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Best Ways To Prevent a Relapse?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Rainman, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Between 65-80% of all addicts who take a shot at fighting their addictions relapse with some relapsing after being clean for several years.

    Considering that anyone as long as they used drugs can relapse no matter how long it's been since they used, are there any surefire ways to avoid relapsing?
  2. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    Thank you for that number you have given us. It lets us know just how common a relapse is, and as we can see, most recovered addicts might have that possibility of having a relapse. It can be quite scary, frustrating and depressing to be in that state. But as always, a relapse doesn't mean that you're a failure, it's just another bump in the road. Here are some ways to prevent a relapse:

    1. Avoid triggers. If the person is a former alcoholic, then he must avoid certain places like bars or clubs because those places are always full of alcohol. For a former drug addict, he or she must avoid the houses where she was used to doing drugs.

    2. You have to change your circle of people. You cannot hang out with the same people whom you used to do drugs with or drink alcohol with. This way, there is a less chance of being exposed to that addicting substance.

    3. Have a relapse plan. Just in case you do lose your way, have a plan of what you're going to do. When the cravings start bothering you, have that person who you will call to help you resist that urge.

    4. You can try rehab as well. When the cravings are too bad to resist, you can try going to rehab for a few days just to have that safety blanket around you.

    I hope this helps!
    Rainman, gracer and kassie1234 like this.
  3. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    I think @Coolkidhere has summarize all the possible ways to avoid relapsing, but if you want to add something more for the records, developing an improved willpower also help, but to make the right way, it's necessary to understand that will power is about making an unbreakable decision going towards a goal, rather than developing a useless battle to avoid what is the problematic issue each one faces.

    A good example of this comes through people on a diet to lose weight, who goes with the goal in mind to avoid fatty foods rather than pursuing learn to eat healthy by default. Mind works in strange ways, wishing more than anything else, whatever it has been neglected in your plans.
  4. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I honestly never thought there were sure ways to prevent a relapse. It's quite useful what has been mentioned here but I still think whatever methods are employed, it requires loads of effort and determination.
  5. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    I don't think you can prevent a relapse, as much as you plan for it. Sure, you can change your circle of friends, you can get rid of any triggers and you can have a backup plan but if rehab didn't recover you at least 90% the thought of using a substance will always hide in the back of your mind, ready to strike when you're at your lowest point. The best thing is to have someone there that will prevent you.
  6. denise13337

    denise13337 Active Contributor

    Have a routine, if you have a routine to your daily life you'll feel more in control. You'll know what's going on and you will be less likely to get caught off guard. With less chaos in your life you'll be less likely to relapse.
  7. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    The advice from @Coolkidhere was much in line with what I was going to say! Definitely have a plan. If you fall off the wagon you need to have a strategy of how to get back on it again. Also, I liked the part about not frequenting places where you may have often drunk before (bars, clubs and so forth). No point going to places like that when you know they will provide too much temptation.
  8. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    I also think @Coolkidhere has pretty much summarized a good plan for preventing relapses. On my part, I just want to add that sometimes though, even if we say that we have clearly laid out our plans and we still experience relapse, always remember not to be too hard on yourself. If you experience relapse, acknowledge your mistake and move on. Never dwell on the fact that you have relapsed because it will only make you feel bad. Move on and stay focused on your goals and all the relapses will turn into learning points once you overcome them.
  9. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    The best way is to avoid stress. finding a coping mechanism for stress really works. The last thing you need is something making you feel like you need relief so you have to get high or drunk. There are many ways to relieve stress working out meditating or even having a healthier diet. And the most important thing is to not give up.
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    As the OP says, the majority of people trying to recover from an addiction do relapse from time to time but that doesn't mean they're a failure. Quitting an addiction is hard, especially one that your body and even your mind sometimes as become dependant on.

    If a person does relapse, it's important to put it down as a mistake, a one off and try to carry on. Don't dwell on what's happens but try and use that as a way to make you stronger in the future.
    Rainman likes this.
  11. anorexorcist

    anorexorcist Community Champion

    I think that it depends on the person, for example, as for me the better way of avoiding a relapse would be staying away from smoker and try to control myself on stressful situations, but I'm pretty sure that for other people it's all on their mind ... But I also think that somehow relapse is just part of recovery, you need to fall sometimes to get up with more strength.
  12. rEEzytheKiD

    rEEzytheKiD Active Contributor

    This was an excellent post. I actually just relapsed again this past weekend. I find it happens everytime my girlfriend leaves town and this is the first time I've ever heard of having a relapse plan. Your post really helped. Thanks
  13. denise13337

    denise13337 Active Contributor

    I loved reading through some of these suggestions I felt like they were something that would really work for me. Since we are all in the same boat (somewhat) thank you guys for the support.
  14. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I don't think there is really a magic recipe for preventing a relapse. Well, although the person has already recovered from his/her addictions, he/she shouldn't be too complacent about it, and they should never try to test themselves. As much as possible, they should avoid social situations that would just trigger their cravings.
  15. rEEzytheKiD

    rEEzytheKiD Active Contributor

    This is definitely where I could use some improvement. Last weekend I had nothing to do after work. My girlfriend was out of town and I don't really have many close friends so I ended up drinking alone. I always THINK about having a schedule and making sure my plate is full so that I don't have time to get into trouble. The problem is doing it and sticking to it.
  16. Ally

    Ally Member

    I like all the former advice! Routine, having a relapse plan, etc. All very helpful tools to help prevent relapse. I think the general point is that you have to fight like hell for your sobriety. You have to work every day. I would add meditation and even prayer to the list. Prayer, not only in the traditional sense, but whatever that might mean to you. I truly believe regular meditation leads to a greater mastery of your mind and actions... in the long run, a mastery of your addiction! With work, you can prevent a relapse.
  17. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think it will really be depends on a person since as mentioned, even those who are clean for too long can still relapse. But I do believe that there are some who totally get rid of their addictions for the rest of their lives.,
  18. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think the more busy the person, the less chances of relapse. So the more preoccupied the person is, the better. They should also avoid situations where they will be tempted to take drugs or alcohol like parties and the like.
  19. rEEzytheKiD

    rEEzytheKiD Active Contributor

    You have to take everything one step at a time though. Sometimes I thought that I was in a great place having tons of things on my plate and I cracked under the pressure. I think that's because I was trying to do everything alone so maybe have a support system as well as a full plate.
  20. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    I am certain that if the body is fully detoxified they will more easily stay sober. Now just listening or reading statistics like what you are saying can cause a person to relapse. It is suggestive and can influence them. So a strong decision or conviction to stay on track will make all the difference.
    It's like if I say 1 in 5 addicts relapse. I just made that up right. If someone believes that, it will be an excuse to relapse. Like they are that one in five. See what I mean. I think having your own opinion and sticking to it. Not letting outside nonsense like this mess you up. Who cares about statistics? Who cares about what the average is? Doesn't mean you have to believe it or fall prey to it.