Recovery from alcohol or drug addiction is a prolonged process that doesn’t merely end with the completion of detoxification. Efficient relapse prevention techniques are vital for learning how to live a happy and sober life after leaving Northern Illinois Recovery‘s rehab center.
It’s possible to have an alcohol or drug relapse, even if you have participated in an intensive treatment program involving counseling, close medical monitoring, and group activities. It can be disheartening for you or your loved ones to learn that the finances and time you spent in rehab did not yield expected results. Yet, sobriety is an ongoing process. It matters less that someone relapsed and more that they found the support they need to get back onto the path of sober living. Being aware of relapse prevention techniques can help individuals stay on track and help them get back on track should they stumble.
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Self-Care Relapse Prevention Techniques
According to the New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), fatigue and insomnia are the most common relapse triggers following post-acute withdrawals. You can improve the quality of your sleep through nutrition and physical exercise. Your chance of staying sober after rehab is low if your diet lacks nutrients that include:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin B
There are several self-care techniques to practice for long-term recovery.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), mindfulness can play a significant role in sustaining sobriety, reducing cravings, and increasing acceptance.
Mindfulness is a therapy that uses relaxation techniques to create an intense focus on self and the present. It aims at heightening awareness and clarity. Most mindfulness techniques are short activities that focus on physical presence, breathing, and the surrounding environment.
They encourage you to accept your drug or alcohol cravings, instead of fighting them. Hallmarks of relaxation relapse prevention techniques include meditation, art therapy, Tai chi, acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga.
Join Support Groups
Self-quarantine is a huge factor in both alcohol and drug addiction; thus, your recovery plan should include joining as many functional support groups as possible. Although you’ll find a variety of support groups, the 12-step treatment program is among the most effective options.
A support group provides education, accountability, and a safety net to fall back on. A capable group can decrease the risk of isolation and loneliness, both of which are common triggers for relapse.
You can find the right support groups at rehab. For a holistic approach, therapists usually combine group counseling with other therapies, including:
- Holistic treatment approach
- Individual therapy program
- Dual-diagnosis treatment
- PTSD therapy program
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Change Your Environment
Regardless of the recovery milestones, you achieve, don’t tempt your willpower by putting yourself in challenging or daring situations.
If possible, avoid circumstances where you might feel, acquire, or see others participating in an alcohol or drug use. If a relapse is your fear, genuine friends should know that the strength of your recovery certainly outplays a night out or party of probably triggering events.
It’s essential to build healthy environments for lifelong recovery. If your typical Friday evening hangout was a local pub, find another place to relax for the weekend. For example, you can try the library, park, museum, or beach as a rendezvous point with colleagues, classmates, or friends.
Make a list of external and internal environmental factors to increase awareness of your triggers.
Get Professional Help at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
In most cases, the obstacle to recovery is anxiety, stress, or panic attacks. Fortunately, the Northern Illinois Recovery Center offers various treatment methods that can help you prevent relapse.
Relapse prevention techniques are essential for you to avoid cravings and live a sober life. Our mental health experts are ready to get you started on a customized treatment plan if you or your loved ones need professional help. Contact us at 855.786.1978 to schedule an appointment.
Licensed Physician and Surgeon
Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, and is the medical director at Northern Illinois Recovery Center. She is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at both campuses. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.