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Blocking the Backslide: 5 Tips for Helping Prevent Relapses

Those trudging through an addiction recovery journey know that the process isn’t easy. From spending time with professionals and making amends with family members to uprooting daily habits and unlearning harmful patterns, recovery encompasses several challenging processes. 

Of course, if you’ve recently recovered from challenges with substance abuse, preventing relapse is likely high on your priority list. Luckily, meeting your recovery goals will be easier when you arm yourself with the tools necessary for success. If you’re ready to block the backslide, check out these five tips for helping prevent relapse. 

Consider attending a treatment program

While those recovering from addiction are tremendously strong, treating dependence on your own is challenging. Instead of going it alone, consider attending a treatment program that can provide a medically safe space for detox and mental health treatment. Professional addiction treatment centers can also support patients with issues related to the addiction, including psychological or medical challenges, social conflicts, or legal matters.

Moreover, treatment programs often support patients in developing life skills during recovery that can help those in recovery cope with outside stressors that make patients more vulnerable to relapse. 

Know your triggers

Getting familiar with your triggers is vital to ensuring that a relapse doesn’t stunt your long-term addiction recovery. Some individuals find that certain people, places, or even times of the year can trigger a craving for substance use. Identifying stimuli that tempt you to use before engaging with people or environments will help prevent slipups and leave you more confident next time you head into a face-off with your addiction. 

Engage in self care

Taking care of yourself is a critical piece of the puzzle regarding getting and staying healthy. If you haven’t put your physical and mental health first in a while, consider making a change and prioritizing your wellbeing. By investing in improved fitness, proper nutrition, and more robust mental health, you’ll increase your chances of maintaining sobriety. 

For example, you can start with daily walks outside. Walks can offer you meditative reflection time while supporting your physical health. Cutting back on processed foods and eating more fruits and vegetables provides your body with the nutrients needed to stay healthy, which will leave you feeling more physically and mentally resilient. 

Plan ahead

Despite your best efforts, you will have to face one of your triggers at one point or another. Mapping out an escape route and an action plan beforehand is essential. Consider writing out a game plan that you’ll implement when faced with a situation that tempts you to backslide, and don’t be afraid to lean on your support system when temptation arises. 

Reach out

Building an accessible and reliable support system during recovery is the bread and butter of healing. Many recovering addicts relapse when faced with social situations that tempt them to participate in substance use—as such, reaching out to a community that is dedicated to your sobriety will make all the difference. 

If you don’t feel confident that you’re surrounded by individuals interested in supporting your recovery, try to locate an addiction recovery community meeting hosted by the city or a local treatment center. 

Wrap up

Taking steps to manage your recovery is a monumental move in the right direction, but the journey doesn’t end with sobriety. By thinking ahead, developing a healthy support network, and prioritizing your wellbeing over all else, you’ll be able to block potential backslides and stay the course you’ve fought so hard to be on.