Relapses are an ever-present possibility during recovery. However, should they occur, there is no shame in it, and we here at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston are ready to offer you any additional treatment you might need. Fortunately, several relapse prevention techniques are there to help maintain your sober living. But first, similar to addiction, a key factor of relapse prevention is understanding how they occur.
The Three Stages of Relapse
Contrary to popular belief that a relapse is an isolated occurrence, relapses gradually happen in three stages. Knowing these stages helps to increase the chances of your relapse prevention techniques being successful. Here are the three stages of relapse:
This is the first stage of relapse. In this stage, you are not yet actively thinking about using drugs again, but your behaviors and emotions could be leading you down that path. Some of the symptoms of emotional relapse include isolation, poor sleeping and eating habits, intolerance, mood swings, and poor emotional self-care.
This stage is dominated by constant internal debates about whether or not to use drugs or alcohol. You might find yourself thinking about the things, places, and people associated with your past substance use or glamorizing past habits. The more this internal debate rages on, the stronger the pull of addiction becomes, quickly leading to the final stage of relapse.
In the physical relapse stage, you are actively retaking substances. When it gets to this stage, you must reach out for immediate help to prevent the situation from worsening.
Relapse Prevention Techniques
During the emotional and mental relapse stages, there are measures that you can put in place to help prevent you from getting to the physical stage. Here are a few relapse prevention techniques:
Identify Your Triggers
Triggers are the feelings, thoughts, people, places, or things that increase your need and craving for substances. Making a list of all your internal and external triggers is the first step to managing them.
Make a List of Emergency Contacts
Come up with a list of people you can call when you have a persistent urge or a craving. Having a person who can provide you with a safe space can help you share and better manage the feelings, thoughts, and cravings you might be having.
Insomnia, fatigue, and poor sleeping and eating habits are typical withdrawal symptoms synonymous with the emotional relapse stage. Implementing a balanced diet and regular physical exercise are a few ways you can manage these symptoms. Taking proper care of your body during recovery is a great way to reduce the chances of relapse.
Join a Support Group
Groups programs like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous provide you with the support and accountability you need to maintain your sobriety. They also introduce to peers with whom you can share your experiences, reducing the risk of isolation and loneliness, both common triggers.
Mindfulness meditation is a concept that encourages people to be more self-aware. The more self-aware you are, the better you can cope with the emotional and mental relapse stages. You can pay more attention to where you are, what you’re doing, and with whom you are doing it through mindfulness meditation.
Recovery at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston
If you or a loved one is battling substance use disorders, consider enrolling in one of the addiction treatment programs we offer here at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston. Some of the detox programs we offer are such as:
Our experienced medical staff and holistic approach to addiction treatment set you on the right recovery track, arming you with the relapse prevention techniques you need to maintain a sober living and achieve lasting recovery. Contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 and start your recovery journey today.