Relapse Prevention: The First Steps to Maintaining Sobriety

Relapse Prevention: The First Steps to Maintaining Sobriety

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

After your initial treatment, relapse prevention is your next step toward sobriety and addiction recovery. First Steps Recovery has several tools and resources available to encourage sobriety and prevent relapse.

Understanding Relapse and Relapse Prevention

Relapse is often associated with addiction recovery. Although it’s not guaranteed during your recovery process, you may at some point find yourself triggered and faced with a relapse.

Many personal factors can trigger a relapse. Knowing these triggers and identifying high-risk situations can keep you one step ahead of yourself. Once you know your triggers, you can then learn how to effectively communicate and honor your boundaries to prevent relapse. Relapse prevention is generally based on your ability to manage daily life and potential triggers effectively, without relying on substances. Much like riding a bike without training wheels for the first time, relapse prevention is where you put new tools and skills to the test.

What Can Trigger a Relapse?

Although relapse is not inevitable, it can happen to anyone. Many personal factors can contribute to a relapse. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), avoiding “high-risk” circumstances is a crucial part of relapse prevention.

Here are a few potential high-risk scenarios to consider:

  • Lack of support and isolating yourself
  • Doubting your ability to stay committed
  • Noticing a lack of tangible results and feeling impatient or disappointed about the reality of sobriety
  • Feeling a lack of motivation
  • Remaining in environments and maintaining connections that support substance use
  • Not utilizing recovery networks and support groups when feeling overwhelmed or triggered to use
  • Having untreated mental and physical health disorders
  • Feeling hungry, tired, or irritable (having unmet physical or emotional needs)

Avoiding Relapse

Despite the stigma and personal discomfort that can occur during relapse, it is vital to understand that there is a greater risk of overdose after a period of staying clean. Additionally, it’s important to be especially cautious with opioids and other narcotics.

Learning how to support your health and well-being in the recovery process will leave you better equipped to stay sober and avoid relapse altogether.

When you know and use the right tools to maintain your wellness, it will be easier to navigate the potential triggers and concerns that may otherwise encourage relapse. First Steps Recovery is here to offer the tools and guidance you need to fortify your healing journey.

What Does Relapse Prevention Look Like at First Steps Recovery?

First Steps Recovery is here to help our clients prevent relapse. It is easier to avoid relapse with the proper guidance to keep you on track. Our team at First Steps Recovery offers several options for active addiction treatment and aftercare.

Completing Initial Treatment

When our clients complete their initial treatment with us, we are better able to support their transition into sobriety.

As we continue to collaborate on the best healthcare plan for each individual, we can meet their needs more effectively. Addiction recovery is a unique and personal process. A one-size-fits-all approach is futile when it comes to addressing very specific personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

By treating our clients as individuals and collaborating with them on creating a solid healthcare plan, it is more likely that they will trust the process and commit to a meaningful partnership.

Alumni Support for Relapse Prevention

First Steps Recovery offers continuing support for our clients after they’ve completed our program. We understand that recovery is an ongoing process. For that reason, we continue to share resources and connections with our clients as they continue to make strides toward wellness.

An alumni program is a network of fellow peers in recovery. However, peer support groups are not the only feature of an alumni program. This program also provides clients with access to our staff and to treatment and educational resources.

Holistic Healing Methods for Relapse Prevention

The holistic healing methods we offer make it possible for our clients to access wellness in their daily lives. Holistic practices allow you to take the reins of your healing process and guide your newly developed sense of wellness.

There are many holistic options that you can try from the comfort of your home. One of the best aspects of holistic methods is that they encourage self-awareness and healthy coping skills.

With so many simple and versatile options to choose from, you can surely find a reliable holistic healing method to support your healing. This can include:

  • Physical activities: Body-based healing methods, also known as somatic therapies, encourage physical movement that helps clients feel safer within their bodies and in the world. In addition to somatic therapy sessions, clients can partake in dancing, swimming, or simply jumping around to move stagnant emotional energy out of their bodies.
  • Making mindful changes to your diet: Although there isn’t necessarily one perfect diet for everybody, you can attempt to find and stick to a balanced diet that best suits you.
  • Practice deep breathing techniques: One of the simplest and often forgotten aspects of feeling balanced and present is connecting with the breath.
  • Listening to music: Whether you turn on your favorite tunes or create a song of your own with your favorite instruments, music has been shown to offer healing support.
  • Practicing mindfulness: There are a few ways to get into a more mindful space, such as meditation and journaling. Both of these mindfulness practices create space for you to process your thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness offers the clarity of mind that reactiveness often obscures.

Once you find the healing modalities that work for you, you can incorporate them into your daily life to shape the life you want. First Steps Recovery is here to keep you on track with creating the future that you and your loved ones deserve.

Relapse has become part of the dialogue around addiction treatment and recovery. Although it may seem daunting, it is possible to gain the right tools and resources to avoid relapse entirely. A well-rounded treatment center and any informed healthcare team will understand and encourage relapse prevention tactics. At First Steps Recovery, we offer alumni support tailored to the needs of people in recovery post-treatment. We also offer various holistic healing methods that encourage mental and emotional well-being. If you or a loved one need support with addiction treatment or relapse prevention, our team is here to guide your healing journey. Contact us at (844) 489-0836 to learn more about our services today. 

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