There are millions of people in the United States who spend their days and nights trapped in active addiction. It is unfortunate, but only 11% of the drug and alcohol addicted population has access to affordable and effective treatment options. Of those who do get help, a large number of them return to active addiction, however, successful recovery with no relapses is possible if certain actions are taken to ensure relapse prevention.
Should I Attend Treatment?
So, the question you’re probably asking yourself is whether or not treatment is necessary to the recovery process. The truth is, it differs from one person to the next. A six-month residential program may work well for you while your best friend may find outpatient counseling provides the support they need to create a clean and sober life. Regardless of your decision to attend an actual treatment program, it is important to prepare yourself for the inevitable — thoughts of relapse.
It cannot be stressed enough that relapses come in two forms — mental relapse and physical relapse. A mental relapse takes place when you fail to care for your recovery. It often takes place on a subconscious level that you aren’t able to recognize except in hindsight. Many people who relapse first experience a mental relapse, where they begin to isolate and pull away from their chosen program of recovery. They may notice that they are more depressed than usual or very resentful, but since they are not discussing these things with another sober individual, these feelings persist and in time can lead to a physical relapse.
A physical relapse is when you take action on the mental relapses you have had. A physical relapse can also take place on the spur of the moment with no prior mental relapse. Take for example that you have seven years clean and you’re on a business trip to Denver with a new supervisor. While settling in at the hotel room, your supervisor stops by your room and offers you a drink. Although you have not mentally relapsed, your impulse behavior kicks in and before you know it you’re at the bar down in the lobby wondering what happened.
Even those with the best of intentions have been fooled by drugs and alcohol and the trickery of these illnesses, making it all the more important that relapse prevention steps are followed. Just remember, no matter how much time in sobriety you have, relapses can happen to anyone.
5 Unique Relapse Prevention Tips You Need To Know About
1) Go The Spa
Yes, going to the spa is an excellent relapse prevention tool. Acupuncture especially can help relieve stress in the body, which often causes muscle aches and can manifest itself in the form of a relapse. Also with acupuncture, stress can be pinpointed, and alleviate which will help to improve your overall wellbeing. Acupuncture is performed on the basis that the entire human body is a network of energy flowing in various pathways. By keeping the flow and networks in sync, the mind and body are less prone to relapse.
2) Explore Your Creativity
When was the last time you treated your addiction issues with coloring therapy, meditative drawing, music, or creative writing? All of these relapse prevention activities are well suited for those with substance abuse disorder because they allow creativity to flow, which is often a key characteristic of those with addiction.
For instance, by sitting down and drawing out your feelings, or expressing them through written words, you can get the negative thoughts and feelings out of your head and process them in a way that is meaningful to you. Many times, individuals who are going through turbulent times have found solace by engaging in a creative activity that acted as an outlet for their emotions.
3) Follow Doctor’s Order for Medication
Being an addict and going through a treatment program means you’ve heard more than a few times “It’s time to take your meds.” And while taking medicines while in recovery may seem awkward to some people, those who have additional mental health disorders should view their medications as a necessity. If any co-occurring illnesses are present, they must be treated not before the addiction issues, but at the same time. This is why it is so important that you follow doctor’s orders and take medication where necessary.
Journaling has been always been deemed as an effective form of self-reflection. And as you likely already know, reflecting on yourself is the first step in identifying possible relapse situations. Self-reflection also enables you to develop relapse prevention strategies that extend beyond the pencil and paper. If you can, try journaling for at least five minutes a day. After each month, go back over your entries and read through them, they will more than likely be illuminating.
5) Expand Your Knowledge About Drugs, Addiction, And Recovery
Lastly, one of the primary relapse prevention tips you can follow is to learn all you can about drugs, their interactions with the mind and body, how and why they are addictive, and most importantly, how the recovery process works. Please note that the process is never the same for the two people. While the overall program of recovery is similar for each individual, what each person will discover on his or her path to recovery will differ.
Along this same line, it is also important that you understand that the way your recovery will take shape will differ from those around you. You have your own unique story, and as such what you will need in order to find recovery will differ.
Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism or Addiction
Getting clean and sober from drugs and alcohol is the most important thing that an addict or alcoholic can do in their life. It is also the most anxiety producing and frightening thing that they can do in their life, but it doesn’t need to be. With help from the professionals at Elevations Health, you can find a new life in sobriety with the least amount of resistance possible. So call us today at 1-866-200-3224 and begin your journey to recovery the right way, with Elevation Health.