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How Can We Prevent Relapse?

With all the relapse prevention tools and education out there, we can be well-equipped to prevent relapse in our own lives but still struggle to stay sober. Sometimes as we’re finishing up treatment, we’re feeling good about our progress, hopeful and optimistic. We want to assume that because we’ve achieved sobriety and been successful thus far, the hard part is over, and we can ease up on ourselves. We can be quick to think our work is done once we’ve left our treatment center. We can become complacent, and we can falter in our diligence with our sobriety. We become less cautious. We might expose ourselves to known triggers and sources of temptation. We might stay in contact with partners, friends and family members who pressure us to use because of their own problems with addiction. We’re not being mindful of our inner thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and choices that are contributing to our struggles. How can we help ourselves to offset all of these challenges and prevent relapse?

Emotional Preparation 

When we know ourselves and our needs well, and when we’re honest and upfront with ourselves, we can prepare for even the toughest situations. We can help prepare ourselves by getting to know what our mental and emotional needs are, what we’re sensitive to and triggered by, and which situations and relationships are problematic for us. A lot of this work is intuitive. It’s about getting to know who we are, what we need, what we expect from ourselves and our sobriety, what makes us tick, and what sets us off. This is all part of developing more self-awareness around our sobriety. It’s also about self-discovery, taking inventory of our internal environment and what things might act as causes, contributors or triggers to our substance use. What problems in our lives have we encountered in the past that led to relapse? What keeps us from being able to stay sober? What emotions contribute to our relapse? What things trigger those emotions? What are the thought processes we have that make us relapse? What are the different choices we make?

Doing this internal work is crucial for successfully staying sober and preventing relapse. When we don’t prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally, we can easily default back to our addictive patterns because they are ingrained in us. They are what is most familiar to us. They are our comfort zone. We want to get to know ourselves inside and out in order to prepare for the challenging work of keeping ourselves sober.

The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.