Don’t Slip Back: 7 Addiction Relapse Prevention Strategies

Once you’re in recovery, the last thing you want to do is relapse. You already know where addiction leads and have experienced some of its consequences. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of relapse prevention strategies to give you the best chances of living a life of sobriety. There are emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and environmental prevention techniques that you want to be aware of. 

1. Stay Aware of Your Triggers

Know your triggers. You have to know the things that are highly likely to result in your using again so that you can do your best to avoid them or manage them successfully. Stress, boredom, and bad influences are some of the more common triggers that can lead you to the stages of the relapse cycle.

2. Have a Strong Support System

It is crucial that you develop a strong support system to help you maintain a sober lifestyle. Doing so will make your recovery flow more smoothly. Your support system can consist of a sponsor, a therapist, family, friends, pets, and any other individuals who have your best interests at heart. This support system should be in place to support you emotionally and help you better notice high-risk situations.

3. Incorporate Self-Care

Take time out for yourself. Life can get hectic sometimes, but remembering to check in with yourself and your feelings can help you better identify when you need to step back and take care of yourself. Some common self-care practices are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and meditating. Taking care of yourself reminds you of your value and your humanity.

4. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is a core part of living a healthy lifestyle. Not only can it help improve your health and reduce stress and anxiety, but also it releases feel-good chemicals in your brain like dopamine and other endorphins. Exercise is an overall mood booster and it distracts from urges to use. 

5. Manage Your Stress

It’s imperative to manage your stress because stress can lead to substance abuse. Many healthy ways to deal with stress include relaxation techniques like meditation and hobbies, exercise, positive thinking, and time management. By better managing your stress, you’re more likely to have a more successful recovery. 

6. Have a Relapse Prevention Plan

Drafting a relapse prevention plan gives you a strong and tangible strategy for staying sober. It should include some of the strategies in this list as well as what ideas you have for what you’ll do when you feel tempted to use again. Include people you can call for support, excuses for getting out of situations where you may be pressured to use, people and places to avoid, and any other ideas you may have to avoid a relapse.

7. Attend Therapy Sessions

Therapy is a big part of addiction treatment, and it should also be a part of living in recovery. There are different modalities of therapy that you can take part in. Having an honest talk with your healthcare and mental healthcare providers can help you choose the best modality. A therapist can help you identify your triggers and suggest healthy strategies for dealing with them. Therapy can also assist you in working through any traumas that may have led to your addiction.

Joining a relapse prevention program is an excellent tool for success. Whether you want to take part in support groups, volunteering, or adult programs, building a prevention plan is going to add to your quality of life.


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