Relapse is a major problem that can occur anytime right after treatment. Even patients who have already enjoyed a long period of sobriety can still fall into this trap at the most unexpected time.
This is the reason why most people describe overcoming addiction as a lifelong battle. While there are numerous ways to prevent experiencing a relapse, it takes a consistent commitment to avoid potential causes of encountering it.
1. Understand Potential Causes of Relapse
Vicodin, a potent opioid painkiller that has influenced millions of people to addiction, causes significant changes in the brain upon excessive or prolonged use. This follows how it is likely for certain places, people, or scents can trigger cravings for the drug.
Without continuing support and intervention after rehab care, a patient may find themselves lost in reality and incapable of figuring out what to do next after realizing they are all on their own. This stressful moment can be a source of the potential trigger.
Stressful situations often trigger a relapse. When a person encounters grief and loss, they can be too vulnerable to overcome the temptations of using the drug. Any occasions of pain can be a gateway to yearning for the temporary serenity the drug can bring.
Sometimes, patients also feel so confident about their long-term sobriety that they perceive themselves immovable by certain triggers, and when the temptation to use the drug comes in, they could easily give in.
Any instance where a person finds themselves filled with thoughts of using the substance is a red flag, and in this case, there is a great need to call for immediate help. Returning to substance use could be fatal so it is best to provide medical intervention before it happens.
By fully understanding that relapse can happen to anyone at any time, it keeps one constantly guarded. The problem with treatment resets is that they can be complex after each attempt. However, there are multiple ways to live to avoid getting caught or relapsing.
2. Commit to Aftercare Rehab Programs
This is the next big step after rehab treatment. Aftercare rehab programs aim to aid addiction treatment completers to transition from a scheduled routine in a rehab facility to a more independent lifestyle. The goal is to sustain living a sober life.
This is a highly essential phase towards recovery and every person must really take the time to be actively involved in one as this is proven effective in preventing relapse. The programs include one-to-one counseling and group therapy sessions through recovery meetings.
Recovery meetings are widely present in local communities and they can be easily found online. These group sessions follow different types of programs such as the 12-step program, the most popular one, as well as the SMART recovery program.
These sessions are free and are really healthy venues for building connections and learning new insights from different perspectives. These can also offer help when necessary. If a person encounters certain triggers, the group can be a great source of aid and support.
For individuals who feel uncomfortable returning home due to the presence of potential triggers, they could temporarily reside in sober living homes and go on with their lives on top of their therapy sessions.
Some patients would also prefer to take outpatient treatment where they receive their therapies at least 10 hours a week and then get to enjoy the rest of the time for themselves. This can also be a meaningful option to take.
Overall, committing to aftercare rehab programs prevents a patient from getting overwhelmed by the drastic changes in their routine and allows them to continuously keep a lifestyle where the consciousness of staying sober is consistently reinforced.
3. Follow Medical Prescriptions
Maintenance medications must be strictly taken as prescribed by the physician. This is to ensure that cravings for the substance are controlled. It is important to strictly follow medical advice to ensure the safety and efficacy of treatment.
Keep in mind that there are certain limitations when it comes to substance interactions. It is best to ask the doctor first before taking any other medication and to strictly avoid drinking alcohol while on medication.
4. Establish a Healthy Lifestyle
This lifestyle attends to overall health conditions which can be done by keeping a balanced diet and proper hydration as well as taking time to exercise and meditate daily. Getting enough rest and quality sleep is also something that must be considered.
It is important to note how feeling hungry and exhausted contributes to stress, and when a person is stressed out, they become vulnerable to giving in to invitations of relapse. Giving a boost to one’s physical and mental health limits these occasions of stress.
Scientific studies have also proven how exercise boosts the levels of healthy hormones in the brain, and meditation is a great way to relieve oneself from the chaos that external factors feed the mind.
5. Learn or Do Something New and Exciting
It can be a great idea to take a vacation, spend some time with nature, and enjoy a quiet life. Even as simple as cooking something special for oneself just to spice up the day is a healthy habit that increases mental wellness.
Doing something which sparks passion and interest is healthy for the mind. By learning a new hobby or skill, the brain is engaged in healthy activities which can increase its capacity to return to normal function and be free from thoughts of the drug.
It would also be a great idea to schedule exciting activities with friends during recovery meetings to deepen our friendship and experience a fun-filled moment together. After all, treatment does not have to always be serious.
These are a few of the major things that can impact one’s life right after rehab treatment. The key is to always strive for wellness and happiness. Although realities in life usually come with multiple challenges, a healthy disposition is a great partner to help one overcome them all.