Relapse Prevention

man looking at the skies

Relapse is when you start using your drug of choice again or decide to use to another substance. There are signs to recognize ways to deal with stress and plans you can make to lessen your chance of relapse. This is Relapse Prevention.

Overview of Relapse Prevention

Even after years of sobriety if you quit working on issues and let life control you there is a greater chance of relapse. Thoughts like, “I can handle it now.”, “everything is fine.”, not needing a spiritual guide or hanging around people who use are all subtle paths leading to relapse.

Addiction rehabilitation is a lifetime issue and you must keep moving forward while putting the past behind you. Even people that are not addicted to a substance often let life and others control them. When life controls you chaos and powerlessness often follow.

Many people tire of hearing about the Strength of a higher power or God, when ultimately a Higher Power is one who will always be there, on your side. When you put too much faith in people you may be let down. People are human but the Strength of God is spiritual and has no limits, only wanting good for you. A Higher Power is sufficient for all your needs.

If things look wrong, remember not to go only by appearances – they pass. This means you put most of your effort in to managing your life, with God as a guide. Ask Him to keep you from danger. If you say you don’t have time you give the message to God that you don’t want any help. (AA refers to this as self will, which leads to chaos.)

*The biggest help in preventing relapse is for you to run your life!

Planning Ways to Deal with Stress

  • What do you think your top stresses are?
  • How do you add to your stress?
  • Do you presently have ways of dealing with stress?
  • List 5 ways you are dealing with stress since in recovery.
  • Look and see if you learned any new ideas in the Post Acute Withdrawal section.

Areas of your body affected by stress are breathing, muscles, pupils of the eye, heart beat, blood flow, and blood pressure.

The Path Leading to Relapse and Stages of Recovery

The Relapse Process

  • Change
  • Stress
  • Denial
  • PAW
  • Behavior Change
  • Breakdown in Social Structure.
  • Loss of Control of Judgment.
  • Loss of Behavior
  • Option Reduction
  • Acute degeneration
  • Addictive Use

Stages of Recovery

  • Pretreatment or Education
  • Stabilization
  • Early Middle Maintenance
  • Foundation
  • Balanced Living
  • Identifying Values
  • Clear Boundaries
  • Strong Social Sober Support
  • Clear Identification of Post Acute Withdrawl

Stop things before they get worse.

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