Developing Coping Strategies to Prevent Relapse

Developing Coping Strategies to Prevent Relapse

Just being in the place or smelling the drinks can be enough to derail your sobriety. That said, now you are really one step ahead of relapse and addiction altogether. You know that you have kicked the deadly habit once and you can do it again. You know the feeling of being clear-headed and you have the skills to achieve your goals. You now have the opportunity to better your odds of staying sober with coping skills to prevent another relapse.

What are the 7 forms of drug abuse?

  • Alcohol: The Most Common Type Of Drug Abuse. Alcohol generates short-term euphoria and sedation.
  • Narcotics. Narcotics derive from the Greek word for benumb (Narko).
  • Amphetamines.
  • Prescription Types of Drug Abuse.
  • Benzodiazepines.
  • Club Drugs.
  • Cocaine & Crack.
  • Hallucinogens.

Exploring these issues allows the practitioner to have a robust conversation with the individual and discuss specific coping strategies. The goal of relapse prevention is to supply patients with skills to cope with addiction and a support system to ensure a successful recovery. Sometimes, individuals don’t take this step of prevention as seriously as they should. But, it is necessary to have skills to cope with difficult times that are a part of life. It can feel like a very lonely and dark time when relapse occurs and individuals fall back into addiction habits. But did you know that 40 to 60 percent of those that have completed their rehab therapy, and moved on to recovery, have experienced a relapse?

Therapists are Standing By to Treat Your Depression, Anxiety or Other Mental Health Needs

Setbacks can set up a vicious cycle, in which individuals see setbacks as confirming their negative view of themselves. Eventually, they stop focusing on the progress they have made and begin to see the road ahead as overwhelming [16]. In mental relapse, there is a war going on inside people’s minds. As individuals go deeper into mental relapse, their cognitive resistance to relapse diminishes and their need for escape increases. Deep breathing releases neurotransmitters in your brain, many of which trigger feel-good chemicals resulting in relaxation, happiness, and pain reduction. Deep breathing, and the resulting increased oxygen flow, also encourages your body to exhale toxins.

  • Its symptoms also tend to be similar for most addictions, unlike acute withdrawal, which tends to have specific symptoms for each addiction [1].
  • Maintaining a sober life after struggling with substance abuse problems can be difficult.
  • Examples of activities can include volunteering, taking up a new hobby, or learning a new skill.

For some, overcoming a substance use disorder can take years of ups and downs. Because recovery is an ongoing process, many individuals experience a relapse – a return to drinking or drug use – over the course of their journey. Researchers estimate that the rate of relapse is about 40 to 60 percent; on par with other chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

Why Does Relapse Happen?

Clinical experience has shown that when clients focus too strongly on how much they used during a lapse, they do not fully appreciate the consequences of one drink. Once an individual has had one drink or one drug use, it may quickly lead to a relapse of uncontrolled using. But more importantly, it usually will lead to a mental relapse of obsessive or uncontrolled thinking about using, which eventually can lead to physical relapse. Just as no person is perfect, most addiction recoveries experience one or more incidents of addiction relapse. This happens when you lose your coping skills and begin to drink alcohol or use a drug after a period of abstinence. Although relapse is very average in the recovery process, it can be dangerous and even fatal, mainly if you use a drug in the same quantity you did before stopping.

The main reason lies in why you started to drink or use drugs in the first place. For most people, substance use relieves physical or psychological pain or helps a person to numb themselves. If your life gets stressful and you lack coping skills for relapse prevention, the chances are good that you will go back to the ineffective coping skills that worked, however poorly, in the past. A trigger is an event or situation that leads the person to relapse. The most common triggers include interruptions in taking regular medications, experiencing an increase in stress and substance use. For individuals with COD, resuming or increasing the use of substances as a response to stress often leads to an increase in their mental health symptoms and vice versa.

Developing Coping Strategies to Prevent Relapse

Similarly, many friends and family members may be involved in substance abuse themselves, and should be avoided in the future (as much as that is feasible) to reduce the chance of relapse. None of this is obvious to the newly recovering person, however. Becoming aware of what the triggers in the environment relapse prevention skills are, and learning strategies for removing and/or avoiding them is an important skill taught in relapse prevention classes. During treatment, individual and group therapy helped you with identifying healthy coping skills. You learned many healthy coping skills that can decrease the risk of relapse.

Relapse risk exists at every level of recovery; therefore, learning and understanding relapse prevention techniques is crucial. When people don’t understand relapse prevention, they think it involves saying no just before they are about to use. But that is the final and most difficult stage to stop, which is why people relapse. If an individual remains in mental relapse long enough without the necessary coping skills, clinical experience has shown they are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol just to escape their turmoil.

Staying Sober: Alcoholism Relapse Prevention Tools

Self-help meetings are great at helping you do this and providing incentives to stay clean, such as coins or key tags earned for increments of sobriety. Knowing how to control your breath and using deep breathing exercises can help you control stress, anxiety, anger, and even fear. Being able to self-regulate your emotions in this way can prevent you from relapsing. This exercise helps you remember the consequences of addiction to prevent you from desiring drugs or alcohol. Mindfulness meditation is a practice that can help you become more self-aware.

relapse prevention skills

Recovering from addiction can take years, even an entire lifetime. Like any other chronic diseases, relapse is not only possible, it’s very likely. Yet, preventing a relapse isn’t always possible, regardless of the treatment you received and techniques you applied. But know that you’re not alone; relapse may occur once or several times following treatment. When they do occur, additional treatment measures should be considered.

High-Risk Situations

The outdoors can be a venue to connect to others socially who have similar viewpoints and similar struggles. Making a list of potential triggers can help you be ready when these triggers occur; doing so will help you gain awareness and reduce the possibility of relapse. You can continue to add to the list as you progress in your recovery. It is important for you to be aware that as you progress, your triggers may change.

It may happen when thoughts of using drugs resurface in the early stages of recovery. By identifying these factors, you can take positive steps to remain on your path to recovery. And the better you are at spotting the signs of possible relapse, the earlier you can take action to ensure long-term sobriety. Completing treatment and learning so much about yourself has allowed you to feel empowered. Your sober life is your new normal, and you continue to make every day your best day. The healthy coping skills that you learned have become daily habits, and life is getting better day by day.