Recovery from an addiction is a long and difficult path to follow. Addiction can be both baffling and cunning. It takes more than just willpower alone to beat it.
According to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40%-60% of addicts will relapse during their recovery. But what is a relapse, and how do you stop one from happening to you?
In this article, we’ll discuss the answers to the question, ‘how do you stop a relapse?’
What Is a Relapse?
A relapse is when you return to your addiction while you’re in recovery for it. Very often, a relapse is a natural part of recovery.
After relapsing, an addict can feel shame and even regret. These difficult negative emotions can cause them to relapse again. Feelings of shame are normal after a relapse, and many addicts pass through a cycle of shame during their recovery from addiction.
What Causes a Relapse?
There are lots of different reasons that someone may relapse after they have been sober for a while. This may include:
- Not being prepared for life after rehab
- Quitting for the wrong reason
- Not having a support system
- Not prioritizing their recovery
Spotting the signs can stop you from relapsing before it happens.
What Can You Do to Prevent a Relapse?
You need to have the right support in place. Join a 12-step program of recovery such as Alcoholics Anonymous. By joining a group, you’ll be able to connect with a sponsor and fellows who are also doing the program. Often, this support can be invaluable.
Sign up for inpatient rehab and work on your addiction with the support of professional therapists and support staff.
Avoid spending time with people who are active in their addiction and surround yourself with supportive friends and family.
Find activities that take your mind away from acting out and your addiction in general. Exercise can be very helpful in fighting addiction.
Learn to identify your triggers. Then, work on managing the areas of your life that cause you the greatest amount of stress in your life.
Lastly, get the help and support of a professional therapist who has experience working with addicts. Together you can start identifying the cause of your addiction. This will help you to strengthen your recovery.
Does Relapsing Mean You’ve Failed in Your Recovery?
No. Relapses are common in recovery. Addiction is powerful, and it takes a lot to break the cycle.
Often, relapse is a step in your recovery from which you learn more about yourself and your addiction. It is possible to turn the negative into a positive learning experience.
How Do You Stop a Relapse?
So, how do you stop a relapse? You do it with the right support systems in place and by engaging in a program of recovery.
Recovery takes hard work and perseverance, and there will be temptation along the way.
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