Tips for Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention programs are extremely beneficial before leaving treatment and entering a new life of recovery. Focusing on tips for relapse prevention can help ensure success. It is important to fully understand the signs of relapse, how to reinforce what you have learned in a relapse prevention program, and where to turn when you feel your recovery is threatened. 

You will not only learn tips for relapse prevention from clinicians and case managers, but you will also learn tips from your peers. Treatment is a time when you have the chance to focus on connecting with your peers. Use this time to learn the tips and tricks that work for them. Treatment at the Lakehouse Recovery Center will provide you with the opportunity to learn from both our staff and your peers’ tips to prevent relapse.

Individualized Relapse Prevention

Just as there is no one right treatment plan for addiction recovery, there is no one right way to prevent relapse. Relapse prevention is comprised of coping techniques to help you handle the stress that comes with recovery. First, you must identify potential triggers. This will be specific to you. Some common triggers are holidays and special occasions, parties where alcohol may be present, or being around other people who are suffering from addiction.

Unfortunately, you cannot account for all triggers. Some may sneak up on you, such as a sudden sense of loneliness or work stress. Lakehouse works with clients to better prepare them for life after treatment and helps you identify the expected and the unexpected triggers you will face. 

You get individualized treatment, and as we get to know you better, we will work with you to help identify triggers and potential concerns for relapse. Your counselor and case manager will meet with you weekly to address any needs while in treatment. They will also check in on where you are excelling and where you may want to improve your treatment, as well as determine what we can do to make your experience even more successful.

Risks of Relapse

We generally assign a negative connotation to the word relapse. For many, it sounds like failure, but it is considered a natural part of sobriety. If a relapse does happen, it is important to not see it as a failure. It is a setback, but the goal of relapse prevention is to prepare you for handling the relapse. 

There is so much shame associated with experiencing a relapse. Cravings are normal and we encourage you to not be afraid to tell someone about the cravings you are experiencing. By verbalizing it, you take away whatever power that craving has over you and can begin to focus on how to conquer it.

The importance of relapse prevention lies in the dangers posed by relapse. Overdose is a major risk for relapse. Your body becomes accustomed to abstaining from a substance, so when relapse occurs, your body cannot handle it. This causes overdose, which can lead to death. 

Aside from overdose, if you associate relapse with feelings of shame or failure, you may have difficulty getting back on the wagon. You may become discouraged and not think it is worth finding your way back to recovery. One setback does not have to mean the end of recovery. You can pick yourself up, reach out to your support network, and strategize a game plan to get yourself back on the road to recovery.

Getting Back on Track

There are many ways you can learn how to handle a relapse. Some of these include:

  • Plan ahead for the negative feelings you may feel after relapse. Though these feelings are troubling, they can motivate you to get yourself back on a path to recovery. 
  • Reach out to your supporters. It can be challenging to tell people you had a setback. But by letting them know, you will be able to receive support as you make your way back towards recovery. 
  • Consider re-entering treatment. This decision will depend on the severity of the relapse. It also depends on what you need in order to cope and move forward in a healthy way.
  • Try to think positively. Despite the negative feelings you may be experiencing, try to remain positive and believe in yourself.

There is a phenomenon called “revolving door syndrome.” This term expresses a pattern of release relapse and rehab that some experience. In this scenario, the individual is not truly committed to a life of recovery. Be mindful of these compulsive patterns. If your heart is not fully focused on achieving a life of recovery, then you risk doing more harm than good to your mental and physical well-being.

If you ever find yourself struggling to handle the reality of a relapse, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Lakehouse. The last thing we want is for you to feel like you have failed because of a relapse. We will support you as your make your way back to recovery. Together, we can get you back on your path to recovery today. 

Over the years, we’ve come to acknowledge relapse as a natural part of the recovery process. People experience relapse for different reasons. Relapse is frequently the result of specific triggers. Through relapse prevention counseling, you’ll be able to better identify these triggers and how to cope with them. Relapse prevention can also help you learn how to handle relapse. This means being prepared for the feelings of guilt or shame you’ll most likely experience. Relapse can feel like a failure, but it’s not. Relapse is simply a setback or stepping stone within your recovery journey. This is why we emphasize the importance of a support network, recovery plan, and will to maintain sobriety. By having these, you have all the tools you’ll need to bounce back from relapse. If you’re struggling to handle the outcome of a recent relapse, call the Lakehouse Recovery Center today at (877) 762-3707.