Research shows that approximately half the people in recovery will relapse at least once. Following a treatment plan will help avoid relapse, and so will avoiding high-risk situations. If a relapse happens, it is not a failure. Don’t think your treatment plan isn’t working or that all your efforts have been in vain. Use relapse as an opportunity to reset. Look at your relapse prevention strategies and figure out how to fine-tune them. Find a meeting with your support group or make an appointment with a counselor.
Sobriety requires immense inner strength and dedication to avoid slipping back into the cycle of addiction. It’s not a static goal, but something that a person needs to work toward each and every day throughout their life. There will be times of increased temptation when it may be tough to remain true to your goal of addiction recovery, and sometimes you may falter in your resolve. Relapse is not an uncommon experience for many individuals who are working towards a sustained recovery. Fortunately, the best addiction treatment programs ensure that their clients are armed with the tools and skills they need to reduce the risk of relapse through a relapse prevention program or comprehensive aftercare plan.
Risk of Relapse
While successfully completing a residential addiction treatment program is certainly one major milestone and an occasion deserving of celebration, it is far from the end of a person’s recovery journey. In fact, many of the most challenging times may lie ahead after you return to your home and community, where some stressors and factors could increase your risk of relapse, such as:
- Feeling isolated and alone
- Trauma, loss, or grief
- Stressful life events
- Pressure from individuals with still use drugs or abuse alcohol
- Exposure to trigger situations
- Untreated symptoms of a co-occurring mental illness
- Questioning one’s commitment to sober living
It’s important to understand the risk of relapse and to have a clear understanding of what it means.
How to Stay Sober
Having a detailed aftercare plan in place after being discharged from residential addiction treatment is a key component to avoiding relapse, especially in the early days of addiction recovery. Your aftercare plan should include a list of your existing supports and can provide direction for how to access community-based services that will be most beneficial to you. Some helpful ideas for managing your sobriety and staying true to your recovery plan include:
Make a Recovery Plan at SBT
At Solution Based Treatment, our relapse prevention program offers the tools and proper support for our clients to achieve sustained sobriety. Addiction recovery does not end when you leave the drug treatment center. It is a lifelong journey. Traveling the path to recovery is rewarding and worth the effort. It also brings some steep climbs and a few potholes along the way. During a person’s first year of sobriety, it is especially important to have the support of trusted therapists and friends to help keep you on the right path.