Relapse often goes hand-in-hand with addiction and recovery. Even if a man went through an intensive inpatient program, and learned strategies to put their dependence on substances behind them, he can often backslide and engage in old, destructive behaviors. That’s why it’s essential to plan ahead and develop relapse prevention coping skills even before you need them.
What Is Relapse?
In basic terms, a relapse occurs when you abstain from using alcohol or other substances and then, either once or many times, you resume the behavior. It’s estimated that approximately 80% percent of relapses occur during the first six months of recovery. This fact underscores how difficult it can be to remain sober, especially once you encounter people, places, and other triggers that caused you to use in the past.
Depending on the substance, you may also be experiencing the ongoing effects of the changes the drug produced in your brain. Whatever the cause, it’s important to have an arsenal of relapse prevention coping skills at hand when you feel the temptation resurfacing.
Warning Signs of a Relapse
Most of the time, relapse isn’t something that happens suddenly. Knowing the risk factors will enable you to recognize them when they’re happening so you can get support before it’s too late. Contributing factors to relapse include the following:
- Emotional or mental health issues that may tempt you to self-medicate with substances
- Conflict with others
- Peer or social pressure, either overt or implied
- Positive celebrations where alcohol or drugs are present
- Isolating yourself from therapy groups or positive connections with others
- Making unattainable goals that set you up for failure and eventual relapse
- Illness or pain
Relapse Prevention Coping Skills
There are definite steps you can take to minimize the risk of relapse. They include the following:
- Deal with your problems as they come along. Ignoring them or “stuffing” your feelings is unhealthy, and can often result in depression and relapse.
- Keep stress levels low by incorporating hobbies, recreation, physical fitness, and positive people into your life.
- Plan ahead for difficult and unavoidable situations.
- Build and maintain a core group of positive, supportive people who will help you stay sober.
Reach Out For Help
If you believe you lost all of your relapse prevention coping skills and started using again, you may be experiencing feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness. You may also be deeply discouraged, and fear that a sober life is beyond your reach. Please don’t continue down this self-destructive path. Instead, learn how Serenity Lodge can transfer relapse back into recovery.
Serenity Lodge is a private, men-only drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located far from the hustle and temptations of the city. Nestled in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, we provide our guests with a complete rehabilitation program that focuses on the person.
While you work with our trained therapists to decipher the causes and triggers of your addiction, you will also have access to opportunities and amenities that will strengthen your body and heal your spirit. The treatment you receive will be specifically tailored to meet your unique physical, psychological and addiction needs and will include many of the following:
- Comprehensive physical, psychological, and addiction evaluation
- Medically supervised detox program off-site
- Addiction therapy interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy
- Social interaction with peers
- Group counseling
- Family support
- Amenities such as a pool, sauna, massage, movie theater, professional recording studio, meditation, nutritional counseling, and more
- Partial hospitalization program
- Alumni support
While you’re here, you’ll come to recognize that relapse is not so much a failure as it’s a sign that you need to ask for support or adopt additional relapse prevention coping skills.
You don’t need to fight addiction alone. Call the compassionate, knowledgeable addiction professionals at Serenity Lodge today at 866-379-4365. Let today be the last day that addiction is in the driver’s seat of your life.