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Five Tips on How to Avoid Relapse

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Recovery from alcohol or drug addiction is a lifelong process. After you’ve made the decision to quit and taken the steps necessary to no longer feed your addiction, abstaining from using can present yet another difficult obstacle to overcome. Discipline is crucial, and finding local resources and support can help tremendously.

The weeks and months following detox can be the most delicate time of your recovery; you have to somehow manage going back to the same environments and putting yourself in similar situations while changing the actions and behaviors that were previously associated with these places and circumstances. During this transition period, you are especially vulnerable to triggers.

The important thing to remember is that you’ve already taken a huge step toward controlling your addiction. To help you stay in control, here are five tips on how to avoid relapsing:

  1. Express your feelings. Keeping your feelings and emotions to yourself can create tension and lead to a desire to use. Support groups offer safe environments to express yourself freely without having to worry about whether others understand what you’re going through because you are surrounded by people who are dealing with the same issues.
  2. Keep yourself distracted--and healthy. Exercising, playing an instrument, learning a new hobby, and participating in community service are great ways to keep your mind off drugs or alcohol, and they can improve your mental and physical health!
  3. Avoid people who don’t support your recovery. Your journey away from drugs or alcohol is rough enough; your “friends” shouldn’t be making it any worse. Surround yourself with people who truly care about you and your recovery so that, if you start to slip, there are people you can depend on to help you get back on track.
  4. Avoid situations that will make you want to use. If you have to go somewhere that will trigger your desire to use or you have to see someone who you used to use with, make sure you have a plan. You can ask one of your supportive friends to accompany you, or you can ask one of them to call you around the time you’ll be in that place or with that person so that he or she can check up on you and make sure you’re staying strong.
  5. Keep moving forward. If you do slip up, do not consider your attempt at recovery a failure. Instead, pick yourself up and find a way to restore your motivation to stay sober. Contact one of your supportive friends, family members, or mentors to help you get through this tough time.

Source: Orchid Recovery Center