Relapse Prevention: How to Avoid Relapse

1. When day to day problems and negative feelings take place handle them at that moment in time. This prevents pressure and stress from building up and taking over your rational thoughts.

2. Gain support and trust. Family, friends, your boss, a co-worker, a support group or a counselor can talk with you about the pressures you are feeling in recovery. They can watch with you for the warning signs of relapse and help you handle the stress. Let them know your goals and your plans so that they can help you out.

3. It is important to find a way to reduce stress in your life without turning to drugs or alcohol. Take time to yourself to do things you enjoy such as taking a walk, reading a book and so forth. Some find it helpful to make a schedule for their day and then fill in their free time with these enjoyable hobbies.

4. Identify and plan for high-risk situations. Everyone who has recovered from alcohol and drug addiction faces high-risk situations at some time – situations where you are more likely to drink or use drugs. These situations can be handled more easily if you know ahead of time what you will do when put in a difficult scenario. Have at least three ways to handle a high-risk situation, so that if one does not work, you do not give up. Practice what you will do or say, so you do not worry about what to do under pressure and the words come easily.

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