How to Avoid Relapse After Rehab

How to Avoid Relapse After Rehab

Completing a treatment program in rehab is a huge achievement for any recovering addict or drug abuser. But unfortunately, after leaving rehab, the battle is less than half over. The real trial takes place in learning to manage habits and avoid relapse after rehab.

Re-orienting in the world as a sober individual after a treatment presents addicts with a host of new challenges, including temptation to use again. Here are tips on how to avoid relapse after rehab.

Continue Therapy

After exiting rehab, many recovering addicts assume that they are on their own — that staying sober is their road to navigate solo. However, that is not the case. One of the best things any recovering addict can do after exiting rehab is to continue therapy.

Upon becoming sober, an addict will be confronted with a world of emotional issues without the numbing agents of drugs and alcohol. Relationships may become challenging, and conflict resolution may seem impossible. The support of a therapist can help navigate these new challenges. Many recovering addicts suggest continuing weekly appointments with a therapist for at least a year or two after getting sober, as well as attending group meetings. These components will complete the healing and provide necessary coping tools for the road ahead.

A great option for drug relapse prevention is to regularly meet with an addiction treatment counselor or other mental health professional to discuss your progress. Ongoing meetings with a professional strengthen an addict’s sobriety by reinforcing the skills learned while in rehabilitation ( There are a few specific types of therapy that are especially beneficial in these situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, teaches addicts how to cope with and avoid situations where drug use is likely to occur.

Find Structure & Support

Forming healthy relationships and creating a structure of emotional support will play a huge role in maintaining sobriety. Healthy relationships offer necessary support during recovery that’s hard to find elsewhere. This support is essential in drug relapse prevention.

Relationships with your family can be strengthened during this challenging period by attending family therapy with a mental health counselor. In these sessions, the addict and their loved ones will work on their communication skills and strengthen the bond that they share through therapy. Most notably, the family will learn to work through potential conflicts in healthy ways and establish a healthy family atmosphere (

Avoid Temptation

In the tenuous weeks, months, and even years following treatment, it’s imperative to to avoid temptation. Recovering addicts will only improve their chances of success by staying out of harm’s way: avoiding bars, night clubs, neighborhoods or environments where they used to drink and use is one of the easiest behavioral-based strategies to prevent relapse. Realizing and exercising willpower consciously is one of the key elements to finding sobriety success after rehab.

Be Patient

Patients and their families all need lots of patience as they wait for the healing to set in after rehab. Volatile emotions, difficulty sleeping, abundant discomfort, and irritability are just a few of the effects both families and addicts can expect after rehab. All parties must also understand that the road to recovery truly is a road, and a long one at that. Addicts must realize that everything they’ve accomplished thus far is essential and something to be proud of, and in time they’ll continue to pave that road.

Keep Your Mind & Body Healthy

An integral part of drug relapse prevention is keeping the mind healthy and focused. Maintain your sobriety by focusing on your career, your education, or achieving any personal goals. As you achieve these goals, you will gain a sense of pride and improve your self-esteem. As these things occur, you will be less tempted to use drugs (

Finding a new hobby, specifically one that promotes health and welnlness, to occupy your mind and time can help provide an outlet for release in the challenging period post-rehab.

Don’t Dwell on Mistakes

The recovery process isn’t easy. And as hard as recovering addicts try, some may slip up and relapse. If this happens, don’t give up. Relapse is a setback, not a finality. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 40 to 60 percent of substance abusers relapse at some point during recovery. Drug relapse prevention is an ongoing process that may need to be adjusted after treatment.

If relapse does occur, it is crucial to immediately seek treatment for yourself or a loved one.

For more information on relapse and recovery, contact HARP Treatment Center today.

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