, or internal such as anxiety, stress, irritability, low self-esteem, or anger. The risk of relapse can be reduced by making a list of one’s common triggers.
  • It is also a great idea to join support groups that provide support, education, accountability, and connect people with peers that understand their struggle. This decreases the risk of isolation and feeling of loneliness, two common triggers for relapse.
  • Deep breathing is an extremely helpful exercise that is responsible for the release of neurotransmitters in the human brain. Many of these neurotransmitters have a significant role behind the release of feel-good chemicals that help us with pain reduction relaxation, and happiness. Deep breathing also increases the flow of oxygen in the body, helping the body get rid of toxins. It is considered to be an excellent relapse prevention technique because it can be performed anywhere without much fuss.