New Year: How To Choose The Best Addiction Treatment Sponsor

Having a sponsor is critical to your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. The level of support they can offer is why you must know how to choose a sponsor for addiction treatment.

With the new year just starting, it is important to plan ahead. A plan of action increases your chances of achieving sobriety and staying sober.

There is no pressure, but the longer you take to stop your addiction habits, the worse they become. Enrolling in addiction treatment is one way to stop it. However, if you have a sponsor, they can keep you motivated when things become difficult for you. With a sponsor, you have a greater chance of staying on the recovery path.

If you are unsure of how to find the right sponsor for your needs, there is no problem. We all learn every day, right? In this article, you will learn tips on picking the right addiction treatment sponsor.

Who is an Addiction Treatment Sponsor?

sponsors

In simple terms, an addiction treatment sponsor is like a mentor or guide who has attained recovery from drugs or alcohol. He or she has worked through the recovery steps and no longer drinks or uses drugs.

Sponsors are senior members of 12-Step therapy groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). They have been in recovery, usually for a year or more.

Hence, they can help you navigate AA or NA membership or answer questions you may have about addiction treatment. They also work on the 12-steps with you and offer accountability. Besides these, you can also confide in your sponsor.

Typically, they understand you and can relate to what you are passing through. Thus, after meetings, you can go to them privately and ask questions you are not comfortable asking during the meeting.

How to Choose a Sponsor for Addiction Treatment

Having an addiction treatment sponsor during recovery is crucial for success. However, you need to choose one who is right for you. They act as support systems during recovery and should not be chosen randomly.

Choosing a sponsor is relatable to preparing for the new year. Among other goals you have for the new year, it is likely that you also want to attain sobriety. If you get the right one, you are one step closer to meeting one of your goals for the new year. Here are some tips on how to choose a sponsor for addiction treatment:

Interview Your Potential Sponsors

interview sponsor

To find the right addiction treatment sponsor, you may conduct interviews with potential sponsors you can choose from. This interview ensures that you end up selecting someone you are compatible with.

Compatibility between you and your sponsor can work together for the long term. Hence, you will not need to be changing sponsors now and then. This means you won’t have to deal with disruptions in your addiction treatment from time to time.

Choose an Experienced Sponsor

Experience is a critical quality a sponsor should have. If your sponsor does not have experience with addiction recovery, they will not be able to guide you successfully.

Hence, it is advised that you find someone who has worked in the 12-steps program for many years. They have to be confident in their sobriety and must have the skills needed to guide you.

Besides being sober for a long time, your sponsor must be active in the program. They must attend meetings regularly. They must also apply the 12-steps to their lives and be exemplary individuals.

Choose an Open-Minded Person

open minded

A good sponsor is someone who is always willing to share strategies that helped them attain sobriety with you. Typically, they recognize that people are different and that you may be in a different circumstance than they were during recovery. Therefore, they must not be judgemental or critical of your efforts. If they do this, they may damage your confidence and self-esteem.

Instead of being critical, good sponsors are open-minded. They understand you may be going through challenges in your life and encourage you to stay on track.

Be Realistic With Your Expectations

While undergoing addiction treatment in Vancouver, you must have realistic expectations from your sponsors. A sponsor’s role in your treatment is to listen to you and give you emotional support. They are not therapists and cannot provide you with therapeutic advice. If you need such, you should see a trained therapist while remaining in contact with your sponsor.

Related article: End Of The Year: Why You Should Celebrate Sobriety Milestones

Your Sponsor Should Be Someone You Trust

One vital tip on how to choose a sponsor for addiction treatment is that you select an honest and trustworthy person. This is essential because you can’t be open with your thoughts if you consider a sponsor to be dishonest. If you don’t trust your sponsor, you will also find it hard to maintain a good relationship with them.

You may also find it hard to decipher if your sponsor is trustworthy or honest after your initial interactions with them. However, don’t hesitate to choose a new sponsor once you discover aspects you are not comfortable with.

Your Sponsor Must Give You Full Attention

full attention

While speaking to your sponsor, you should feel comfortable and confident. You should feel like your voice is being heard and that you are important. Your sponsor needs to be attentive to not just what you say but the things you don’t say. They need to understand you well enough to be able to give you good advice.

Avoid Romantic Distractions With Your Sponsor

In picking the right addiction treatment sponsor, you shouldn’t choose someone you can get romantically involved with. Heterosexuals should choose sponsors of the same sex. Gays should choose sponsors of the opposite sex. Your relationship with your sponsor can become intense.

If a romantic relationship develops between both of you, it can lead to potential problems. Such a relationship may prove to be a major risk factor and can trigger a relapse. Remain focused on your recovery and discard any romantic relationship with a sponsor.

Get Professional Help

You have learned some tips on how to choose a sponsor for addiction treatment. Your sponsor plays a critical role in your addiction recovery, but you have the biggest role to play in remaining sober. Remain committed to your treatment and work the 12-steps so you can have a successful recovery and a good future.

If you need guidance on choosing an addiction treatment sponsor or need help with your addiction recovery, we can provide further assistance. Contact Addiction Healing Centre where you will find all the help you need to recover from your addiction. Our expertise and addiction treatment services are designed to put you on the right path to recovery. Get in touch with us!

Related article: Addiction Treatment: 6 Home Exercises to Get You Through the Winter

Addiction Treatment: 6 Home Exercises to Get You Through the Winter

Relapse is a condition you don’t want to fall into while you are recovering. However, even we though we don’t want it, this situation occurs frequently, especially during winter. Hence, the need for home exercises to get you through winter.

Nobody wants to undergo a relapse. However, there’s something about the winter season that makes it extra challenging for those in addiction recovery. The conditions of the season and other peculiarities make it so. 

For one it’s terribly cold. Furthermore, winter can be pretty lonely and drab. In Canada, the snow makes it extra hard to get out and try some activities. Thankfully, there’s a pretty handy tool that can be useful for your addiction recovery during this period — exercises. 

Numerous winter exercises can boost addiction recovery. The best part is they can be done at home. In this article, we will take a closer look at these exercises. However, we need to take a first look at what causes addiction relapse during winter.

What Causes Addiction Relapse in Winter?

If you were struggling with drugs and are now on your way to recovery, you need to prepare for seasonal changes. For instance, when summer draws to a close, you tend to experience mood changes. In this case, winter is fizzling in, and the days become shorter and colder.

The reduction in the degree of sunlight makes everything somewhat moody. The cold outside also makes it challenging to hang out. Hence, it’s easy to fall into depression, exhaustion, and irritation in the home. If you don’t take care, these can lead to relapse, with most people turning to substance abuse to release doses of dopamine for them.

While the latter part of this article explains how to combat relapse in this period, we’ll take a brief look at the conditions that can cause this relapse. One of the common conditions here is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is the form of depression that comes with seasonal changes. You may have also heard of holiday blues, but we’ll come to that later.

SAD is one of the many reasons you need to master home exercises to get you through winter. It is more common as the environment transits to winter. SAD also occurs during spring and early summer, but it is not as prominent in these seasons as it is in winter.

At first, the symptoms of SAD are all mild. As the season progresses, it worsens. Depression hits, in this season, almost every day. You’ll notice a low energy level, coupled with an inability to concentrate. You’ll also see changes in your appetite. You may even lose interest in the activities that once made you gleeful.

More than ever, in this period, you need exercises to help with your addiction recovery. Exercises are vital to maintaining your recovery streak. 

Holiday blues, as mentioned above, is also a common cause of relapse during winter. This condition is not yet scientifically adopted as a cause of relapse. However, it’s worth noting. From the name, you can tell it relates to the holidays.

The holidays towards the end of the year all fall to winter. In this season, most offices are closed, and families are expected to gather. You may not know, but this status quo leads many people to what is called the holiday blues.

It happens when you spend the holidays reflecting, sad, lonely, anxious, and depressed. Most people feel these effects because they can’t spend the time with family, rejoicing and celebrating. Most times, this may be beyond your control. You probably can’t help but feel the pressure that comes with expectations.

The season is one of high emotions and demand. This can leave you stressed out in no time. In a bid to find some relief, you may find yourself back in your addiction. Holiday blues are not as intense as clinical depression, but if it persists for too long, it’s headed there. 

However, even at its lowest intensity, it can disrupt recovery by causing a relapse. If you ever reach this point, then it becomes imperative to reach out to professionals for addiction treatment in Vancouver

Great Exercises to Get you Through the Cold Winter

Since you can’t go to the gym, home exercises to get you through winter are the next best thing . As of now, these are the best exercises for the holiday season.

Strolling

Staying indoors all through the winter season can make you depressed faster than you think. This is especially true if you are the type that likes going out. If you are undergoing recovery from a long-term addiction, you need to go out. It will help if you take strolls that will distract your mind.

You should also take these strolls to public places. You don’t have to come in contact with anyone. You can go to the park. As far as it’s a place where you don’t get to be ‘alone.’ You can also take a stroll with a family member. Taking a walk around the neighborhood will help you relax and decompress.

Hiking

This is one of the best exercises for the holiday season. The level of alertness and consciousness this activity offers will take your mind off any temptations and possible relapse triggers. Hence, you can always count on it. Go hiking as frequently as you can.

Also, time spent with the different elements of nature will leave you in a good mood. The mountains, the trees, the breeze, they will all leave you happy and motivated.

Yoga

You don’t need to get out of your home to reap the benefits of yoga. While it works on your body, it also helps your mind meditate. There are different yoga types. However, you should go for the more relaxing ones.

Dancing

An exercise that doesn’t feel like one? Dancing is your best bet. If you have your family and friends around to do it with, it’s the best feeling ever. You can also invite your friends for a dance session. 

Team Sports

If you have a large space in your home and a large family, you should suggest team sports. Getting people together for a game, laughing, and catching fun is a great way to take your mind off any temptations. It is also a chance to meet new people if you are inviting your friends’ friends. You can try out basketball, football, tennis and other indoor games.

Drug Treatment Rehab

Final Take

Irrespective of your chosen home exercises to get you through winter, you’ll be able to achieve the goal — sobriety through the holidays. Exercises can help you stay in check when your therapist or dedicated support group isn’t there. 

Strolling is a great way to release dopamine and put you in a better mood. In the same vein, indoor team sports can help put you in a better overall mood.

 

Does The Cold Weather Affect Addiction Recovery?

Welcome again to that time of the year when things become cold, slow, icy, and there are many festivities. The time when you hope the cold weather will not affect your addiction recovery. Understandably, you have these worries and you’re afraid that you won’t last the winter without relapsing. 

To help deal with these worries it’s imperative for you to understand how cold weather can affect your addiction recovery. When the weather gets cold, it affects not just your body but also your mind. 

The way the cold affects your mind is not direct, but it can have a lasting impact on your mind. Remember, the mind is a key part of addiction recovery. In a nutshell, the cold weather can affect addiction recovery. 

Winter days are typically short and dull, giving you fewer reasons and opportunities to be outdoors. Also, stress may set in as you try to combine holiday festivities with your everyday life. 

This makes it easy for you to fall into the winter slump and experience winter blues. And when the blues get bad, addiction relapse may come knocking.

How Does Winter Affect Addiction Recovery?

Does The Cold Weather Affect Addiction Recovery

The cold weather affects addiction recovery in a lot of ways. While the effects aren’t usually direct, they create situations that can trigger an addiction relapse. These are the situations you need to watch out for.

Relapse triggers caused by the cold weather

Here’s are the important ones:

Seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.)

According to the Canadian mental health association, about 20% of Canadians suffer from the seasonal affective disorder. A lot of these people have a history with addiction, with some people still in recovery. S.A.D affects most people in winter when the weather gets dull and cold. You can refer to it as seasonal depression.

S.A.D causes people to become irritable, sluggish and unmotivated. You will find people suffering from S.A.D sleeping and eating a lot. Also, they will consume a lot of sweets and carbs while feeling sorry for themselves. If you find yourself exhibiting any of these symptoms at certain times of the year, you may be suffering from S.A.D. 

Most of the symptoms of S.A.D are factors that trigger relapse in former addicts and people still recovering from addiction. It’s associated feelings of sluggishness, irritability, and cravings can trigger your addiction urges. This can lead to a relapse if you do not check these urges in the early stages.

Social Isolation

Addiction Recovery

Addicts tend to isolate themselves from people; they keep to themselves a lot and usually avoid going out. You probably keep to yourself because you feel shame for your addiction and don’t want people to know. This is a major symptom of addiction and a major trigger for relapse.

During the cold winter, people usually have fewer reasons to go out. There are numerous holidays, the days are cold and dull, and you want to sleep in all day. Sleeping in all day by yourself means you will spend a lot of time alone. When you spend too much time alone, you have more time to entertain negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts give birth to negative habits, or in the case of addicts, bring the negative habits back to life. The cold weather can affect your addiction recovery when it forces you to spend too much time alone indoors. And, too many negative thoughts can trigger an addiction relapse.

Stress

This is not very common, and you may be wondering how can I even get stressed in winter? The thing is, there are a lot of holidays and fun activities during winter. 

However, it is difficult to do these things because of the cold, the ice and the snow. By the end of the usually short winter days, you will feel like you had a long day.

Winter days are typically short, but it is harder to get things done on winter days. And you usually have a lot to do on these short days. Unless you decide to be lazy, it is hard to escape that stress. 

Stress is a common trigger for relapse. You’re more vulnerable to indulging in your old habits when you’re tired.

Low energy

Yes, winter blues are a thing, and they’re pretty common among people recovering from addiction. Cold days are dull days; what do you get when you add cold and dullness? Low energy! This is just you resonating with the dull energy in your environment; it is normal. 

You’re not depressed, you’re just feeling lazy, tired, and everything feels like a drag. If this is a constant feeling for you, you should seek addiction treatment in Vancouver to prevent it from triggering your addiction.

On days when you lack energy, you generally want to spice things up to get back in your groove. That’s when the thoughts of going back to your addictions pop up. You start remembering how fun your addiction was, and this triggers the relapse cycle.  

Lack of exercise

Lack of exercise

Unless you’re a fitness buff or have specific body goals, the cold is enough to prevent you from exercising. It is even enough to keep you from walking the usual distances you walk. You’re less likely to go for a walk, try to run or even leave the house at all.

We understand it’s freezing outside, and you don’t want to wade through the snow or brave the cold. Not when you have your warm, comfortable and fuzzy little corner in your apartment. As a result, it’s easy to start indulging yourself in some laziness and stop exercising because of the cold. But do you know what’s also easy?

Falling back into the addiction you’re recovering from! Regular exercises help to keep your mind off your addiction and ignore your urges. But what happens when you stop exercising? There’s nothing to distract you from your addiction while you recover. 

Since nothing is distracting you anymore, the urges weigh heavily on your mind. Before you know what’s happening, you’re in the emotional relapse stage, and you’re falling back into addiction.

Boredom

You don’t have to worry about boredom if the cold doesn’t stop you from participating in the usual fun activities you do. However, most people tend to sleep and do nothing on cold days. By the end of the day, you wake up feeling bored and hungry.

When you’re bored, you’re receptive to a lot of ideas —anything that will help get the mood up. This is when the idea of indulging in your previous addiction comes in. You may be able to dismiss it the first time, but it will get harder as you repeat the same cycle for days.

The cold weather will most probably not make you start having your urges or directly cause you to relapse. However, the cold weather can affect your addiction recovery in other ways. It can cause you to experience these triggers, and you will find yourself indulging in your old habits again.

Addiction Recovery in the Winter Holidays

You already know how cold weather can affect addiction treatment and recovery, so you need to take extra care. Try to spend time outside and around the people that make you happy. Exercise, stay active, walk your pet, make sure you do things that will aid your addiction recovery.

Conclusion

Do not underestimate the impact of the cold weather on addiction recovery. The cold weather affects your addiction recovery in many ways (most of them are indirect). Take care to watch out for any of the triggers mentioned above during the winter holidays. 

Here’s What To Expect During Addiction Treatment

Most addicts don’t know what to expect during addiction treatments, hence they refuse to get the treatments they need. It is okay to feel uneasy and nervous during your first drug addiction rehab. Even if this isn’t your first time, these feelings of nervousness may still come around. 

However, it is hugely important that you take the all-important first step to get addiction treatment. To ease any nervousness, you must know what to expect during addiction treatment.

There are several addiction treatment centres in Vancouver with the same standard routine. 

A typical addiction treatment process is one under professional supervision. As cases may differ, you may need medical support before starting the main routine in rehab. Others may need emotional support during their early days of recovery. Either way, you will need well-trained medical personnel to help during your addiction recovery process.

In this article, we will discuss the features of professional addiction treatment. Also, we will provide detailed information on what a typical day in rehab is like.

What To Expect During Your First Day of Addiction Treatment 

The process of addiction treatment follows a standard routine in all treatment centers. Below are basic things to expect on your first day of addiction treatment in Vancouver

The first stage of the addiction treatment process is the admission stage. It is the first and most crucial stage. Here, you start by taking an interview. You will provide the staff members with information that will help them draw out a treatment plan for you. Although this stage can be tiring and overwhelming, it is very essential.

During your interviews, there are segments that you will participate in. Each segment is to get specific information from you. The segments consist of the following:

Medical assessment

Prolonged drug use comes with physical and mental side effects. A medical personnel, be it a doctor or nurse, will conduct a physical examination on you. The examination is to ensure you are fit to go through the addiction treatment process.

Physiological analysis 

A good number of people arrive at rehab with issues that are drug-related. A good addiction rehab center in Vancouver features facilities for physiological assessment. The physiological assessment, carried out by a therapist or psychiatrist, is to diagnose other disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, or anxiety.

A treatment plan

Drawing out a treatment plan is the final stage of your interview at the rehab. With the information from your medical and physiological assessment, a professional will craft out a treatment plan. This plan is essential to make your time in rehab a productive one.

Here, your addiction treatment expert will map out milestones you need to hit on the way to complete sobriety. Furthermore, this plan will be useful for keeping tabs on your progress during addiction treatment.

What Happens During the Detox Process

Part of what to expect during addiction treatment includes the detox process. The first and major step in rehab after your initial assessment is detox. 

A detoxification process is one that completely removes alcohol or addictive substances from your body. This process is the most clinical part of the treatment that you will experience. During detox, individual experiences can vary. Some may find it difficult, others not as difficult. But this is dependent on the type of substance.

Imagine abusing a particular substance to the paling where your body system is already dependent on that substance. But before recovery can begin, the substance has to be completely absent in your body system. In a short while, your body has to adjust to not being dependent on that substance. This is what detox is all about. 

Depending on the intensity of the addiction, you may be gradually weaned off the substance. Or you may be instructed to stop using abruptly. Sometimes, the medical care provider may prescribe sedatives and other medication. 

A typical detoxification process can take days or a week. It depends on how long you have been using a substance. During this period, you will be given adequate support and proper medical attention. Here, the addiction treatment centre in Vancouver will be focused on helping you regain your strength. This way, you’ll be strong enough to take on the rest of your addiction treatment.

What to Expect During a Typical Day in a Rehab

After going through the detox process, you are now ready for rehab. The number of days you will spend in rehab can range from 30 to 90 days. Knowledge of what to expect during addiction treatment will be incomplete without info on how rehab works. So, here are the important details. 

Rehab doesn’t just focus on helping you overcome addiction. It also centers on developing new and healthy habits for you. 

Professional addiction treatment features a safe and supportive environment for quick recovery. It is organized and structured with therapies and activities that will help attain this goal.

All the routines and activities in the rehab are designed to help you manage drug abuse triggers. Below is what a typical daily procedure for drug rehab is like. 

Morning session

During morning sessions, be sure to have a sumptuous meal before you start your daily routine. Also, some addiction treatment centres in Vancouver offer yoga classes to help train and build your mind. 

After breakfast, there is a group session often led by a therapist or counsellor. The therapist will discuss topics related to addiction and how to manage the physiological strain that comes with it.

Afternoon session

Afternoon sessions are the most intensive of the sessions. Sure, you will get to rest in between morning and afternoon sessions. At noon, after lunch, you may engage in a series of therapeutic sessions. They include:

Individual therapy 

This particular therapy is solely between you and your therapist. You are free to open up to your therapist, communicating your concerns and fears. It allows your therapist to know your weaknesses and how to strengthen them.

One of the most common effective methods in addiction treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). During CBT sessions, your therapist identifies and sharpens your responses to certain triggers. After identifying them, they will help you develop newer and healthier responses to those triggers.

Group therapy 

Most recovering addicts prefer this session to other sessions because it is the most interactive. During this session, you will all come together in a group, discussing your struggles with addiction. You will share stories and talk about personal addiction methods you tried before rehab. 

Group members even have a sense of trust for one another during their stay in rehab. This trust and sense of fellowship can even extend to a relationship outside the rehab. With benefits like this, it is easy to see that group therapy has proven to be an effective method for emotional healing.

Evening sessions 

Before bedtime, you may engage in a small group session. These small groups are typically for a 12-step program. A 12-step program is a common approach in the addiction treatment process. It centers on equipping patients with long-standing sobriety management tools.

The 12-step plan is to create a community of people who trust and understand each other’s differences. You will also get to meet your sponsor and people who have passed through the process — giving you the motivation you need.  A good night’s rest is important for maximum participation during the day. Hence, bedtime at a reasonable hour is recommended.

To Wrap It Up

Knowing what to expect during addiction treatments will prepare you mentally for the addiction treatment process. In this article, we emphasize the need for a detox process. More importantly, we discuss what a typical day in drug rehab should look like. 

Additionally, we do not underemphasize the need for professional services during this period. Due to the side effects of withdrawal, it is hugely recommended that you attempt quitting substance abuse with the help of experts.

 

Can I Prevent a Relapse After Addiction Treatment?

One of the hardest milestones for addicts is to prevent addiction relapse. This statement is not to get you scared. Instead, it’s a fact. Remember, addiction happens because your brain gets so used to a particular habit. As a result, your brain seems to be dependent on the substance. When you crave it, it always seems like nothing else matters till you satisfy that craving. 

Now, to fight the addiction, you decide to get professional help. Then, over the course of the treatment, you find yourself falling back into the habit of abusing a particular substance. This can be a very frustrating moment. Relapse makes you think you cannot overcome the addiction. This is not true.

Relapse is a part of the recovery process, and you can prevent it. It’s hard, but it is not impossible to do. When you take a disciplined approach to living out the relapse prevention techniques, you’d be fine. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but this article discusses everything to know about avoiding addiction relapse.

What Causes Addiction Relapse?

Knowing the causative factors is the first step in the bid to prevent addiction relapse. First of all, you should know that relapse is fairly common. Studies prove that about two-third of persons relapse within months of starting addiction treatment. This is such a scary statistic.

However, relapse doesn’t happen in one day. It is the culmination of certain situations that involve what we in the addiction treatment world call “triggers “. Typically, this may be situations, people and places that induce cravings for a particular substance or drug. 

Stress

Stress is the most common cause of relapse during addiction treatment. And thanks to the never-changing status-quo of the world, stress is more of a lifestyle. People’s daily lives are arguably stressful, making it so hard to prevent addiction relapse.

When you feel stressed, your brain kicks into ‘want’ mode. In many cases, the addictive substance leaves an impression of being a coping mechanism on your brain. The reason you were addicted in the first place is that you enjoyed indulging. The momentary relief it offers makes you keep going back to it.

Therefore, when most recovering addicts are stressed, they tend to go back to the addictive substance. This is why professional addiction treatment in Vancouver is important. Through this treatment, you can learn healthy tips to handle stress.

People and places that trigger the addiction

You harm your addiction recovery treatment when you keep relationships with certain people. People who fall under this category are people you used to abuse substances with. Going to places where you used to abuse a particular substance can also trigger a relapse. 

Hence, it’s best to avoid both – people and places – who fall into the category above. Instead, you should seek new, positive relationships.

Challenges

For most addicts, the use of that substance or indulging in that act helps them cope. The removal of this coping mechanism can make it seem like you are losing your mind. 

In cases like this, it’s best to find positive coping mechanisms. These may include; journaling, praying, meditating, etc. 

Stages of Addiction Relapse; the Warning Signs

Earlier in this article, we made it clear that relapse can happen pretty quickly. This is true. But, relapse doesn’t occur suddenly. There is always a build-up. This build-up can skip your consciousness. This is why many people think relapse occurs in “one-second”.

There are three stages of addiction relapse. It is at the end of the third stage that most people realize what’s going on. Here is a breakdown of how addiction relapse happens:

The Emotional Relapse – First Stage

At this stage, you aren’t even worrying about how to avoid addiction relapse. This is because you are not thinking of using the substance. Most likely, you’re fresh from addiction rehab and still strong in the conviction to stay sober. 

However, your actions, inactions, and behaviours may be leading to usage. This is the stage where triggers come into play. To stop things from worsening, you need to accept that these triggers exist. And then, find ways to avoid them. A counsellor or the influence of a support group can prove useful here.

The Mental Relapse – Second Stage

When you don’t take control of your emotions, you find yourself here. At this stage, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to prevent addiction relapse. 

You start feeling strange about yourself. The thoughts of using or drinking start popping up in your mind. You need to get out of this stage as soon as possible. You need to get help. If not, you’ll relapse.

Realization can also help at this stage but it requires further steps. Don’t fuel the craving by giving yourself excuses. Be resolute as ever and force yourself to take actions that help you cope.

The Physical Relapse – Final Stage

Failing at the first two stages leads you here – the act. Once you indulge in the substance, you feel remorse. You begin to question yourself, “how did it happen.” You feel disappointment, guilt, hopelessness, and immense shame.

While getting to this stage is bad, it’s not the end of the world. You should get back to addiction recovery treatments. Don’t be scared of starting over. But this time, ensure you take better steps to prevent addiction relapse.

How to Avoid Addiction Relapse

If you’ve ever asked “can I prevent a relapse after addiction treatment?”, the answer is “yes.” The various aspects of addiction we have discussed so far contain tips to prevent addiction relapse. However, here is a more detailed list of survival tips to leverage:

Be wary of temptations

As much as you can, you should do away with the things that trigger drug or alcohol cravings. As listed above, take note, and be as conscious of them as you can.

Develop a support network

The importance of family and friends in the mental stage of addiction relapse is important. They should be a part of your primary support network. You should surround yourself with positivity. People who cheer you on as you maintain your “sober streak” should be around you.

While doing this, make sure to sever every unhealthy relationship. You shouldn’t be scared of going to the extreme. Block numbers and unfollow people. Do whatever it takes to get rid of possible triggers.

Create a schedule

You should go beyond relying on your support system. You need to create a system for yourself that has all your activities planned. Idle moments can result in relapse. As much as possible, get yourself going with activities that require your concentration.

Don’t get too relaxed

Don’t think you’ve won because you have a long streak of being sober. Always remain grounded. Keep yourself in check as much as possible. Be sure to keep up with support group meetings. 

If you have a sponsor, this is the time to check-in with them regularly. After long periods of sobriety, having someone you are accountable to can be a great boost.

Don’t see relapse as a failure

When relapse happens, you shouldn’t see yourself as a failure. There is no need to cower in the corner of your room, crying. Now is the time to dig and get professional addiction treatment. Take the time to develop the skills that will be necessary to prevent addiction relapse in the future.

Final Take

You can always prevent addiction relapse, but it takes a lot of discipline. As much as these steps outlined above will help, you need a support system. Friends who support your sobriety can be a great boost.