The Best Way to Avoid Addiction Relapse

Relapse is always a risk for people in recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD), but you can take steps to avoid addiction relapse and solidify your recovery. The best way to prevent addiction relapse is by starting a relapse prevention program in New Jersey at BlueCrest Recovery. Contact our team online or call 888.292.9652 to learn how to avoid addiction relapse and get started today.

How to Prevent Addiction Relapse

Learning how to avoid addiction relapse requires you to engage in some self-reflection, prepare for future events when relapse may occur, and identify your unique warning signs that you are at risk of relapse soon. To get started, follow these three simple steps.

1. Identify Your Triggers

The first step to avoid relapse is to identify your triggers. Triggers can come from any number of sources, but some common examples include:

  • Places where you used to drink or use drugs
  • Friends who you used with
  • Bars, sports arenas, or music venues
  • Certain family members
  • Experiencing mental health symptoms
  • Going back home
  • Uncomfortable social situations

The list of potential triggers is endless, so you must focus on what affects you the most. Sit down with a journal or piece of paper and consider the scenarios you think may cause a craving to return to substance use, why these people, places, or things are triggering, and what you might do to avoid or prevent them from happening.

2. Prepare for High-Risk Situations

Sometimes, triggering situations are unavoidable. If you are always used to drinking on a plane, for example, there may come a time when you need to take a flight across the country. Preparing for these situations ahead of time and making a plan to stay sober is essential if you want to prevent addiction relapse.

In the example of the plane, you can prevent relapse by packing your credit cards and cash into a checked bag, planning to have a movie to watch during the flight, or making sure that you travel with a person who will hold you accountable for your recovery.

Different high-risk situations call for additional solutions, but by preparing yourself ahead of time, you can avoid the temptation to return to substance use.

3. Learn the Stages of Relapse

Relapse doesn’t typically happen all at once. It usually follows a pattern, and by identifying the early stages of relapse, you can stop yourself from following the pattern that leads to returning to addiction.

Understanding the Stages of Relapse

A simple, three-stage model of relapse may be helpful:

  • The emotional relapse – In this stage, people check out from their recovery and may no longer engage in therapy, seek out support groups, or dedicate their time to the activities that help them maintain their sobriety
  • The mental relapse – You begin planning to drink or use drugs in a specific event or scenario but haven’t actually relapsed
  • The physical relapse – When you finally take a sip of alcohol or a hit of drugs once again

Suppose you can identify when you enter the emotional or mental relapse stages. In that case, you can take action to prevent yourself from physical relapse and avoid the dangers and harms of entering back into addiction. Even at the physical relapse stage, you can choose to recommit yourself to recovery and avoid falling back into addiction completely.

Learn How to Avoid Addiction Relapse at BlueCrest Recovery

At BlueCrest Recovery, our team uses targeted and evidence-based strategies to help people avoid relapse and build lasting lives in recovery. Contact our team online or call 888.292.9652 to learn more about our comprehensive addiction treatment options and start getting the help you need to achieve a lifetime of sobriety.

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