Inpatient treatment in an addiction rehab program is only a small part of the lifelong process of staying healthy. Once you’re no longer in an inpatient facility, you have to try to stay sober for the rest of your life, but that’s not always easy. You need the skills and knowledge to successfully prevent relapse, so check out these useful tips for coping with cravings.
Identify and Avoid Relapse Triggers
Triggers vary between individuals. As someone who has struggled with alcoholism for years, you understand your unique relapse triggers better than anyone. Triggers may include people, songs, TV shows, activities, places, and emotional states. To prevent relapse, you must always list these triggers and be aware of them. You should also have some ideas to deal with each trigger in various situations. When you have a solid plan to avoid or mitigate the effects of your triggers, preventing relapse is much easier.
Find a Stable Housing Situation
Preventing relapse is very difficult if you don’t live in a setting conducive to long-term sobriety. Living in neighborhoods near bars or with friends who constantly drink can be very triggering for many alcoholics, and living with strangers in a roommate situation can also be incredibly risky. You don’t know if any of them consume alcohol or engage in triggering behaviors, and you don’t have much recourse when they do things that could be detrimental to your recovery. Ideally, you will live far away from drinking establishments, and your cohabitants will be aware of your alcoholism and supportive of your recovery efforts.
Follow the Three Ps of Recovery
While your goals and desires should change and evolve throughout your life, it’s important to always have some purpose as you make it through each day. In an addiction treatment program, your purposes are simple; you just want to get sober as quickly as possible. However, you may feel lost without a clear purpose after getting through a program. Your purpose in life should encapsulate the things you’re living healthily and avoiding relapse for. With your purpose in mind, you’ll always have a reason to think twice when experiencing cravings or encountering temptations.
In an addiction recovery program, patients learn all kinds of communication skills, thought patterns, and coping strategies to deal with stressful situations and maintain healthy boundaries. To use these skills effectively, you need to practice them constantly. Initially, you won’t always succeed, so using these coping mechanisms will often be frustrating. However, you will gain a mastery of these skills over time, and their everyday implementation will become second nature.
Staying sober is a lifelong process. If you don’t consistently put your coping skills into practice for the rest of your life after making it through rehab, then your circumstances can become much more stressful. You will be more likely to relapse when your environment isn’t fairly harmonious. Thus, you need to continue applying the lessons you learned in rehab to stay sober in the long run. There will be easy days and difficult days, and you must be ready for both if you want to succeed.
Put Together a Relapse Prevention Plan
When you’re in a crisis, you don’t want to have to move forward without a solid plan. A relapse prevention plan will help you make the right choices when you’re dealing with intense cravings or emotional turmoil. Your relapse prevention plan should include your purpose, emergency contacts, triggers, stress management techniques, topics discussed in recovery programs, financial plans, basic material needs, medications or medical therapies that you need, sources of spiritual comfort, and more. The plan should encapsulate your long-term goals and any emergency procedures to help you stay sober. Discuss your plan with a licensed addiction therapist for more insight into its strengths and weaknesses.
Craft a Solid Plan To Prevent Relapse
Avoiding relapse should be your top priority in life. If you fall back into the cycle of alcoholism, everything you live for may eventually fall apart. Contact Sabino Recovery today to find out more about sustainable long-term sobriety solutions.