Relapse Prevention Training

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans and can take years to heal from physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. If you’re feeling especially anxious, splashing your face or Relapse Prevention Skills in Recovery putting a damp rag on the back of your neck can be calming. Remember that recovery is not an all-or-nothing process; relapse does not mean one should abandon their goals or give up on their recovery journey.

Relapse Prevention Skills in Recovery

Daily repetition of mindfulness and meditation practice can help ground you in the present moment and reduce the distress you may feel that can push people towards relapse. Feel free to bookmark this page and return to listen to this guided meditation again and again. You may also explore more in-depth meditation instruction in your local community, or online through websites such as those offered by Shinzen Young through his website. Just as no person is perfect, most addiction recoveries experience one or more incidents of addiction relapse.

Understanding Your Relapse

There is one benefit of self-help groups that deserves special attention. They can be obstacles to recovery, because individuals may feel that they have been damaged by their addiction and they don’t deserve recovery or happiness.

During active addiction, you would probably start drinking without regard for the consequences. In recovery, it is vital to develop your foresight to make more logical decisions. This tool can help prevent relapse by allowing you to imagine precisely what using alcohol or drugs might lead to.

Resource Box 3. Relapse Prevention Tool: SOBER Brief Meditation

First, stress and tension are common triggers of relapse. Second, mind-body relaxation helps individuals let go of negative thinking such as dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, which are triggers for relapse. Third, mind-body relaxation is a way of being kind to oneself. The practice of self-care during mind-body relaxation translates into self-care in the rest of life. Part of creating a new life in recovery is finding time to relax. It can refer to an increase in symptoms related to mental illness, substance use or both. Recovery from SUD is a journey of personal growth, learning and developing skills to cope with the risk of relapse that comes at any stage of recovery.

What are 4 risk factors for addiction?

  • Family history of addiction. Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves an increased risk based on genes.
  • Mental health disorder.
  • Peer pressure.
  • Lack of family involvement.
  • Early use.
  • Taking a highly addictive drug.

If you’re not sure how to move through the recovery process, follow one of the relapse prevention plan models that are available. Substance abuse and mental health expert Terry Gorski has a nine-step relapse prevention plan that can help you recognize and manage relapse warning signs. Alan Marlatt, PhD, developed an approach that uses mental, behavioral, and lifestyle choices to prevent relapse. Self-care is a popular term these days, and it’s often used to sell people vacations and spa days.

Top Relapse Prevention Activities

Substance use has become the predominant coping response to meeting life’s challenges. Consequently, individuals with a substance use disorder cannot stop using because they lack the skills needed to cope with these challenges.

Is it normal to relapse?

No matter how diligently you pursue your recovery or how committed you are to lifelong sobriety, there is a chance you will relapse at some point. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates while in recovery are 40 to 60%. After a relapse, many people experience feelings of shame or regret.

When we’re not in a good state of mental health, we put ourselves in high-risk situations for mental relapse and to fall back to old habits. Understanding some triggers and statistics regarding relapse may help you be prepared when faced with this aspect of being in recovery. If you find yourself considering giving in to your drug and alcohol cravings again after a substance abuse treatment, follow these techniques to keep yourself sober.

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