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Alcohol and Drug Addiction: Tips to Prevent a Relapse

Posted November 25, 2019 by in Health + Fitness
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According to americanaddictioncenters.org, the relapse rate for substance use disorders is estimated to be between 40% and 60%. In other words, addicts who are on the road to recovery are more likely to relapse at one point or another than not at all. 

It is so important for addicts who do relapse to realize that it does not mean the end of their journey. Instead of falling back into the routine of using drugs or drinking, they should use the set-back to help make them more determined than ever to continue on the path to a healthier lifestyle. 

While it is indeed possible to continue forward after a relapse has taken place, it is much better to prevent the relapse from occurring in the first place. Here are some prevention tips to keep in mind:

Understand the triggers 

Most relapses are triggered by something, whether it is a physical craving or an emotional situation. It is essential to be aware of these triggers so that you can seek help immediately before giving in to the urge to drink or use drugs once again. Triggers may include: 

  • Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and insomnia 
  • Not taking proper care of yourself 
  • Stress 
  • Strong emotions, such as anger and despair 
  • People with whom you used to drink or do drugs 
  • Places in which you used to drink or do drugs 
  • Isolation and over-thinking 

Know that there are different stages of relapse 

Contrary to what many may think, relapse is a process, not an event. There are many signs that a relapse is likely to occur a long time before it actually does. The key is to recognize these signs in yourself and seek help immediately. In doing so, an imminent relapse can often be successfully side-stepped. The three stages of relapse are as follows:

  • Emotional: Even though you may not be thinking about returning to alcohol or drugs at this stage, various situations are paving the way for those thoughts to eventually enter your mind. You might be dealing with a particularly stressful and demanding period at work, you might be going through relationship turmoil, or you might simply be spending too much time in your own company and allowing negative thoughts to take over. 
  • Mental: This stage begins when you officially start thinking about picking up a drink or taking drugs and just how much ‘easier’ doing so would make it to cope with the other problems in your life. You may start fantasizing about using and hanging out with the same people with whom you used to drink or take drugs. 
  • Physical: The physical stage is when you take action to get hold of drugs or alcohol. It is difficult to stop the relapse at the point, hence the reason why it is important to recognize the signs of relapse before this stage is reached. 

How to get help 

It is recommended to go back to rehab if you feel a relapse coming on. You may be wondering does Unitedhealthcare cover rehab addiction treatment? The answer is yes. You can further enhance your chances of the entire amount being covered by your health insurance if you use their recommended rehab centers. 

You have done amazingly well up until now. Don’t let a momentary lapse negate the progress that you have made. Stay strong and carry on!

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