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Preventing Drug Relapse: Ongoing Care and Support for Lasting Recovery

Preventing Drug Relapse:

As you learn to ride a bike, chances are you’ll slip at some point, maybe skin your knee, or briefly forget how to steer – and you can expect a face plant or two. This is all part of the process as you hone your skills.

Recovery from a substance use disorder is more or less the same. In fact, drug relapse affects roughly 40% to 60% of the people dealing with addiction. Given this high probability, it pays to tap into the right resources or adopt the right tools to stay sober.

For instance, the Last Resort Recovery Center adopts a unique and comprehensive relapse prevention program to help patients overcome addiction. Consider exploring their website or calling the facility to learn more about their programs.

All the same, the idea behind ongoing care and support is to offer you the tools you need to win the battle against drug addiction. But relapse isn’t a death knell for those in recovery – as the bike analogy above clearly illustrates. You can rise again, dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and continue fighting. To ensure lasting recovery, here’re ways your treatment provider can help you:

1. Aftercare Plan

Completing an inpatient or residential program isn’t the end of recovery. In fact, the real work commences thereafter, as you’ll be out of your comfort zone and back in the real world. A comprehensive aftercare plan helps you adjust to your new life and provides a backup in times of trouble.

Such a support plan typically outlines the services you need to remain sober. For instance, your case manager may recommend individual counseling or group therapy sessions, 12-Step meetings, online recovery support, or a sober living facility. The treatment center you go to ultimately determines the type of aftercare plan they offer and the specifics of their services.

2. Accountability and Support

Recovery is a long-term process, and having people in your corner to offer support can significantly raise your odds of long-term recovery. For instance, the Last Resort Recovery Center offers a strong network of people you can turn to, including reliable resources and treatment options, if the need arises.

They also provide family therapy, helping you mend the broken relationships caused by addiction. Family members can also learn more about addiction and offer support during the recovery process.

3. Continued Assessment and Monitoring

Relapse prevention requires ongoing assessment to identify potential triggers or problems. It also involves monitoring to ensure you remain accountable and on track.

This critical step helps anticipate the potential risk of relapse and addresses related issues head-on to avoid a relapse. It also reduces the temptation to return to drugs or alcohol when you start feeling overwhelmed, angry, anxious, bored, or depressed. To this end, an assessment may entail the following:

  • Regular urine tests
  • Random drug screenings
  • Detailed check-ins to monitor progress
  • Group therapy sessions to identify and address underlying triggers

The idea is to empower you to stay in charge of your recovery by equipping you to cope with issues or triggers that may arise. And by tracking your progress, your care provider can know when to step in or offer assistance.

4. Mental Healthcare

Your mind is an incredible asset in the battle against addiction. Hence, your recovery might require mental healthcare to help you cope once you leave the facility. For instance, co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety often contribute to addiction. They can also affect you even after completing treatment.

Thus, you may need to see a mental health professional to manage symptoms and prevent relapse. The care provider may also recommend medication, therapy, or both. Therapy sessions also allow you to develop healthy coping mechanisms, build self-esteem, address unresolved issues that could trigger a relapse, and learn more about addiction.

Likewise, your therapist or counselor may incorporate self-care into your recovery plan to avert stress and boost your mental health. Self-care activities such as yoga, journaling, exercise, and meditation can help ease stress and help you cope with anxiety while keeping you in a positive frame of mind.

5. Filling the Void

Drugs can take up a large chunk of your time, especially if you’re using them excessively. When you’re addicted to drugs, your go-to substance can become your life’s primary focus and consume most of your energy and resources. Thus, once you seek treatment and are on the road to recovery, you need ways to fill the gap and prevent relapse.

Therefore, your aftercare plan should include activities and hobbies that can occupy your time and keep you away from drugs. Developing healthy routines such as engaging in sports, attending workshops, volunteering, reading books, and taking up a craft- whatever you find meaningful, can encourage rediscovery.

Long-term recovery largely depends on the steps you take to prevent relapse. Provided you get the right guidance and are invested in the process, you can achieve lasting sobriety. But even if you fall off your bike, remember to get back on and keep pedaling.

What do you think?

Written by Joshua White

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