One of the most important aspects of any heroin addiction treatment program and aftercare is relapse prevention. In rehab, you must learn about the relapse process and relapse prevention techniques used to prevent your decline back into substance abuse. Almost everyone in recovery experiences triggers, temptations, and even hiccups in their sobriety. But through effective coping skills and preventive techniques, you can fight these urges to use alcohol or drugs and avoid relapse.
What Triggers Relapse?
Each person has their own unique triggers for relapse. But many prove common from person-to-person. Learning these triggers during a substance abuse treatment program helps you plan for hurdles in your recovery. By recognizing the problems and treating them through relapse prevention techniques, you maintain safety in your sobriety.
Some of the first relapse triggers take place in your earliest days at a residential drug addiction treatment program. These include withdrawal symptoms and post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Most people ending their substance abuse experience anxiety, physical weakness, nausea, sleep problems, irritability, and mood swings. Cravings for your substances also kick in as your recovery begins. A heroin withdrawal management program provides medical intervention to keep you clean and focused on recovery.
If you do not take good care of your personal needs in recovery, you can trigger your path to relapse. Individual needs key to maintaining sobriety include stress management, proper diet, and getting enough sleep. You also need to maintain a good routine and ensure fulfillment in your daily life. Seeing people you once used with, going to places familiar from your days of substance abuse, or stumbling across things that remind you of using can all threaten your recovery.
As you relearn how to function on a daily basis, many things cause stress. These include the new feelings and emotions you once numbed through alcohol or drug abuse. Remember your H.A.L.T. triggers and use relapse prevention techniques on these. H.A.L.T. stands for hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness. Many people have cravings when these feelings are the actual problem.
Other feelings and situations that threaten your sobriety include stressful relationships, sexual activity, isolation, pride, and overconfidence in your recovery.
Important Relapse Prevention Techniques
During your relapse prevention program, you learn to recognize the stages of relapse. Continued engagement in outpatient addiction treatment programs provides professional support from clinicians and therapists. You also learn techniques for stopping this process before emotional and mental relapse turns into actual physical drug or alcohol use.
Of course, the first step to preventing your own relapse is recognizing the signs that your recovery is faltering. For example, identifying your isolation and asking for support. You can also identify anxiety and healthy coping methods like relaxation techniques and improved sleeping, eating, and life schedules.
If these techniques do not stop your journey into relapse, try other methods. These include:
- Practicing self-care
- Remember the one-way cycle of substance abuse
- Telling someone you want to use
- Distracting yourself from your urges
- Waiting 30 minutes when you seek to use
- Sticking to recovery one day at a time
- Seeking relaxation to maintain recovery
If you suffer a physical relapse, the most critical technique at this point is getting back into treatment or recovery. Restart your journey to make yourself stronger and more able to prevent relapse in the future.
Finding the Right Treatment for Your Best Recovery
Learning how to prevent relapse is one of the most important aspects of rehab treatment. It is in detox and rehab that you learn these relapse prevention techniques. Through finding the right fit in these programs, you engage more deeply in your treatment and take greater ownership of your recovery. If you or someone you love suffer addiction to drugs or alcohol, find programs suited to your individual needs and get that help today.