Relapse prevention is one of the many tools taught to patients in rehabilitation treatment for addiction and associated mental health issues. Recovery is many things, the most important of which being empowered in choosing abstinence in the face of relapse.
Relapse Prevention In 7 Questions
- Which patterns of thinking are the most harmful before you use drugs and alcohol? Becoming mindfully aware of our thought patterns before we reach for a drink or a drug can be the last barrier between long-term abstinent recovery and relapse. Stress, depression, anxiety, thoughts of low self-esteem, and more can inspire substance use.
- What are your triggering situations? Sometimes our thoughts, feelings, mental state, and environment can become a jumbled mess. At the core we have identifiable issues like feeling left out, feeling unimportant, neglect, abandonment, or trauma.
- What are the signs your emotional recovery is struggling? Emotional recovery refers to the way we take care of our mental health, specifically our emotions. When we ignore, stuff, or deny our emotions, we cause ourselves a tremendous amount of emotional pain which can cause relapse.
- What will happen if you decide to use drugs and alcohol? Play the situation out. Perhaps there is a brief moment of relief immediately after consuming drugs and alcohol. What happens next? We have to “play the tape” all the way through and take the many negative consequences of our decision to relapse into consideration.
- What are you grateful for? Gratitude is an essential practice for long-term abstinent recovery. We can feel driven to use drugs and alcohol when we aren’t grateful for our life in recovery. Recovery isn’t always easy, and life can certainly present its challenges. When we lose sight of our gratitude to be able to live, we seek refuge in drugs and alcohol.
- What do you want to achieve in your recovery? Living a life of recovery presents endless opportunities and chances. Before returning to drugs and alcohol, it can help to think of everything we have yet to do. One of the problematic thought patterns in addiction is “I can do it later”. Sadly, the stark reality of addiction is that there may not be a “later”. Addiction is chronic, progressive, and often fatal. There simply are no guarantees.
- How can you help yourself avoid relapse right now? During treatment, we learn a wide variety of tools and techniques to help support is in a do-or-don’t moment. Calling a friend, walking away, going to a meeting, or asking for help from a stranger can help you avoid picking up a drink or a drug.
Our goal at Castle Craig is to send each graduate of our residential programme into life with optimum mental, physical, and spiritual health. Proudly serving over 10,000 patients for over 25 years, our high success rates stand as testimony to our compassionate care. For more information, please call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked January 28, 2020