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3 Tips to Prevent Relapse & Stay Sober After Rehab

Recovering from a substance use disorder is a long-term process that doesn’t end immediately with the completion of treatment. Even when days in rehabilitation are over and you’re not actively using drugs or alcohol anymore, your day-to-day life can still be filled with triggers, stressful occurrences, and cravings. In fact, approximately 40 to 60 percent of people who’ve received treatment for a substance use disorder will relapse within a year.

Fortunately, relapse doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It doesn’t negate your previous efforts to stay clean, or mean that any treatment program you attended wasn’t successful. It doesn’t mean that you should use it as an excuse to continue using drugs or alcohol, either. Instead, you should take the time to educate yourself on a few of the best prevention tips to gradually transition into a life of sobriety and address any warning signs of relapse in the future. For more information regarding alcohol addiction treatment in Tampa, please get in touch with a member of our team at Phoenix House Florida.

Related: Overcoming Burnout in Addiction Recovery

Recognize What Your Triggers Are

Triggers are situations, people, activities, or emotions that cause our brains to prompt us to use drugs or alcohol again. Everyone’s triggers are different; however, most people have certain triggers that remind them of their past drug and alcohol use. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the triggers most common among individuals living with a substance use disorder:

  • Stress due to work, school, or family
  • Boredom
  • Guilt and shame
  • Fatigue
  • People you interacted with regularly when high or drunk
  • Places you visited regularly while high or drunk
  • Seeing, hearing, or smelling things associated with your addiction
  • Times of celebration, like holidays or birthdays
  • A major life change

Only once you’ve learned to recognize these triggers can you develop effective coping mechanisms to deal with them. In some circumstances, you may want to avoid these triggers altogether, especially in early recovery.

Develop a Support Network

Trying to stay away from drugs and alcohol and prevent relapse on your own can be a difficult challenge. It’s much more tempting to turn back to substance use when you don’t have someone who can hold you accountable. That’s why it’s so important to have a support network you can turn to when you’re feeling alone or challenged by the pressures of living substance-free. Fortunately, this support network doesn’t necessarily have to be a support group; it just has to be individuals who don’t engage in substance use and are supportive of your substance-free lifestyle.

Find Something You Are Passionate About

When battling a substance use disorder, most people find the majority of their time consumed by obtaining, using, or trying to obtain drugs and alcohol. This leaves very little time for the fulfilling life activities you may have enjoyed before, like spending time with family or participating in a hobby. On the other hand, a good majority of newly sober individuals have difficulty filling up all this newfound free time, which can lead to boredom that can then trigger a relapse.

Therefore, one of the best ways to stop a potential relapse in its tracks is to start pursuing something you’re truly passionate about. Whether it’s participating in a hobby you’ve always wanted to try out or starting a new career, now is the time to explore different activities. This will help to increase your happiness and overall life satisfaction, while decreasing any cravings for drugs and alcohol.

In the event that you feel like you might be on the verge of relapse, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Get in touch with an alcohol abuse treatment center in Tampa like Phoenix House Florida that can help you refocus your recovery efforts in a supportive setting free from drugs and alcohol.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, speak with a specialist regarding alcohol rehab in Tampa. To schedule a consultation with Phoenix House Florida, please request an appointment today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Phoenix House Florida website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by Phoenix House Florida or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

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The Derek Jeter Center

The Derek Jeter Center Adolescent program in Brandon, FL provides comprehensive outpatient services that help families deal with teen substance use and related mental health conditions.

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There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Outpatient treatment must follow a continuum of care that starts with a thorough needs assessment and ends with recovery monitoring.

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For some patients, stepping away from the buzz of everyday life is the only way to make a full recovery. Inpatient treatments help patients refocus their recovery efforts to achieve positive, long-lasting outcomes.