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Emergency Relapse Prevention: 5 Tips

The thought of relapse can strike fear in any addict or alcoholic in recovery. When we hear newcomers tell their stories of utter despair, it brings us right back to where we were when we got sober. Unfortunately, the disease of addiction is incredibly powerful and tries to soften those memories to lure us back to the bottomless pit of addiction.

Though relapse is a part of some people’s stories, it doesn’t have to be part of yours. The following are only a few tools of many that you will learn in treatment:

Get Out and Move 

When a craving hits, get out and do something, anything. Whether it’s a light jog or a brisk walk through the neighborhood, you can give yourself a natural hit of endorphin’s simply by moving around.

Play the Tape Backward

Visual yourself in your last session of drinking or using. Feel what it felt like: the shame, the chaos, fear, self-loathing, and of course, the uncontrollable inability to stop.

Acknowledge the Craving and Accept It  

Instead of trying to skip over the feelings of a craving, try to feel it, name it, and accept it. Cravings are only a feeling, and they don’t last forever. Notice where it is in your body, and name it. For instance, you could say, “I know what you are. I am okay. This is only a feeling and it will pass. I don’t have to use today.” It might sound ridiculous, but it works.

Find Out What You Really Want 

Cravings are usually about something other than the drink or the drug. Maybe it’s boredom or sadness that’s tugging at you. Make a list of healthy things you can do to take care of those feelings. Call a friend, visit a museum, or volunteer. The more you practice self-care, the easier it becomes.

Practice Mindfulness

When you are in the habit of noticing changes within your body, you are more readily able to respond to cravings. If you begin tensing up, practice breathing exercises. As you become more comfortable noticing change within, you will be able to deal with problems as they come, rather than letting them fester into a serious issue.

If you are struggling with addiction, treatment is the answer. You will learn the tools you need to live a fulfilling life in sobriety. Give us a call, recovery is possible, and your journey can begin today.

Detox is the first step toward a life of freedom in recovery. Addiction does not have to be the end of your story. Make a safe and comfortable detox the first chapter. The Serenity Recovery Center, conveniently located at the Encino Hospital Medical Center, offers a home-like environment for all stages of detox so you can begin your recovery in a healthy state of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today: 866.294.9401