Relapse prevention is one of the most important tools you have in overcoming addiction. Both men and women with addiction face a mountain to overcome when they work on getting sober. Once you get to the peak, the last thing you want to do is to have obstacles that make it possible for you to continue to live a healthy lifestyle. By developing a relapse prevention plan as part of the addiction treatment programs in Florida, you may be able to avoid some of those pitfalls.
Relapse Is a Real Risk
After drug or alcohol treatment, you may feel empowered. You may recognize that, right now, you have the opportunity to live your life the way you desire. Because there is no cure for addiction, and there are risks along the path, especially right after recovery, you need a relapse prevention plan.
It is a simple guide that helps you know what to do if you are at risk of using again. Most often, you will work with your addiction counselor to create this plan. Once in place, you can rely on it anytime you feel at risk as well as any addiction aftercare programs in Florida.
Address Your Triggers
The main component of relapse prevention is to have a plan in place to manage triggers. These are things that make you think about using it again. Triggers can be anything. For example, for some people, hanging out with friends who you used to drink with is a trigger, especially if you are in the same surroundings. For others, triggers relate to stress and anxiety. You may start thinking about using drugs when your frustration level rises.
Your plan, then, should outline what each of your triggers is. This helps to bring awareness to what they are. Whenever possible, you will want to avoid them. Yet, for some triggers, like stress, you’ll need to know what to do when you cannot avoid them. This may include reaching out to a friend or turning to your addiction treatment team.
Cravings are mostly gone when you leave drug and alcohol treatment, but they can come back, especially if you are surrounded by triggers or the substances you used to use. To avoid cravings, you’ll need to work hard to stay healthy and to focus on living your sober lifestyle. Cravings may also signal a time to get into a meeting, whether it is a peer-oriented or a professional treatment center meeting.
Have an Action Plan
When triggers and cravings happen, you will need to know what specific actions to take. Your relapse prevention plan will include this type of action plan. If you are thinking about using, you’ll want to work through these steps to get help to avoid the outcome.
- Who do you call when you feel the need to use right now?
- What tools are available to you locally for immediate help, such as AA meetings?
- Who is your mentor to rely on in a moment of weakness?
- If you do use, what do you do then?
- Where can you get treatment immediately?
Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Another part of your relapse prevention plan is to have a set of healthy things to do that encourage you to stay on the right path. That includes things like:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Engaging in stress-relieving activities
- Writing down what you are grateful for each day
- Attending support meetings
When it comes to living a sober lifestyle, many small things become critical factors in the healing process, especially over the long term. Your relapse prevention plan needs to give you tools to reflect on every day to help you to stay on the right path. Yet, it also needs to tell you how to get help from Florida outpatient rehab programs if something does not go the way you desire.