Relapse Prevention Is A Real Thing!

Millions of Americans will experience addiction in their lifetime. Of those who attempt to break their addiction, data suggests that around half of them will experience a period of relapse – staying clean is hard! It is, therefore, not unusual for someone who is in recovery from addiction to have some setbacks in that process. However, there are many tips and strategies that may help prevent a person from relapsing. If you or a loved one are concerned about the possibility of a relapse, it can help to learn different methods and ideas that support continued recovery.

Lapse or Relapse - Which is it?  Staying clean is hard
Is it a lapse or a relapse?

Lapse or Relapse?

Part of preventing relapse involves understanding that slip-ups will happen, but that does not mean that all is lost. It is common for people in recovery from addiction to use their substance of choice. The difference between a lapse and a relapse is how that experience is viewed. Does the person stop and think to themselves that they made a mistake, reach out to their support network, and renew their commitment to recovery? Or, do they use that experience as a reason to beat themselves up emotionally, decide that they can’t quit, and don’t deserve recovery?

A lapse is a one-time event that reminds a person in recovery that they need to maintain their commitment to recovery. A relapse is a journey back into abuse and dependence on a substance.

Relapse Prevention Techniques – Staying Clean Is Hard

Maintaining recovery is more than just quitting and attending meetings. Some of the best tips for preventing relapse include:

Relapse Prevention Techniques florida
  • Life has to change-Often, people in recovery and their families express that they want to go back to “normal,” which means going back to how life was before addiction came into their lives. In order to maintain recovery, a new life that supports recovery has to be created.
  • Recovery demands total honesty-A life of addiction is, by definition, a life of lying and deception. Addiction cannot survive in an environment of total honesty with self and others.
  • Everyone needs help-Part of maintaining recovery is recognizing that no one can overcome addiction alone. A person trying to maintain recovery and avoid relapse needs to know who to go to when things get rough and who to trust to have their best interests at heart.
  • Take care of yourself as a practice-Doing anything gets more difficult when you don’t have what you need. A person who is struggling not to relapse especially needs to make sure their basic needs are being met. A good acronym to remember is HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. If any of these are a problem, take care of those needs.
  • Don’t make exceptions to the rules-Staying in recovery means acknowledging the truth about how harmful being in active addiction was and how much changing and abiding by the commitment to recovery has helped improve life. Going to meetings, counseling, and renewing sober goals can make staying in recovery easier even when things are difficult.

Get Treatment and Stay in Treatment

One of the most effective ways to maintain recovery is to get professional substance abuse treatment, stick with it, and then make sure to attend aftercare treatment as well. In order to fight addiction, clients need the support of their peers as well as caring and compassionate care from medical and therapeutic professionals. It takes time to make the internal mental and emotional changes that will allow you or a loved one to regain a happy, healthy, sober life.

If you need contact information for providers in your area, please let me know!

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