One of the toughest things to learn about substance abuse is that once you are diagnosed, it is always a threat to your well-being. Use disorders can be treated but are never cured. That’s why the journey to recovery doesn’t end at the door of the treatment center. You need to be vigilant about relapse prevention.
Sadly, a large percentage of people who complete treatment suffer a relapse in the first 12 months. This is a measure of how fearsome the disease is. It’s also why once graduating from the treatment clients immediately enter aftercare.
Like treatment itself, aftercare is different for everyone and designed around your unique circumstances. Keeping up with ongoing counseling, attending peer group meetings, taking prescribed medication, if any, or other measures are all vital to successful relapse prevention.
Aftercare for relapse prevention can take many forms. You will likely continue with counseling sessions. This may include one-on-one therapy with a trained addiction counselor. But it could also include group therapy and participation in specialized therapy programs such as outdoor therapy. Developing a hobby or an interest that distracts you from the temptations of drugs and alcohol represents a powerful tool in relapse prevention.
As part of our relapse prevention program in Illinois, the staff at Northern Illinois Recovery Center also believes very strongly in the power of peers. Those who have suffered from addiction know the most about what it’s like.
About 12-Step Programs
Peer-group support for relapse prevention is typically provided through 12-programs. These programs are proven methods for helping people come to terms with who they are, while also providing open and non-judgmental forums for sharing concerns or problems.
Alcoholics Anonymous is the first and probably best known of the 12-step programs. Its methods have since been adopted for other disorders, such as narcotics or gambling.
Peer support provided through 12-step programs can be instrumental in relapse prevention. Peers who have been through the same challenge can help you through stressful periods by reminding you of the value and importance of sobriety.
You can find this type of support in other ways through alumni programs at recovery centers, for instance, or church-based groups.
Changing Your Lifestyle, Making Good Choices
Counseling and 12-step programs do not guarantee relapse prevention. You’ll need to work hard to develop a new lifestyle. You’ll also need support from friends and family. Some of the changes you need to make may include:
- Trim friend groups. You may need to leave behind certain acquaintances to focus on those who love and support your commitment to sobriety.
- Eat well. Keeping yourself nourished is key to maintaining good physical health and a stable outlook.
- Address stress. As situations arise throughout the day, you need to have and practice coping skills to provide release from stress other than drugs or alcohol.
- Deal with peer pressure. You cannot always control the people around you. You will need to develop methods for handling pressure from peers to return to your old ways.
Relapse prevention takes ongoing vigilance. For relapse prevention in Illinois, contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center or another treatment facility near you.
Tackle Relapse Prevention with Northern Illinois Recovery Center
Substance abuse is a serious and incurable illness. Like some illnesses, it can return. Nobody wants that to happen. The staff at Northern Illinois Recovery Center will do everything they can to keep it from happening to you. Our approach focuses on setting up clients for long-term success in living safely, productively, and happily. Our evidence-based techniques are designed to help you remove drugs or alcohol from your system, and then explore addiction therapy services the dynamics that brought you to this point. Trust us for recovery and our relapse prevention program in Illinois. Take the first step by contacting Northern Illinois Recovery Center today at 855.786.1978 for an initial consultation.