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  • If you or a loved one have recently completed a treatment plan at an addiction treatment facility, your focus will still be placed on maintaining sobriety. In order to do so, there are relapse prevention techniques you should know.

    Here are 10 tips for avoiding relapse after rehab and achieving long-term recovery.

    1. Attend Support Groups

    As you continue with drug or alcohol addiction recovery, consider taking part in the many available support groups available to you. Maintaining a strong support network once you exit a treatment center is important.

    For instance, you can receive recovery support in the form of therapy sessions which involve your family members and loved ones. You can find a peer support system with 12-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

    2. Discover New Hobbies

    Part of the recovery process is finding joy in activities you once enjoyed. Whether you continue to participate in a once-loved hobby or discover a new activity, you can find ways to not get bored.

    Consider trying a new skill such as painting, writing, or bowling.

    3. Recognize Common Triggers

    Once you have exited an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, it will likely be necessary for you to recognize the warning signs of common addiction triggers. Do not put yourself in high-risk situations such as attending a party in which you know drugs or alcohol will be present.

    Not only will this help prevent the risk of relapse, it allows you to better cope with your surroundings and acknowledge the type of triggers which may affect you.

    4. Learn Coping Mechanisms

    Instead of turning to another vice as a coping mechanism, consider implementing coping strategies in your day-to-day life which can assist you in maintaining sobriety. 

    Developing coping skills can help you become more self-aware throughout your recovery journey and is an important stage of recovery.

    According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fear is a common negative thinking pattern in early recovery. You may be afraid you will give in to your cravings and participate in drug use. To stop these thinking patterns, coping skills can prove beneficial.

    5. Consider Medication

    If your healthcare provider prescribes addiction medicine for you to take for opioid use disorder or alcohol use disorder, be sure to continually take your medication. Follow your doctor’s guidelines if it is necessary for you to take medication for your addiction.

    6. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

    Although detox is a form of treatment which may cause withdrawal symptoms, it ultimately purges the body of unwanted toxins brought on by drug or alcohol use. This process will typically take place at the treatment center.

    Once your treatment program is complete, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help nourish your body back to health. To do this, simply focus on your well-being by exercising and taking part in a healthy diet by eating food rich in nutrients.

    7. Practice Self-Care

    Additionally, you should continue to practice self-care. This may come in the form of meditation, yoga, or simply enjoying some tea by yourself.

    Also, consider treating yourself every once in a while with a dessert, a day at the swimming pool, or a night at the movie theater. Taking part in activities prevents you from participating in substance abuse.

    8. Build New Relationships

    Another important aspect of preventing relapse is building new relationships. As we get older, it may be more difficult to do so.

    However, you can join a local gym or participate in a book club. You may find peer support and form new relationships, bonding over a shared love of an activity in the recovery process.

    9. Take It One Day At A Time

    To prevent relapse, take it slow and take it one day at a time. It’s important not to be hard on yourself and to acknowledge any successes throughout your recovery journey.

    When you take one day at a time, you are not bombarded by the many other aspects of life and you can focus on your own mental health in the moment.

    10. Have A Relapse Prevention Plan

    Relapse prevention strategies allow you to have a plan in place in case you do relapse. Consider keeping a list of phone numbers of emergency contacts who you can call when you experience cravings for drugs.

    This can put your mind at ease knowing you have a plan to put into action.

    If you or a loved one struggle with drug addiction or substance use, you can find a wide range of treatment options available at Ark Behavioral Health. At our treatment centers, we offer medical detox, aftercare services, and outpatient and inpatient care.

    To learn more, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Article Sources

    Indian Journal of Psychiatry - Relapse Prevention/
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - About Recovery
    National Library of Medicine: StatPearls - Addiction Relapse Prevention
    National Library of Medicine: StatPearls - Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery

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