After going through the recovery process and breaking free from drug addiction, you might feel like it’s now and forever. However, once you’re out of rehab and back into the mainstream, you still have to avoid certain triggers – triggers that can lead to a relapse.
That is why it is important to participate in counselling and family programs so you aren’t tempted to return to old habits. The program you choose then can make a big impact. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, about 23% of people who recover from drug or alcohol addiction have a relapse at some point in their lives.
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Going through a Successful Drug Recovery Program
Given that statistic, it is important to follow a program that offers certain resources during and after drug recovery – resources that will prevent a relapse from happening. To learn how to avoid a relapse then, you first have to define it.
What is a Drug Relapse?
Basically, a relapse is a reactivation of drug-seeking activities or cravings. To avoid this event, the patient must stay away from environments that re-expose them to drugs or alcohol. This is more likely to happen after treatment, as the patient may revisit places or encounter people that spark the occurrence. This leads to a reversal of the gains made during treatment.
Why Do People Relapse after Rehab?
A person may relapse more easily if he or she is still not in the right psychological state of mind as well. However, that is not always the case. In some instances, a relapse may develop after the patient faces certain life stressors. These stressors may involve the loss of a loved one, getting a new job, or entering into a new relationship. The therapy you undergo then must address any possibilities of a relapse situation.
Relapsing is Not Always Obvious
Some patients drift into a relapse, not really realizing it is happening. In this case, the relapse may begin with a few drinks at a bar after work. Research shows you’re more likely to fall back into a pattern of abuse during your first year of sobriety.
Therefore, following a drug and alcohol maintenance program is vital. When you enroll in a program that emphasizes sobriety, this type of situation is less likely to develop.
Setting Goals for Yourself
As a result, goal-setting is important. You can do this by staying healthy or following a balanced diet and exercise plan and getting enough sleep. You also need to stay connected with family and friends and attend counselling and support groups. Journalizing is yet another activity that helps you express your thoughts and emotions constructively.
Reading books or articles for self-improvement will also keep things positive. Growing as a person and following this route will give you the self-confidence you need to avoid a relapse or digress.
Final Few Words
A drug relapse does not have to end your journey to recovery. Anyone who has struggled through addiction knows there is no straight line in rehab. You’re bound to experience ups and downs along the way. However, you can overcome these hurdles successfully – much in the same way you got through each of those moments on your first journey toward recovery.