Something you liked most was about to kill you, simply because you were addicted to it. Luckily enough a rehabilitation centre saved you all the trouble. However, just when you thought you are done with too much counselling and isolation, the craving decided to strike back again. This is what we call relapse. The effects of relapse shouldn’t be a surprise to you especially if you were a notorious drug user or a heavy drinker who managed to recover for some few days, months or even a year. Relapse prevention is a powerful too in sustaining total recovery of various addiction complications.
Relapse prevention is a powerful tool of eliminating all elements of drug addiction complications
The bad news is, if being in a rehabilitation centre or any steps you took wasn’t effective, the second or the third time you decide to use a drug or go back to a bar, might not end up well. The ugly truth is, you might lose everything or even have the worst experience in life, that is, death. The question is, is addiction a curse? NO. It is a behaviour you acquire either from family members or friends that in turn becomes more than just a hobby but an unintended obligation.
What does this mean? Simple, you weren’t born alcoholic, meaning you can stop it. What you need is discipline. However, this might not be possible with the people around you or your surroundings. The good news is, it is simple than you think. What you need are some few techniques that are proven to work. However to get the best out of this techniques, you need first to understand what you are dealing with. Here is a brief overview of some few things you must be well acquainted with before taking any steps.
- Impatience: This is one of the notorious triggers you should watch out for. The best medicine for relapse is understanding that doing away with what you were used to initially takes time. Avoiding relapse starts with how you think. If your mind tells you that you can’t stay away from that bottle or needle for one month, then you can’t. It is all about sacrifice, and no one can do this better than you.
- Social pressure: Another thing you must be too cautious the people around you. You decided to stop drinking or using drug simply because it was ruining your life. If those who are around you can’t understand that, then you have no better choice than avoiding them. No one should encourage you to go anywhere near what you consider poisonous.
- Inability to cope with the situation: This is one of the immediate triggers of relapse. It takes time and strength to get used to the situation. To fight relapse, you need to stay away from that bar you were used to even if it means changing the path you follow from or to work. The only medicine here is making a firm stand. Try to apply some of the coping strategies, such as leaving the situation or even employing a cognitive strategy.
Other triggers include exhaustion, dishonesty, stress, expecting too much and more. It is all about you, not your friends or family. You are the one who started it, and you are the one to stop it.
Drug cues can simply be defined as stimuli related to drug use. Drug-related stimuli can be categorized as internal, external and cognitive stimuli. If not watched, drug cues will make repeat the same mistake whether you like it or not. It is, therefore, vital that you be strong by trying to stay away from the triggers as possible.
Another important factor you should consider is the situations that might move you closer to relapse for example buying a bottle of beer to impress a friend. These situations are called, high-risk situations. What you mustn’t forget is that your friend won’t like the fact that he or she drinks alone. As a result, you might be tempted to the party.
This is something you could have avoided by finding a better substitute such as inviting your friend to a dinner or going to the movies. Other examples of high-risk situations include severe stress, fatigue, self-pity, having a lot of cash, a desire to celebrate but not knowing how to and more.
Relapse Prevention: Skill Training
Fighting relapse can be easier depending on the steps you choose to take. You need to learn how to stay away completely and to do this; you need some few skills that will enable you to handle each situation as it comes. You also need to train yourself to own and effectively employ these skills. If you are having a hard time dealing with high-risk situations, drug cues and any other thing that might encourage you to start drinking or using the drug again, here are some of the skills that might save you all the trouble.
- Relapse prevention: Cognitive restructuring
This technique involves training yourself to identify and avoid thoughts that might encourage you to drink or use a drug again. These thoughts might involve what’s happening to you, what others are doing, your current situation and more.
This technique involves training yourself to relax especially when you are under stress. Relaxation therapy’s main purpose is to help you reduce the stress that may, in turn, stimulate your desire to go back to what you were used to doing.
- Relapse prevention: Distraction
This is another skill you need to acquire and get used to. It involves taking another direction whenever the thought of drinking invades your mind. For example, if you start thinking about alcohol or smoking, you can distract yourself by trying to be busy or doing any other thing fun.
Most of the time, relapse attacks when you decide to keep things to yourself. If you can’t cope with the situation you are in, it is vital to talk to an expert, a friend or another recovering victims.
Relapse prevention: Assertiveness
To get the best out of relapse prevention, it is vital that you be sure of what you are doing. You need to be confident in every step you take and believe that you can do it. In that way, you will be making your relapse prevention foundation much stronger. It also helps in dealing with anxiety, stress or any other unwanted emotion that might influence you to take a wrong step.
relapse prevention: Drink And Drug Refusal
This is the one of the final steps in relapse prevention. You already have everything figured out, meaning you can control the desire, but the thought that you can control your drinking or drug use still lingers in your mind. This step requires you to make that drink or the drug an enemy as possible. Stay away completely, say no even if it is a party and lastly, keep it away from your system.
Relapse Prevention: Create An Ideal Plan
This is the final and the most vital step. You are now a pro with some advice to give others. Just like a fitness expert, you need a program that will guide you in dealing with relapse prevention. What you need to do is come up with some of the changes you have to make in your life regarding substance use. This might be altering your daily routines, for example, if you like watching football with your friends while drinking in a bar, you have to avoid that either by changing your location or who you hand with. Another good example is substituting the activity that encourages drinking or drug use with a better one such as doing some workouts and more.
Relapse is like a Lion stalking an antelope. It is always waiting for you to make one mistake that is giving up your decision. Stress, emotions, pressure, impatience are some of the things to watch out for. You also need to remember that sacrifice plays an important role here, meaning that you have to endure every situation as it comes. Try to seek some guidance, find a way to encourage yourself and lastly, avoid relapse triggers. A lot more on this topic will be discussed at Interactive Addiction Conference. If you are interested, you can click on this link https://www.awaremed.com/integrativeaddictionconference/