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Coping Skills For Relapse Prevention

Essentials of Recovery

Coping Skills For Relapse Prevention

Substance addiction reaches far beyond the confines of a person’s physical health, impacting everything from their finances to their mental wellbeing, relationships, job, and their coping mechanisms. Therefore, recovery from such all-encompassing diseases can be an arduous and intensive journey. Given the challenges inherent in recovery, it’s unsurprising that many may stumble along the way and resort to substance use again. This is where coping skills for relapse prevention play a crucial role, serving as a critical component in the post-addiction journey, minimizing the risks of falling back into harmful patterns.

Understanding Relapse in Addiction Recovery

Relapses are common during addiction recovery. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports, relapse rates range between 40 to 60% among those undergoing substance abuse treatment.

Relapses are a consequence of a lapse in coping skills, leading to a return to drug use or drinking after a period of sobriety. While relapses are a common part of the recovery process, they can be extremely risky, even life-threatening, particularly if an individual returns to using substances in quantities they were accustomed to prior to ceasing. With the body’s tolerance for the substance significantly lowered, the risk of overdose becomes elevated.

Why are relapses so prevalent? The answer often lies in the reasons behind the initial substance use. For many, substance use provides relief from physical or psychological distress or serves as a means to numb feelings. In the face of stress, without the appropriate coping skills for relapse prevention, there’s a strong likelihood that one may revert to the same, ineffective coping strategies used in the past.

What Triggers Relapse?

Relapse triggers can range widely, and include:

What Do Relapse Rates Indicate?

  • Stress: Stress, whether from work, family issues, or personal problems, is a common trigger for relapse.
  • Boredom: In early recovery, individuals often find themselves with a surplus of free time, which can lead to boredom and, subsequently, relapse.
  • Depression: Many undergoing addiction treatment struggle with depression, which can evoke feelings of despair and hopelessness.
  • Anxiety: Fear of returning to a previous lifestyle or worries about the future can also trigger relapse.
  • Cravings: Cravings for drugs or alcohol can lead to intense urges to use, making them a significant trigger for relapse.

Being aware of these triggers is an essential part of the addiction treatment process.

Effective Coping Skills For Relapse Prevention

Thankfully, there are several coping skills to prevent relapse that you can implement in your daily life. Many rehab programs, like those at San Diego Detox, emphasize these skills as a part of a comprehensive relapse prevention plan, including:

  • Diverting your attention to other activities and waiting before reacting to stressors
  • Speaking with a positive and supportive individual
  • Releasing negative feelings in a constructive way, like through physical activity
  • Treating yourself
  • Journaling, if writing is a preferred activity
  • Listing things you are grateful for
  • Reaching out to your support system
  • Identifying a sponsor or role model in recovery
  • Participating in 12-step meetings or other peer support groups
  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy eating
  • Ensuring adequate sleep
  • A helpful metaphor for avoiding relapse is to consider your addiction as a bully. By reducing the power you give it, you gain greater freedom.

How San Diego Detox Can Help

At San Diego Detox, we are committed to supporting you on your path to a substance-free future. Our dedicated staff, many of whom have personal experience with recovery, provide empathy and understanding, offering a unique perspective that can only come from shared experience. Our specialized services include:

  • Comprehensive physical, psychological, and addiction history assessments
  • Comfortable and spacious surroundings that foster healing
  • Facilitating a comfortable detox experience for Clients
  • A strong emphasis on relapse prevention coping skills
  • Guidance in post-detox planning for a successful recovery journey

Let today mark the start of your substance-free life. Contact San Diego Detox today at 619.433.6560 to begin your journey.