Relapse Prevention Techniques & Coping Skills to Use in Recovery

What is Relapse & Why Does it Occur? 

A relapse is the term used when someone ceases to maintain their intent to abstain from the use of drugs and/or alcohol that they determined to harm their lives. 

Those in recovery from drugs and/or alcohol do not recover from abuse or addiction by simply ceasing the use of the substance(s). True recovery is reached by shaping a whole new lifestyle that promotes the non-use of drugs and/or alcohol. 

Those that suffer from substance abuse or addiction, have the least likely chance of staying “clean” or “sober” unless every aspect of their previous lives has changed; things as basic as friends, places they frequented while in an abusive state or removing the things out of their lives that contributed to their downfall. The pattern of abuse and/or addiction will remain since it is the unfortunate reality of this cycle and will continue unless that individual makes real changes in their respective lives so that true behavior modification can begin. 

How Can Relapse Be Prevented? Utilizing Relapse Prevention Techniques

When someone is suffering from the effects of drug and/or alcohol abuse and/or addiction, relapse is a common occurrence. With relapse, feelings of remorse and guilt are extremely common leaving the ones you love and care for to feel disheartened and even scared that true recovery may not be possible. 

In times of relapse and weakness, it is more important than ever for everyone involved to remain positive in an attempt to assist with overcoming their “triggers”. It is well documented that with a strong support system that continues to show their unwavering love and support for a complete recovery, the chances of someone reaching long-term sobriety continue to increase. 

High-risk situations for someone in recovery from drug and/or alcohol abuse and/or addiction to avoid includes but is not limited to:

  • Over passionate or angry situations 
  • Loneliness and prolonged states of sadness
  • Feelings of exhaustion and/or lack of sleep or rest
  • Hunger and/or thirst

Remaining positive in times of such potential discomfort is hard for anyone let alone someone who is fighting for a chance to live a life free from obsession and addiction. Hence the need for not only understanding and compassion but also education and personal responsibility.

Relapse Prevention Techniques to Overcome Addiction 

Coping skills is a term that is used to describe an activity that is positive for a person’s mental health. When discussing coping skills specifically about relapse prevention for substance abuse or a problem with addiction, it primarily means techniques that a person would learn to modify their behavior.  

Some coping skills for relapse prevention from substance abuse and/or addiction may include but are not limited to:

  • Learn to Relax – practice breathwork, laughing, walking, yoga or exercise, going outdoors, pet therapy, reading or writing, a soothing bath, drinking caffeine-free tea, and listening to relaxing or upbeat music.
  • Wait to Respond – a conscious choice to not be reactive in high-pressure situations and just take some time to process the information before you respond both verbally or physically.
  • Be Present – through prayer and meditation, a person will learn to be more connected with the present rather than stuck “in their head” about the regrets of the past or the fear of their future.
  • Stay Honest – use counseling and support from loved ones to keep yourself honest which will break the cycle of lies that are associated with abuse and addiction.
  • Be Grateful – make gratitude lists and/or keep a diary in which you can express your innermost feelings and concerns.
  • Stay Busy – keeping yourself active and busy will lead to less opportunity for boredom and loneliness.
  • Lean In – actively participate in substance abuse support groups or other forms of talk therapy to build a strong group of like-minded individuals that will help support your road to a lasting recovery.
  • Keep Moving – doing regular exercise and calming techniques like yoga will help assist with a positive mindset and better physical health.
  • Goodwill – volunteer or offer to assist others and this will not only keep you busy but will promote feelings of positivity.

Recovery Today at Little Creek Recovery in Pennsylvania

If you are suffering or have suffered from substance abuse and/or addiction, and you require skills and techniques to assist with the prevention of relapse or you have already relapsed and want help, a great option is available through the people at Little Creek Recovery in Pennsylvania. 

There are various types of programs and treatments to assist with the prevention of relapse as well as full-scale services for those currently actively living with substance abuse. Little Creek Lodge has lots of great treatment programs and options with a fully trained staff that are there to assist the needs of you or your loved ones. 

Contact Us today at Little Creek Recovery to explore your options and they will customize and tailor a treatment plan to fit your specialized needs. 



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