You need a lot of courage to enter detox and withdraw from a drug that’s controlling your life. From there, it requires dogged determination to go through a rehab program and re-learn life skills. But what does it take to achieve lasting relapse prevention? In fact, this process starts early on during your recovery.
Relapse Prevention Starts with an Accurate Diagnosis at the Onset of Treatment
Perhaps the most important task for achieving long-term sobriety happens during the initial intake interview. Professionals work with you to accurately diagnose your condition. From there, a customized treatment protocol ensures that you receive the particular treatment that you need. Doing so allows therapists to meet your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. At this time, therapists will also decide what the best program is for you, whether that be outpatient or even an inpatient 90 day treatment program.
Aftercare Shifts the Recovery Focus on Maintaining Sobriety for Life
As you participate in therapy sessions and learn new life skills, the emphasis of the sessions gradually shifts. You’ll begin to collaborate with peer groups and counselors to explore ways of dealing with trigger situations. At this time, you’ll learn a broad range of valuable ways to stay on track, including:
- Identifying triggers. What caused you to reach for drugs or alcohol before? Because there are some triggers that you can’t remove, work stress, for example, you need to learn new coping skills. But first, you need to uncover these stressors.
- Re-evaluating peer groups. Friends, colleagues, and acquaintances can all be detrimental to your recovery. If you find that some of these individuals may contribute to a potential relapse, work out strategies to minimize interactions. It’s also important to find new, supportive peer groups to join.
- Establishing new routines and habits. Humans are creatures of habit. If you’ve been going the same bar every Tuesday for years or you always smoke a cigarette with your morning coffee, these habits become a part of your life. In a perfect storm, habits and old routines become the fall back when triggers make you feel out of control. Create new routines as soon as possible to avoid slipping back into destructive ones.
- Setting up a support network. The peers you meet during recovery will become part of the support network you begin to rely on after returning home. They understand temptation and the difficulties of continuing a sober life. A support network also helps you get out of situations that threaten to undo your resolve.
- Putting relapse prevention first. It’s easy to develop a false sense of security. After a while of living sober, you might figure you’re safe. At this point, it’s tempting to quit going to meetings or only attend sporadically. Instead, attend every meeting, continuously check in with your peer support, and go to all recovery alumni gatherings.
Putting a Relapse into Perspective
If in spite of researching relapse prevention tips and committing to follow them, you stumble, it’s not a catastrophe. Therapists working in addiction rehab programs know that a hiccup along the road to recovery is normal. Don’t lose hope! Call the friendly experts at San Antonio Recovery Center at 866-957-7885 to learn more about aftercare programs or re-committing to inpatient.