Addiction can ruin your life, and recovering isn’t easy. On average, addiction relapse rates range between 40% and 60%. However, you’re likelier to relapse if you don’t follow treatment guidelines or utilize continued care, like sober living programs. One slip-up can restart the addiction cycle without proper support and coping skills. Staying sober and avoiding dangerous habits can change your life. What can you do to get better? If you’re struggling, read these tips for relapse prevention:
1. Know the Triggers
Everyone struggles with addiction for different reasons. For example, some people drink to deal with hard times and stress. The most common addiction triggers include:
- Mental or physical illness
Write down your triggers and plan how you’ll deal with them if they arise. Make contingency plans and prepare for the worst-case scenario.
2. Replace Bad Habits
What will you do when one of your triggers emerges? You’ll be tempted to fall back on bad habits.
Thus, you should replace your bad habits with good ones. Try out hobbies such as reading, music, video games, or television. Go visit a friend if things are too hard. They’ll be able to comfort you and help prevent you from relapsing.
Above all, regular exercise is one of the best tips for relapse prevention. Working out helps your brain by boosting:
- Impulse control
In short, it keeps your brain happy and helps you stay away from temptations.
3. Have an Accountability Partner
It’s easy to make promises to yourself and break them. Having an accountability partner is one of the best tips for relapse prevention. Of course, you should pick someone who wants to be proud of you. Imagine how happy they’ll be when you recover. Plus, you’ll likely not want to turn to drugs and alcohol and disappoint them.
Find a counselor, friend, family member, or loved one to hold you accountable. Report to them on a consistent daily or weekly basis. Tell them of your progress and struggles.
One way of holding yourself accountable is by joining a sober living home. You’ll be living with other individuals in recovery, who will keep you accountable. They’re people going through the same thing you are.
4. Think of the Long Term
Think of how addiction affects your life. What was your life like before and during addiction? What will it be like afterward?
Next time you’re tempted, consider who you want to be. Think of a successful future where you’re living your dream. Concentrate on this possible future and any steps you can take towards it.
5. Don’t Tempt Yourself
Avoiding temptation is one of the biggest tips for relapse prevention. You might think of yourself as strong enough to resist any temptations. This may or may not be true, but you shouldn’t play with such risks. For example, you should avoid going out to a bar even if you don’t plan on drinking.
Identify anything that can tempt you. Make a checklist of places and people to avoid. Know who will help and who won’t. Putting yourself in temptation’s way is playing with fire. You want to avoid such risks whenever possible.
6. Reach Out for Help
If you are struggling with relapse triggers or have relapsed, The District Recovery Community can help. The best way to beat addiction is by joining a supportive community of addiction specialists and peers.
Programs in Orange County that help prevent relapse include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Experiential and adventure-based programs
- Medication-assisted treatment