Relapse is common among addiction patients. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 40 to 60 percent of addicts will relapse after getting clean. The NIDA also states that the chances of a patient remaining abstinent from drugs rises if they have been clean for one to three years. After three years, recovery odds remain high and stable.
Here are four ways to be prepared for or prevent relapse.
Have a support system
Family, friends and community support will all help in the recovery process. Attend community support groups, counselling sessions and continue to build strong foundations in all relationships with loved ones. Before you leave your treatment program, create a recovery plan with your counsellor or doctor, and even ask if you can check in with them regularly or if they have any contacts on the outside.
Know the warning signs
There are various situations that can trigger relapse. Some of these triggers include:
- loss of a loved one
- Major financial changes
- Health problems
- Social pressures
- Deteriorating relationships
- Change of employment
Be aware of your personal triggers as this will allow you to be better prepared and proactive when things get tough.
If you know someone who is recovering from addiction, be on the lookout for the following signs to indicate possible relapse:
- Change in social group
- Sudden change in routine—such as missing work
- Avoiding responsibilities
- Deteriorating hygiene
- Poor sleep and eating patterns
- Obsessing over drugs and alcohol
- Showing signs of obsessive behavior
Create a plan
Create a plan that can be implemented if relapse does occur. This can include something simple, such as calling a family friend or attending a group counselling session if cravings occur. Journaling and exercising can also help to release tensions and steer off relapse.
Believe in yourself
Recovery is a lifelong process and each day there is progress being made. Remember your reasons for recovery and always believe in yourself.
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