Addiction Relapse Prevention & Recovery

Reasons Why People Relapse

Reasons why people relapse back into using drugs & alcohol

When a person has been sober for a period of time, but then resumes using his or her drug of choice, it is known as a relapse. While relapsing can be a demoralizing experience, it does not mean that a person has failed. Relapsing is quite common among those in rehab, and it can be viewed as a setback that can ultimately work to make the person’s resolve to remain sober stronger in the long run.

The following are among the many reasons that can cause an individual to relapse into drug or alcohol use:

  • Failing to follow through on the aftercare services that were offered
  • Experiencing a significant amount of stress in one’s professional or personal life
  • Going through a divorce or separation
  • Believing that one can use his or her substance of choice again and be able to stop without a problem
  • Placing oneself in an environment where substance abuse is prevalent
  • Associating with people who are not supportive of one’s recovery
  • Suffering a trauma

How to Prevent Relapse

How to prevent relapsing back into using drugs & alcohol

The aforementioned list includes things that most, if not all, people will experience at some point in their lifetimes. For this reason, it is important to understand ways in which a person can cope with unpleasant circumstances or distressing emotions. While receiving rehab, at a licensed addiction treatment center, individuals will likely learn coping skills and relapse prevention tactics that can benefit them when they face temptation. However, even when armed with the knowledge as to how to prevent relapsing, it can still be an ongoing battle. The following are some steps that you can take in order to have the best chance to prevent a relapse from occurring:

  • Be an active part of the discharge planning process with your treatment provider, ensuring that you understand what options are available to you.
  • If your treatment provider does not set you up with suggestions for continuing care services, seek out guidance from another mental health or addiction treatment center.
  • Avoid situations where you know that substances will be used.
  • Do not associate with people who encouraged your drug or alcohol use in the past.
  • Attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings regularly.
  • Seek out a sponsor and remain in regular contact with him or her.
  • Consider becoming a sponsor yourself as doing so can encourage you to be more vigilant about maintaining your sobriety.
  • Make a concerted effort to practice your coping skills you learned in rehab daily.
  • Begin participating in new hobbies or activities that can take your mind off of your desire to use substances.
  • Maintain open communication with close friends and family members about your recovery. Share with them the goals you have as to how you can prevent relapsing, and allow them to hold you accountable.

If you do relapse, do not let yourself feel as though you have failed or feel as though you are weak. Allow it to make you stronger and use it as motivation to refrain from future use.

Addictions come in all forms. Regardless of what type of addiction a person is suffering from, it will inevitably have a negative impact on all facets of his or her life. Whether a person has developed an addiction to alcohol, heroin, cocaine, prescription medications, or any other type of substance, the challenges associated with overcoming that addiction can be overwhelming. For this reason, when a person makes the courageous decision to receive addiction rehab from an addiction treatment center to work towards gaining sobriety, it should be celebrated as the monumental achievement that it is.

There are many different levels of care that are available for individuals in Virginia who are working to overcome an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Depending on the specific substance that a person is using, as well as the specific psychological and physical effects that have arisen as a result of that use, different levels of rehab will be appropriate. Regardless of whether it is inpatient, residential, or outpatient treatment center in Virginia, completing any kind of treatment does not mean that a person is cured. Recovery is a life-long process that individuals must continue to work at every day.

When a person completes rehab, the professionals who provided his or her care should devise a thorough discharge plan for him or her to follow once he or she has left the treatment center. In doing so, individuals are made aware of the options they have for receiving ongoing support. By taking advantage of the suggestions made by one’s treatment providers, the risk of relapsing can be greatly reduced.

If you have any questions about continuing care options or have experienced a relapse and would like support in regaining sobriety and maintaining it for the long-term, please contact the caring professionals at Life Center of Galax in Virginia. We can help your recovery journey be one of health and happiness.

My life had been overrun by my addiction. The Life Center of Galax taught me that recovery was possible, through hard work and dedication, and I am capable of living a life free of addiction.

– Matthew
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