How To Avoid Relapse
Relapse often happens when we least expect it. Yet, there are many factors at work long before a
relapse. You can be on the path to relapse weeks before it happens.
Understanding and identifying the things that tempt you toward drug or alcohol use is the first step to
developing a plan to help you to avoid a relapse event. Each individual has his or her own situations
that cause a destructive thought process toward using.
The most common situations are:
Every relapse begins in isolation. Every relapse. There is no exception. When you are feeling like no
one understands, or that you just want to be alone or you become too busy to build meaningful
relationships within your support system, watch out. Be on guard for this. Be intentional to schedule
time EVERY WEEK with the people in your support circle. This does not mean every conversation is
about addiction. Regular social interaction is vital, learning how to relate with others, open your life to
others and have fun without substances. This is an important piece in your sobriety and lasting change.
If you don’t have a support system, contact us and we will connect you with people who aren’t afraid
to jump into life with you.
Emotional situations are a considerable threat to relapse. Stress, fear, frustration, loneliness,
depression, anxiety, and other emotions can lead to a relapse. Why? Because using drugs or alcohol is
a way to cope or escape. Be aware of your emotions and get help from others to cope with your
feelings and avoid destructive behaviors.
Another important area to guard is environment. Drastic changes must be made to avoid people and
places that remind you of using or that generate an emotional response as stated above. Sometimes this
means old friends and maybe even family members. It is necessary for you to make changes and spend
time with people who have the successful life you desire and see “how” they live. Do what they do.
You should also avoid the places where you used to drink or use drugs. Going to parties where people
are drinking socially can be a problem, especially early in recovery. Avoid these for a period of time
and only hang out in alcohol- and drug-free zones. You may have to decline a party or get together
when you know the temptations will be there. Avoid people who encourage you in your old way of
living (i.e. “it’s only one, you deserve to celebrate, etc).
Beginning a new relationship early in recovery is unwise. You are just learning how to live, who you
are sober and how to cope with “real” life. Adding the stress of a relationship is a sure path to relapse.
Until you have an extended period of time in successful living (at least one year), new relationships
should be avoided.
What are the things YOU need to watch out for?
What you can do when you feel like you might relapse:
Be Afraid. Do not trust your thinking.
Remember your thinking got you to where you are. Talk to someone you trust about what you
are thinking and ask them if it is wise. If you are serious about change, you will ask someone
you know will give you the answer you need, not the answer you want.
Be honest. Don’t pretend that you have it all together.
We all need help when our mind and thinking is clouded.
Be prepared. Have a plan. Talk to someone about the plan.
Call a friend. You need an accountability partner you can trust, someone to walk things out with
you. This is why we offer a weekly support group. Our group meets weekly but the
accountability goes far beyond that. Our leaders and group members stay in touch daily if
needed. Community with others is vital to recovery.
Take a walk.Find a hobby.
Pray and ask for prayer from your support group.
You cannot tackle life or sobriety alone. This is a group project.
Think through situations you will be in ahead of time.
If you are attending a work party, decide ahead of time that you will not take a drink. If the
temptation is too big, politely decline the event. Your life is at stake, so one party is not worth
Once you understand the things that tempt you to a relapse, you can be proactive to overcome. Be
prepared. Celebrate another victory in your journey to change, sobriety and new life.
Our purpose at Redeemed2Repeat is to walk alongside, equip and care for those who struggle with
addiction. There is hope, and lasting change is possible.
If you are struggling and need help, contact us at 480.782-0403 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We can HELP!