Is there any greater fear in a recovering addict’s mind than the possibility of a relapse? Seeking help and overcoming addiction can be difficult, but it is only the first battle in a lifelong struggle. Even if you are secure in your recovery, you should give thought to how to prevent addiction relapse.
How to prevent a relapse will vary from person to person, and it is important to develop a relapse prevention plan that can provide you with the comfort and structure you need to weather the storm of addictive thoughts.
Understanding the Signs of Relapse
Before learning how to prevent a relapse and before developing a relapse prevention plan, you need to understand the signs of relapse so that you can see them coming before it’s too late.
Common signs of an oncoming relapse include:
- Feelings of irritability, impatience, depression, or hopelessness, experiencing an explosive temper or feeling uncomfortable in your own skin
- Recurring fantasies about “getting away from it all” and escaping your current reality, such as vacationing, finding a new job, or getting a divorce
- Blowing off your responsibilities or avoiding meetings with your support system
- Isolating yourself and/or not wanting to socialize
- Substituting with other addictions
These are not the only signs of a possible relapse, but if you suffer from one or more of them, or find yourself suffering from addictive cravings, it is time to go to your relapse prevention plan.
Having a Relapse Prevention Plan
Learning how to prevent a relapse is different for each person, and you will need to develop your own relapse prevention plan based on the behaviors that are most effective in silencing your own addictive personality traits.
Some of the most helpful plans include these steps:
- Increase contact with your support system
- Talk about your feelings, aggravations, and worries with someone who understands
- Start or continue with meditation
- Connect with your higher power
- Help another recovering addict
- Get a full night’s sleep, every night
- Eat three meals each day
- Don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired—remember to HALT these behaviors
- Write a gratitude list to help develop a better perspective on your life
- Attend more meetings if you are in a traditional recovery or 12-step program
As part of The Nelson Method, we work with our clients to develop relapse prevention plans that are suited to their personal needs and lifestyles.
Learn More About Preventing Relapse
If you would like to learn more about preventing relapse or how to develop a successful relapse prevention plan, feel free to contact us for more information. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone.