When you finally decide to live a clean and sober life, one of the most frightening challenges facing you is addiction relapse. Addicts will tell you that the first six to eight months of sobriety are the toughest, and in fact, many addicts do relapse during this dramatic change in life.
However, with each passing day living life without alcohol, drugs, an eating disorder or some other addiction is a day closer to freedom from addiction.
Addiction Relapse Prevention Therapy
You can prepare yourself for the upcoming changes in your daily life. You can employ relapse prevention strategies and tactics that improve the likelihood of enjoying life without addiction.
Things Will Be Different.
Recognize that life will be different. You’ll see life differently. You become more aware of your environment as the haze of addiction clears.
Your senses may be heightened. You see more clearly. Hear the birds sing.
Enjoy eating a healthy diet. Prepare to adapt to these changes. At first, your life may be upset as your activities change. You have more time and less stress when you don’t have to score or get rid of a brain-pounding hangover from binge drinking.
You’ll feel emotions again – some pleasant, some not. You’ll discover how to manage emotions without unhealthy substances or activities. Your routine will change. Your social network will change. Your point of view may change.
Change can be frightening but if you prepare for it, and develop the coping skills that prevent addiction relapse, each day is brighter than the one before as your life takes on meaning and purpose again.
Relapse Is NOT Failure.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse does NOT mean that substance abuse recovery has failed. In the NIDA report, addiction relapses occur at about the same rate as other chronic illness. It’s not only common, but addiction relapse statistics are also in line with other chronic illnesses like diabetes or asthma.
The impact of substance abuse recovery can cause a variety of problems that contribute to a potential relapse after addiction recovery therapy.
Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT)
has been a key component to addiction recovery for over 30 years according to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information. However, the NCBI report is quick to point out that relapse is a “fundamental barrier” to effective treatment of addiction.
RPT employs a cognitive-behavioral strategy designed to prevent relapse after recovery, thus improving the treatment of chronic addiction behaviors.
When you acquire the knowledge and skills that mitigate relapse probability, treatment becomes increasingly effective over time. The longer the addict remains clean and sober, the more likely that individual will control an addiction over the long term.
Behavioral Changes That Ease Addiction Recovery
must be learned to change routines that include substance abuse or dangerous behaviors like gambling or binge eating.
1. Maintain a schedule.
Write it down and keep it where you’ll see it every day. Drifting is dangerous. An organized schedule keeps you occupied, thinking less about an addiction.
2. Use a sponsor or mentor for emotional support.
Long-term sobriety requires long-term solutions. Working with a sponsor or mentor – someone knowledgeable in both addiction and treatment – increases the addict’s resolve to stay clean and sober.
3. Attend your meetings.
Joining a support group, whether a 12-step program or some other popular addiction recovery program, provides experience and one-on-one support when the addict’s resolve begins to weaken.
Kicking an addiction can be difficult and support groups of people who have been where you are now can help you get through the day – one day at a time.
4. Create a list of personal goals.
Reaching a goal is an achievement that builds self-esteem and makes the addict less likely to focus on substance abuse and more likely to focus on goals like finding a new job or renewing relationships with loved ones.
5. Get fit and stay fit. Eat better foods.
Add a brisk walk around the block to your daily routine. Get a good night’s sleep. An addiction taxes the body. Keeping yourself in good health is not only motivational, but it also helps to heal the damage done.
Remember, everything you consume either improves your health or harms your health. Everything – food, drugs, alcohol, tobacco – whatever you put in your body either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Consume healthy foods, avoid unhealthy foods and substances, and you’ll see an improvement in your ability to enjoy sobriety.
Hawaii Island Recovery
Relapse Prevention Therapy for Lifelong Happiness
Get help. Kicking an addiction can be difficult, but with the help of the trained therapist and evidence-based recovery programs, you greatly enhance the chances of addiction recovery when you enter a rehabilitation facility. To learn more about achieving sobriety and preventing relapses, contact an addiction specialist at Hawaii Island Recovery in the Kona district on the beautiful island of Hawaii.