If you are concerned you may be heading for addiction relapse, these 5 steps will help you get back on track.
Nobody is perfect. If you have found yourself struggling with addiction in the past, recovered and now feel yourself falling back into old habits, you need to take action straight away if you feel you are heading for addiction relapse.
But don’t beat yourself up too much as, according to Psychology Today, falling off the wagon is the best teacher on the road to recovery. What is important is that you acknowledge the problem and take appropriate action to ensure you are not seduced back into addiction.
Don’t wait until you have a full addiction relapse. Even if you are at a stage where you are having negative thoughts or getting an urge to use again, support is available. Whatever is making you feel like you have lost your way, don’t panic, but do ensure you adopt these 5 steps as soon as possible.
1. Write down your goals
Firstly, you want to remember the journey you’ve taken so far and what you’re wanting to achieve. It’s been found that by writing your goals down you are 42% more likely to achieve them.
These don’t have to be huge goals but can be small things like:
- Read every night
- Go for a walk
- Don’t snooze your alarm in the morning.
But don’t forget about the big ones too.
If you want to go for a promotion at work, move house or save for a big holiday, write all of these goals down – and don’t forget to put a date you want to achieve them by.
Writing down your goals will help you remember why you’re on this road to recovery and help stop you heading for addiction relapse.
2. Ask for support
Asking for help and support is not a weakness; it shows strength and determination. Asking for support from family and friends is a great option. Feeling liked and loved can help address any negative thoughts you are having – especially if you have been feeling lonely or isolated.
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to those close to you, there are many options out there:
- Frank is a great point of contact for support, whether you or someone you know is suffering from addiction.
- The NHS can help if you are seeking medical support and direct you to the nearest available assistance.
- The mental health charity MIND is a fantastic resource if you feel your mental health is impacting your recovery.
3. Consider returning to treatment
Sometimes though, the efforts to help yourself may not be enough and you may need to consider returning to treatment. If you had to detox in the past, you may have done it at private drug rehab.
It’s really important to seek professional care if you become addicted to substances as detoxing alone can be dangerous due to the withdrawal symptoms. Going to a rehab facility can make it easier and safer for you to remove toxins from your body, as it will remove the access you have to them.
If you can feel yourself heading for addiction relapse and your plan isn’t working, reach out to the facility that helped you and ask for more support.
Alternatively, if you never attended rehab and now feel like you need stronger support, a facility specially trained to help get you back on track may be the answer.
4. Try not to get trapped
With that being said, you must try not to fall victim to the revolving door syndrome. This is where someone recovers and then starts using again, only to go back and complete treatment and then abuse substances once the programme is over.
This cycle of struggling to remain sober is a vicious circle and one which needs to be broken. To break the revolving door, you should ensure you have a robust support system when you finish treatment. You will also need to be willing to recover – and want it.
You will need to be open and honest with those treating you. If you aren’t honest, then your plan won’t be tailored to your needs, which can then cause you to relapse once the treatment is over.
Finally, make a plan for when your treatment is finished. Going back to our first point, write down your goals, try to have a positive attitude and be willing and wanting to recover.
5. Have a positive mind
This is easier said than done, we understand that. But it’s important to try and have a positive mind when you’re recovering.
Surround yourself with positive and supportive people, they can help you through a time when you’re feeling negative or low.
Another way to help you have a positive mind is to meditate. Take a few minutes out of your day to clear your thoughts, breathing and energy.
You may also be surprised to learn that the food you eat can have a big impact on anxiety levels, so do ensure you are eating a healthy diet.
If you find yourself heading in the wrong direction and want to get back on track to avoid a full addiction relapse, you can. Bumps in the road exist, but it’s how you get over them which makes the difference. Stumbling on them happens, but if you stay strong, positive and notice when it happens, you will be able to get back on track and stay on it.