Going through detox and recovery treatment takes courage and personal strength. Avoiding relapse takes even more of these qualities. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn relapse prevention techniques before you leave your treatment facility. Serenity House Detox Florida understands that setbacks are part of the process, but having prevention techniques in your sobriety tool belt will help get you through difficult moments. Call Serenity House Detox Florida today at 866.294.5306 to learn more about relapse prevention plans.
What Does Your Relapse Prevention Plan Include?
The acronym HALT is a reminder to check in with yourself if you urge to use drugs or alcohol. In most cases, you will find that you’re experiencing some other type of discomfort, such as being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. In most cases, if you address that need, the urge to drink or use drugs will fade away. You can also use the following strategies.
1. Know Your Triggers
Triggers are all of those internal and external things that make you think about using. For example, internal triggers may be stress, disappointment, or experiencing feelings of failure. External triggers could be driving past a building where you used to buy drugs or spending time with people you associate with your past behaviors. Try making a list of your triggers to gain a better understanding of your own behavior. Triggers can be anything, even certain smells or music. They are different for everyone, and identifying yours is a crucial part of relapse prevention.
2. Get and Give Support
It’s hard to stay substance-free without a support system. Participating in a 12-step program or other support groups that prioritize sober living is a must for most people in recovery. Support groups help keep those in recovery accountable and provide non-judgmental understanding. These meetings are also a great place to meet new sober friends and participate in substance-free social events. Rebuilding social circles is often one of the most challenging things for people in recovery to do.
It may sound trite, but deep breathing is one of the most effective relapse prevention techniques you can use. Deep breathing releases the “feel-good” brain chemicals you crave when you get tempted to relapse. Repeat the following process as many times as you need to:
- Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose for a count of four
- Hold the breath for a count of seven
- Exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of eight
- Repeat a minimum of four times
With just a few deep breaths, you’ll notice a positive difference in your mood and attitude.
4. Make an Emergency Contact List
Who can you count on if you’re tempted to use or drink? Having a contact list that you can refer to should be part of your relapse prevention plan at any time. People to consider putting on the list may include:
- Therapist, counselor, or life coach
- Closest friends
Your list should consist of people that you know will not judge or criticize. Choose people who have the energy, knowledge, and means to help. Don’t sabotage yourself by calling old drug buddies or even well-meaning people who don’t understand how severe a substance use disorder is.
5. Imagine the Consequences of Relapse
We don’t recommend you spend time thinking romantically about using drugs or alcohol. Instead, try to think about what would happen after a relapse can effectively prevent one. Spend a few moments visualizing the consequences of your choice to use again.
Think of how far you’ve come since you first entered a detox facility many months or years ago. Whom will you disappoint一your spouse or children, your parents? Do you really want to throw all of your progress away?
Seek Relapse Prevention at Serenity House Detox Florida
Relapsing is a constant threat, and even the best relapse prevention plan won’t’ guarantee you never drink or use drugs again. If you do, get help immediately. Accept that you made a mistake, but one mistake doesn’t mean you return to old ways. Call Serenity House Detox Florida today 866.294.5306 if you need help preventing or recovering from a relapse.