Relapse prevention tips and tools will help you and your loved one on their journey to long-term recovery. Here are some of the main reasons addicts and alcoholics will relapse and what you can do to prevent it.

More: Relapse Warning Signs & Triggers

Relapse Prevention 101

Unwilling to listen to suggestions

A major indicator for relapse prevention is when addicted individuals lack willingness to listen to suggestions.  When they aren’t willing to listen, they may suffer consequences because not wanting to hear advice means they probably won’t take it either.  Not only is this close-mindedness frustrating, but it shows they are isolating and slipping away in recovery.

Not helping others

Not helping others by not giving away what was so freely given to them can prevent an addicted individual from being grateful.  This can cause a lack of humility, which can keep individuals wanting more when they should be remaining appreciative.  Helping others is a vital aspect of the program.  There are various ways to lend a helping hand by reaching out to others.  Not working with others doesn’t mean an individual is bound to relapse.  However, if an addicted individual has relapsed and they weren’t actively helping another suffering addicted individual, it could be a contributing factor as to why they went back to active use.  Working with another alcoholic and/or addict helps remind addicted individuals what it was like when they were out there using, to remain grateful, and brings purpose into life to share strength, experience, and hope that recovery is possible from the seemingly hopeless state of mind.

Not attending meetings and not talking to sober network

By not attending 12-step meetings, reaching out to sober contacts, and communicating with a sponsor, major red flags are raised.  These are vital components adding up to make a strong program of recovery and essentially help in maintaining an individual’s recovery.  Relapse prevention begins with ensuring an addicted individual is regularly in contact with their sponsor, attending their home group with supplementary meetings, and calling sober supports.  The importance behind this is the foundation of authenticity is created from the camaraderie in the fellowship when communication is made.  If there is no communication, then there is no mutual trust or bonding to be built. This means no solution will have the opportunity to be heard or shared.

Resorting back to former people, places, and things

This is negative because people, places, and things can take addicted individuals back to relapse.  Individuals should be straying away from what they know no longer serves them, but some tend to resort back to comfortable and familiar sensations.  This highlights the importance of reaching out to others in the program and regular attendance of fellowship meetings.

Living in dishonesty

Living in dishonesty is vital.  This behavior can cover an addicted individual in absolute peril.  When the individual is unable to determine fact from fiction and withholds information from others, they are living a dishonest life that prevents them from furthering in their recovery.  Living a dishonest life pulls an addicted individual away from recovery and pushes them right back to where they began with substances to lead them straight toward a relapse.

Lack of working on regular program of recovery

 A key piece to understand for relapse prevention is that working a program of recovery requires regular maintenance.  Lacking the ability to maintain this regularly can push an addicted individual right into relapse because they aren’t keeping up with a consistent routine to adhere to treating the lifelong disease.  A program of recovery may include working the steps, working with others like having a sponsor and/or sponsee, or doing service work like chairing a meeting.

These are reasons why relapse may occur as part of relapse prevention, but there are additional factors as to why addicted individuals may resort back to use.  The best suggestion to maintain sobriety would be to remain constantly working on a program of recovery and continue reaching out with other individuals in the recovering community.  Build a network and support team.  You never have to be alone like you may have felt active in addiction.

Related: Jellinek Curve Infographic: Addiction To Recovery

Are you still actively drinking and drugging now feeling hopeless in addiction?  You don’t have to stay feeling sick and tired in this disease.  Contact The Watershed now and begin living a new way of live today.  

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