Review And Update The Relapse Prevention Plan
A plan isnt a plan if its not reviewed and revised based on situations that occur during execution. A large majority of treatment programs include the development of a relapse prevention plan.
This plan includes personalized red flags or warning signs your loved one has self-identified. Be familiar with the warning signs and action items your loved one intends to use to stop the snowball towards relapse.
Marijuana Relapse Prevention Tips From Experts Who Know
A drug relapse is a real and ever-present threat to your ongoing recovery. Itâs when you start using a drug again after staying off it for a while. It can lead to dangerous behaviors that could result in physical, mental, or emotional harm to yourself or others.
As youâre going through rehab for marijuana addiction, you can practice certain habits that lower your chances of relapsing. Follow these expert tips on marijuana relapse prevention.
How Can Relapse Be Prevented
To prevent relapse, a person must first understand which specific triggers make them feel vulnerable. While its not always possible to completely avoid them, becoming self-aware of the physical, environmental, and mental triggers that cause cravings is a crucial step in recovery. Many people find it beneficial to work with a counselor or therapist to identify triggers and learn healthy ways to react and cope.
Ramp up Treatment
Taking action early can stop a relapse from occurring. If a person in recovery is worried about relapsing, they should proactively reach out to their doctor or addiction treatment program to adjust their existing plan. This may mean adding a new component of treatment, such as medication-assisted treatment or increasing therapy sessions.
Build a Support System
Although a person might feel guilty or embarrassed, seeking support is one of the best things they can do to prevent a relapse from happening. Family and friends can provide positive encouragement, while support groups offer a non-judgmental environment to learn how other people in the same situation were able to cope and overcome it.
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You Quit Before And You Can Do It Again
Optimism is very important when you want to help your loved one get back on track. Having just hit a major obstacle, she is not likely to be feeling very optimistic. You may not be feeling very optimistic either. You may be deeply disappointed, but its important to be the voice of optimism. Fortunately, there is something you can say that is both optimistic and rational: You quit before and you can do it again. Not only does the earlier success prove she can quit, but quitting the second time is not at all like starting over. She may feel discouraged from her relapse, but shell have learned a lot since the first time she got sober. She may have participated in therapy, spent some time sober, and made some sober friends. These are all huge assets going forward. Detox, therapy, mutual aid meetings, and other aspects of recovery are no longer a mystery. Its only a matter of trying again and trying to avoid making the same mistakes.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.
Be There To Offer Empathy Empathy Empathy
Laura Silverman, a Shatterproof ambassador and founder of the Sobriety Collective, has been in recovery for 12 years. Her advice for supporting a loved one through this experience? Empathy, empathy, empathy. Remove shame, dont blame, and show love.
It shouldnt be that strange of a concept. Do we shame someone with a recurrence of cancer? Silverman asks. No. Then why do we shame people with a recurrence of substance use?
Litvak agrees with this approach. There is no shame in connection and being a person, she says. We all need help sometimes and the best help anyone can get is genuine, compassionate and trustworthy connection from another person. The best thing to do is love them, support them, encourage treatment, and be understanding of their struggle.
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Relapse Prevention: How To Create A Relapse Prevention Plan
Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN
Patients treated for substance use disorder often fall back to their old addictive habits, which becomes a source of frustration for them and their families. Many think a lapse means the failure of a patient to recover successfully. Theyre mistaken. Many factors may contribute to a drug relapse.
Some common causes of drug relapse include stress, continued exposure to people or places connected to addictive behavior, and negative emotions. Being near the object of your addiction, such as alcohol, can lead to an alcohol relapse and even happy moments like celebrations where the substance of addiction is served, such as alcohol-containing cocktails.
What is a relapse? What causes it? And, finally, how to set up a relapse prevention plan?
This Guide Can Help You Learn The Most Effective Strategies To Employ When Your Loved One Relapses Including Open Communication Support And Professional Treatment
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Caring about someone experiencing substance abuse, addiction or recovery is a trying and overwhelming situation. Of course, you want to offer the best addiction support, but knowing what to do and how to do it is uncertain and confusing. Although nothing with addiction is the same for everyone, these are some of the best ways to help someone who has relapsed.
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Learn About The Disease First
Its easy to say I understand or I realize what youre going through. Yet, those words can often fall flat if youre unaware of exactly what alcoholism is. Before you begin providing support, its important to research the disease to the fullest extent possible.
Learn what it entails, where its roots lie, whos most commonly affected, and what some of the most common signs are. If you can, attend an open session of an existing support group and listen to some of the stories around the room. Though it can be uncomfortable, immersing yourself in this environment can help you understand the addicts mindset. It can also reveal some of the most common stumbling blocks.
After all, before you can understand how to help an alcoholic, you need to be able to offer support beyond a simple command to just quit drinking. Absorbing all you can on the topic can help you reach a deeper level of understanding and compassion.
Is It Hard For Former Porn Addicts To Remain Porn
It can be
Honestly, it can be hard for a former porn addict to remain porn-free forever. Porn has a way of grabbing hold of people and refusing to let go. What does that mean? It means that relapses are always possible. Relapses are likely to happen for most former porn addicts. So, if you find yourself falling back into old habits like viewing porn, it is important to seek porn addiction help as soon as possible.
As before, porn addiction relapse treatment may involve an online porn cessation program, lifestyle changes, porn addiction therapy, anti-porn blocking tools, mindfulness techniques, etc. The good news is there is no limit as to how many times you can seek porn addiction treatment. And, there also isnt any judgment associated with it. The goal is for you to become permanently porn-free, regardless of how long it takes.
Why is it so hard for a former porn addict to permanently quit porn?
Well, primarily because sexual images are readily accessible. In other words, you can find them on your electronic device and movie and television screens. You can also find them in magazines and books. These images are literally everywhere! You dont have to look too far or too long to stumble across a sexual or pornographic image.
What if my anti-porn blocking program is unreliable, and permanently shutting down my device is unrealistic? How can I prevent a porn addiction relapse then?
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What To Do Right After A Relapse
Whether you have experienced a relapse in the past or not, knowing how to deal with one can help you prevent future setbacks and recover if one should happen. Remember, no relapse is too big to recover from. If you or a loved one have suffered a relapse, consider taking action as soon as you can by:
The sooner you take steps to intervene following a relapse, the easier it is to get back on track. However, it is never too late to recover from a relapse, so dont be discouraged if you think youve gone too far back into your addiction. It is not uncommon to need professional help to stop using after a relapse many people benefit from the added support of an addiction treatment program a second and even third time .
Encourage Them To Attend Support Groups
Programs such as SMART Recovery and 12 Step can help your loved one socialize and realize they are not alone. They will most likely find others within these support groups who have relapsed, giving them the opportunity to learn from other peoples experiences. You may even consider attending a Nar-Anon meeting for family members and friends of people coping with addiction, finding your own sense of comfort and community with others who are facing similar challenges.
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Create Space For Self
According to Steven M. Melemis, author of Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery, recovering individuals tend to be hard on themselves, and self-care is one of the most overlooked aspects of recovery.
Those struggling with a substance use disorder typically take less than they need because they may see it as selfishness. These feelings can lead to exhaustion and resentment which only fuel the temptation to use again. Consider your loved ones self-care strategies and provide support and encouragement to complete these.
Additional Strategies For Those At
If a person has ongoing emotional, physical and/or mental health issues, they may need to use additional strategiesto help their recovery and prevent relapse.
- Finding the right mix of medications, e.g. antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications the person should work with their GP or psychiatrist to find a medication that works for them
- Alternative tactics that encourage a more holistic wellness approach, e.g. meditation, mindfulness-based therapies or yoga.10
- Psychological help, e.g. psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, or alcohol or other drug therapy
- Developing self-care routines for diet, exercise and rest.11
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What To Say To A Loved One Who Has Relapsed
Every year, about 20 million Americans struggle with some kind of substance use issue. For every one of these, there are many more spouses, siblings, parents, children, and friends whose lives are affected by a loved ones addiction. All of these people feel a sense of cautious optimism whenever their loved one agrees to treatment and begins recovery. However, many will also feel disappointment, anger, and even despair when a loved one relapses. As disappointing as this is, its important to remain supportive. Most of the time, someone who has relapsed will already feel bad about it. Adding your own condemnation will not help solve the problem and will likely make it worse. Instead of criticizing and placing blame, here are some things you can say to someone to help her get her recovery back on track.
Discover Some New Hobbies Or Reconnect With Old Ones
Only after getting clean do you realize how time-consuming it is to maintain a life of active drug addiction. Most of your time is spent either under the influence of drugs or coming up with the money you need to buy more drugs. Once you remove substances from the equation youre left with a lot of free time.
Idle time isnt the safest thing in early recovery. If you want to prevent relapse, use your time to find some new activities you enjoy or rediscover those that addiction took away from you. Try out a new recipe in the kitchen, go to a concert with some sober friends, or join a slow pitch softball league. There are countless ways to occupy your time that dont include drugs.
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What Is Addiction Relapse
Relapse happens during an addiction recovery process. For someone undergoing treatment, mistakes can happen. You can feel bad, sad, or start using drugs again.
Simply put, relapse is the return to drug use or abuse. However, this is normal and prevalent with people recovering from substance abuse. Over 60% of people who go through addiction treatment end up suffering a relapse:
Typically, relapse in addiction falls into two categories:
What Is Porn Addiction
Porn addiction is often referred to as a behavioral addiction or sex addiction. And, just like any other addiction, porn addiction, is an involuntary disease that negatively affects your life, relationships, financial stability, job prospects or security, and/or health and well-being. However, porn addiction is not included in the DSM-5, so it is not officially considered a mental illness Regardless, a porn habit can have serious consequences on your life if it is not properly addressed.
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The Rules Of Recovery
A major part of preventing alcoholism relapse is focusing on the rules of recovery. These are rules that the user likely learned about during their time in rehabilitation, but if they are sliding into reversion, might be losing sight of. It is important that they take time to refocus on these rules to prevent becoming a relapsed alcoholic.
Encourage Them To Make Contact With Their Sponsor Or Recovery Support Worker
Irrespective of the rehab that the alcoholic who has relapsed attended, as part of their aftercare support, they will likely have either a sponsor or a recovery support worker.
If an alcoholic experiences a relapse, we would advise you to encourage them to make contact with their sponsor or recovery support worker. This will enable them to seek immediate help and treatment, should it be needed.
Although many recovering alcoholics will be hesitant to contact their sponsor or recovery support worker as they will be worried about how they will be perceived should they admit that they have relapsed, doing so could essentially save their life.
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Its Really Not About Willpower
Most people wouldn’t yell at a loved one who forgot their inhaler at home, and then had an allergic reaction as a result of their medical condition, Litvak continued. So we shouldnt react with anger or disappointment when someone were close to is coping with addiction.
Symptoms can flare up during treatment for many types of chronic illnesses, like diabetes or hypertension. Addiction is no exception. It doesnt mean someone has failed or didnt try hard enough.
Tough Love Is Another Concept That Is No Longer Considered Valid
Pushing away a person in active addiction is not helpful. The thinking was that if you forced them out of your life, they would find a sufficient bottom to go then and get help. Unfortunately, these days, hitting bottom often means dying of an overdose or drug-related sickness. The best thing we can do is to focus more on harm reduction.
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Getting Back On The Road To Recovery
No matter how diligently you pursue your recovery or how committed you are to lifelong sobriety, there is a chance you will relapse at some point.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates while in recovery are 40 to 60%.
After a relapse, many people experience feelings of shame or regret. Furthermore, you may feel like giving up the fight and giving into your addiction rather than continuing to work hard and overcome the fleeting desire to use. These are normal, but can create challenges to creating a drug-free life.
Instead, use this relapse as a learning tool clarify your relapse prevention plan and identify your triggers. By digging deeper into the root cause of the relapse, you will lay the foundation for a recovery that will ensure you bounce back stronger than ever.
Dont Forget To Take Care Of Yourself First
When it comes to helping a loved one to overcome active addiction, your efforts can be draining. You may find that you are neglecting your self-care.
Be aware of yourself and your needs. As you already know, to help someone else, you must first take care of yourself and your health.
And, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Consider seeing your doctor for a check-up. You may also want to visit a psychologist or family therapist.
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But What If You Are Concerned That They Are On A Path Towards Destruction
For example, you are confident that your loved one is using opioids on the streets. Maybe there is a high risk of overdose, particularly if they have overdosed in the past. If your loved one also has a history of significant mental illness, the chances of a tragic outcome could be much higher.
In these cases, you may want to take further action. The law provides a mechanism to ensure that a person gets immediate mental health. There is the Baker Act, which doctors and law enforcement officers can use to get a person into an inpatient facility and keep them there for three days.
Three days may not seem like much, but it might help prevent one fatal overdose that would have occurred otherwise. If the facility provides ideal treatment, for example, opioid addiction, they might start Suboxone treatment. Getting started with medication-assisted treatment might help to wake up your loved one to the fact that they can move on with their lives without drugs.
In Florida, there is also the Marchman Act. This law allows a judge to order a person to go to mandatory inpatient substance abuse treatment for as long as six months. In some cases, long-term treatment might be the best option for ongoing success.