Many people undervalue preventing relapse as a part of the recovery experience. The reality is that relapse is a very real and not uncommon danger when it comes to working back toward sobriety after issues of substance abuse. In order to establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle after treatment for addiction, the patient needs to have some knowledge of how to combat the chance of relapsing and how to overcome cravings that may arise.

Strategies for Successfully Preventing Relapse

Wherever treatment was completed, steps need to be taken afterward to complete the process of recovery. Thinking of the experience as finished after the ‘end’ of treatment can lead people to be more easily blindsided by cravings and triggers which might then lead to relapse (which is a person’s return to heavy alcohol or drug use following a period of abstinence).

Thankfully, addiction experts are able to offer the insight and guidance that can aid a patient in preventing relapse. Whether this education is contained to the period of treatment or continues past that time, it’s a necessary piece of recovery. Depending on the treatment center, there are a lot of programs created with this goal in mind, such as “mindfulness-based relapse prevention.” This and other programs aid the individual in developing the skills needed for the solid foundation of a healthy lifestyle, such as the ability to overcome cravings.

Preventing relapse should go hand in hand with a patient’s understanding of their own experience and personal process with addiction, recovery, and other, associated subjects. Whether the person reflects on these experiences alone, in a group, or with a single therapist, the reflection is key in that it allows  them to identify their triggers more easily. After that, he or she can discern the most effective way to avoid those triggers and to overcome cravings if they appear.

Studies show that some of the many factors that can contribute to a higher risk of relapse are:

  • Entering into situations where the substance that had been abused is, or could be, present
  • Not having a belief or confidence in one’s ability to become sober or to recover fully from addiction
  • Buying into misunderstandings and prejudices that are spread as a result of common misconceptions
  • Not really having an understanding about preventing relapse or the threat of relapse in general

The key to a true, healthy lifestyle following addiction treatment is to find a balance within one’s life. Preventing relapse also becomes easier once the patient is able to establish a schedule day-to-day that keeps him or her occupied with productive tasks and activities. Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid some kind of contact with triggers, so make sure that you have some techniques under your belt to combat these cravings when they arrive. Know that everyone who has made it through to the other side of substance abuse has to deal with this same issue, so you aren’t alone in the effort.

To give yourself the best chance possible for preventing relapse after treatment for addiction, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.