Relapse Prevention: Tools and Strategies

Sustaining Sobriety Through Coping Mechanisms

Since addiction is classified as a disease, it requires constant monitoring in order to keep it under control. Ensuring that you are taking part in aftercare programs and utilizing trigger management tools means that you are taking the proper care and precautions needed in order to mitigate relapse from occurring.

Developing coping mechanisms and implementing trigger management tools are key factors in sustaining sobriety. When you find yourself in a situation where you feel temptation and pressure to use, it’s important that you implement various coping mechanisms in order to prevent relapse from happening.

Helpful Coping Strategies

Relapse typically falls into three major categories:

  • Physical Relapse: Making the effort to contact former drug dealers
  • Emotional Relapse: Experiencing feelings of sadness, anxiety, depression, and moodiness
  • Mental Relapse: Lying about your actions and becoming secretive

If you or someone close to you is exhibiting any signs of relapse, it’s important that they seek immediate help. If these individuals do not seek help, the disease will continue to worsen as this is the nature of addiction. Recognizing the signs of addiction relapse will help get the individual into the right treatment program before the condition worsens. Oftentimes, attending a short-term inpatient treatment program is required in order to get the individual back on the right track.

Relapse Prevention Techniques

It is not uncommon for recovering addicts to relapse as addiciton is a chronic disease. While relapse can occur, preventing it from happening in the first place is a key factor in long-term success in sobriety. Relapse prevention therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are two great types of relapse prevention therapy that can aid in preventing relapse.

These programs provide education on how to manage the urge to use when you experience these feelings. Skill-building is also an important part of refraining from using substances of abuse and can be constructed through these helpful programs.

Some common relapse prevention tools that individuals can implement are:

  • Avoid putting yourself in risky situations
  • Managing stress
  • Partaking in breathing practices
  • Being mindful of the decisions that you make
  • Avoid situations that may make you feel hungry, angry lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T)

Creating a new life that is free from substance abuse is truly what addiction recovery is all about. Cultivating new habits that are conducive to recovery is an imperative element of the overall recovery process. Sustaining your sobriety is the difficult part as when you are off on your own you must know how to handle urges and temptation when you are confronted with them. Typically, removing yourself altogether is the best way to reduce relapse from happening. This will allow you to mentally re-focus and will allow you the chance to evaluate your situation.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, treatment is available. The sooner you get yourself into treatment, the sooner you can begin to live a meaningful and content life.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.