Relapse Prevention During Recovery

Transitioning out of acute recovery into the real world can be daunting. Substance abuse treatment and recovery are often long-term and, for many, lifelong. Staying on track in a less restrictive environment after completing a substance abuse treatment program can be challenging because there are more temptations in the real world. According to studies, relapse rates vary widely from 50-90% depending on the type of addiction, the severity of the substance abuse disorder, and the person. Below are helpful hints to use as you progress from transitioning out of a substance abuse treatment program into lifelong recovery in the real world.  Relapse Prevention During Recovery is an important step.

relax and breathe

Follow the instructions and advice from your treatment recovery team. 

Regardless of your level of care, inpatient rehabilitation, intensive outpatient therapy, residential treatment, or outpatient counseling, your treatment team or therapist should have provided you with a relapse prevention and action plan. This plan should include a relapse action plan, coping skills, behavior modification tools, and a list of resources to use throughout your journey during recovery. Your treatment team may even recommend that you need additional outpatient treatment. Outpatient therapy and community support groups for addiction are essential parts of long-term recovery. Whatever their recommendations are, it is essential to listen to the experts.  


Know your triggers and be prepared for temptation 

Being aware of what triggers your addiction, whether around old drinking buddies, alcohol, or the smell of marijuana, can help you avoid these circumstances and hopefully prevent relapse. Everyone has different triggers, and removing yourself from the situation or using your coping skills to work through these urges is vital for relapse prevention. You do not want to place yourself in an unhealthy environment with a higher risk of relapse. 


Establish an emergency plan 

Establishing a “9-1-1” plan in case you feel helpless or hopeless can help prevent self-harm and destructive behavior. If you feel the urge to use it, follow your emergency plan. This emergency plan should include the contact information of a friend or loved one who has agreed to be with you in an emergency. You should also have the number of your therapist and your treatment center in case you have relapsed or harmed yourself. If you feel your life is in danger, do not hesitate to call the local police or hospital.  


Establish a support system 

You should never embark on the lifelong journey to recovery alone. Before leaving treatment, it is essential to establish a support system. Whether it is close friends and family, relying on an addiction support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, joining an online addiction support group, or developing a relationship with your pastor or local church group, this support system should be trustworthy and reliable. You should feel safe opening up to them. It is also essential to develop a support system within yourself. This can entail doing activities that help relieve stress and urges, such as exercising, journaling, listening to music, or even keeping a diary where you can track your daily progress. 


Stay connected 

Being active in a support group or continuing with outpatient therapy is essential for your long-term progress. Going to meetings or outpatient therapy every week can help you prevent relapse. There are also online support groups where you can log in from the comfort of your own home.  


About AKUA Mind and Body 

AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service mental health and addiction treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for various populations across California. AKUA makes your recovery a priority, not only during the holiday season but throughout the entire year.. AKUA Mind & Body treats co-occurring disorders and works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that treatment is specifically tailored to their needs and not just their disorder. In addition, AKUA Mind & Body offers detoxification, residential treatment programs, and a wide array of outpatient treatment programs and . Regardless of where you are in your recovery process, we want to help. 


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