Preventing Substance Abuse Relapse

Important Steps for Preventing Relapse

Emerging sober from an alcohol treatment center must be followed by lifestyle and mental changes in order to prevent relapsing in the coming years. Relapse rates are high for alcohol and drugs. It can be difficult to avoid turning to substance abuse when life becomes stressful or uncertain. Several steps will help anyone to prevent a substance abuse relapse:

Change Routines

Some relapses occur because an individual is repeatedly placed into the same routines that existed while abusing a substance. Spending time alone after work, meeting with old friends regularly or spending weekends alone can all trigger a relapse. One of the most important life changes that will prevent relapses is to modify everyday routines so they are different from what was normal while abusing substances.

Avoid Situations Involving Alcohol or Drugs

It can be easy to relapse in an environment where other people are drinking or taking drugs. It is important to avoid these situations whenever possible. This can mean turning down invitations to office parties or reunions with friends who abuse substances. If a seemingly safe situation suddenly starts to involve drugs or alcohol, then it is critical to leave immediately.

Stay Active

A large number of people turn to drugs or alcohol as an activity when there is nothing else to do. Staying active is one of the best life changes to make in order to prevent a relapse. Staying active means a person fills the time that might have been spent abusing a substance with a constructive activity. This could be reading, exercising or a personal hobby. This type of distraction will keep the mind off substance abuse.

Talk to Family and Friends

An effective tool that helps to avoid a relapse is developing a support network of friends and family. These individuals should understand addiction and be prepared to talk whenever help is needed. Friends and family can provide the type of emotional support and guidance that is needed when the urge to drink or take drugs becomes overwhelming.

Attend Regular Professional Counseling

The type of counseling initially received when first becoming sober needs to continue even after not consuming drugs or alcohol for years. This type of counseling can often be found through an alcohol treatment center in the form of group therapy or one-on-one sessions. Addicts who do not receive professional counseling have much higher relapse rates. Professional counselors and therapists will provide the support and tools necessary to avoid turning to drugs or alcohol in the future.