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Tips on Preventing Relapse

person listening to guided meditation on headphones as one of many tips on preventing relapse

Anybody who experiences addiction is at risk for relapse, even if they have been sober for years. Addiction is a disease that takes over the body, and sometimes the disease will force a person to relapse, no matter how well they are doing.

Since there is no cure for addiction, relapsing is a common part of the recovery process. While it’s common, it can still be incredibly dangerous. That’s why taking preventative measures is important to ensure that a person does not relapse.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, relapse prevention therapy is a great option to help you stay in recovery even years after you’ve finished treatment. Reach out to one of our staff members at Northpoint Seattle today at 888.483.6031 to discuss tips on preventing relapse. 

What Is Relapse?

When somebody relapses, it means they are returning to using drugs or alcohol. There are two categories for relapse. The first is “a slip,” meaning a person who is recovering from addiction ends up using a small amount of the substance they are addicted to. An example of a slip could be somebody taking a sip of alcohol at a party. While a slip can feel small, it can encourage a person to continue to abuse substances. 

The other category is a full relapse. A full relapse occurs when a person seeks to use the substances they are addicted to again. Putting their progress behind them is an intentional decision, whereas a slip is more of a mistake. 

Relapse Causes

A relapse can be caused by several different events or situations. Some triggers for relapse include: 

  • Stressful work environments
  • Negative home environments
  • People using drugs or drinking around them 
  • Going places where they used to get drunk or high 
  • Difficult life events 

Extreme emotions can also cause a person to resume drinking or using drugs as a coping mechanism. 

How to Prevent Relapse

While relapsing is common and there are people there to help, there are also several tips on preventing relapse. Preventing relapse is a crucial aspect of maintaining recovery from a substance use disorder. Here are some preventing relapse tips for you or your loved one.

Build a Strong Support System

Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, and individuals who understand your journey can help keep you accountable. This can be done at home or through support groups. Support groups and group therapy can help you connect with others with similar experiences. These people can help provide understanding, encouragement, and coping strategies. 

Engage in Regular Therapy

Even if you have received and completed your treatment, continuing therapy can help address ongoing challenges, develop coping skills, and provide a safe and judgment-free zone to discuss ongoing concerns. Therapy can help you learn and practice healthy coping skills for managing stress, anxiety, and potential triggers. Coping skills could include mindfulness, deep breathing, and exercising, among other strategies. 

Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic and achievable short-term and long-term goals can help you feel less overwhelmed. Breaking up larger goals into smaller goals is one way to do this. 

Know Your Triggers

Triggers can look different for everybody. For some people, it can be just being around people doing drugs or drinking. For others, it can be seeing it on a TV show or being in a stressful situation. Knowing your triggers can help you discover how to prevent relapse. 

Get Help Today with Relapse Prevention Therapy at Northpoint Seattle

Tips on preventing relapse can be helpful, as well as relapse prevention therapy programs. If you or a loved one is worried about relapse or have recently relapsed, Northpoint Seattle is here to support you. Reach out to one of our team members today via our online contact form or by calling 888.483.6031 to discuss your options.