Back To CourseCounseling 101: Help and Review
12 chapters | 113 lessons
Quentin has taught psychology and other social science classes at the university level and is considered a doctoral colleague at Capella University.
Relapse prevention is an important component of addiction recovery, as it allows you to participate in a process that ensures that you are on the right path of remaining alcohol and drug-free. Because the recovery process will more than likely continue for the rest of your life, being mindful of emotional, mental, and physical relapses will boost your understanding of the addiction process. It is important to note that relapse is not only considered the action of returning to alcohol or drug use, it is also linked to the emotional and mental process, which can start the relapse journey days or weeks before you start using again.
Life can oftentimes be complicated and difficult so it is important to stay on top of triggers, or stimuli that increase the desire to drink or use drugs. Relapse prevention allows an individual to take responsibility of their life and to ensure that they are not only remaining abstinent from alcohol and drugs, but also dealing with life by using healthy coping skills and open communication.
Because recovery is a very personal journey, it is important to know that what works for one person may not work for another. In essence, try coping skills that you think will work for you; however, also be open-minded to new experiences, as this is considered the backbone of relapse prevention.
Starting at the core of recovery efforts, practicing self-care is extremely important. Think of the base of a pyramid, which has a strong foundation; your recovery needs this too, so take care of yourself by ensuring that you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising, and working through any feelings of anger or resentment. Following a daily routine of self-care will act as the foundation for your recovery, and you can keep yourself on track in the early stages, by following a checklist or writing in a journal.
Obtaining a sponsor will decrease your chances of relapse and will help keep you accountable to your recovery. A sponsor is someone that is knowledgeable of the 12-step program, as well as that of a life of recovery. Oftentimes, the sponsor is also in recovery, and can offer you guidance and support for difficult times.
For relapse prevention, communication plays such an important role, as it allows you to stay in touch with other people, while enforcing accountability to others. This coping skill can be used when you are feeling down, or simply have feelings of wanting to drink or use. At these times, it is important to call your sponsor or another person with whom you can have an honest conversation with and let them know the thoughts that are going through your head. Remember, honesty plays an important role in communication so they have to be used together or it won't be an effective coping skill. Other ways to communicate with others could be through the attendance of self-help or 12-step programs. These groups help you communicate with peers, which help you to not feel as alone and afraid, providing you with hope for the future.
Taking a time out and relaxing is crucial for a successful recovery program so it is important to learn healthy relaxation techniques. Remember, relaxation comes in many forms so it is important to find what works for you. Try listening to music that does not connect you with your old using or drinking life, run, go to the gym, or complete a meditation. A popular and easy form of relaxation is to concentrate on your breathing and count slowly as you breathe in and out. This will allow you to take deep breaths and fill up your diaphragm, which promotes relaxation of the mind and body.
Self-awareness is an important tool in recovery as it allows you to continually monitor yourself from both a physical and emotional perspective. In relapse prevention, many recovering individuals follow an acronym of HALT, which focuses on individuals ensuring that they are not too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Addiction experts have agreed that these feelings, if not taken care of, can increase an individual's chances of relapsing. Write daily in a journal that discusses these feelings, and if you find that you are experiencing one, talk to your group of friends or people from your support group at how you can work through these feelings.
Relapse prevention is an important component of addiction recovery, as it allows you to participate in a process that ensures that you are on the right path of remaining alcohol and drug- free. Because recovery can be a new experience and people can oftentimes experience obstacles, relapse prevention coping skills can help get you through the tough times.
Starting at the basics is important in coping skills, so you first have to practice self-care. This means that you need to ensure that you are following a healthy diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, and working through any feelings of anger or resentment. Obtaining a sponsor is another coping skill that you can use as it allows you to communicate with another individual who can understand the process and the feelings you may have. Also practice relaxation techniques, such as listening to music or completing deep breathing exercises. This allows your mind to stay focused and relaxed, promoting peace in both your body and your mind. Also, complete self-awareness training where you can concentrate on negative emotions or feelings, such as hunger, anger, loneliness, or being too tired. These are considered the most important feelings and emotions to acknowledge during recovery.
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Back To CourseCounseling 101: Help and Review
12 chapters | 113 lessons
Next LessonDealing with Addiction