How to Avoid a Relapse and Notice the Warning Signs

How to Avoid a Relapse and Notice the Warning Signs

The primary goal of addiction and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment is to remain sober. While this might seem like an easy task, it can feel impossible. While in treatment, it is vital to learn your triggers and warning signs of relapse.

Triggers are individualized to each person, so learning your own is crucial to long-term recovery. At Healing Pines Recovery, we specialize in creating personalized treatment plans that meet your individual needs so you can reach long-term success with recovery. We guide clients to uncover and cope with their triggers, lowering the risk of relapse.

What Is a Relapse?

The term “relapse” means the deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement. Regarding addiction recovery and SUDs, a relapse can mean a return to previous unhealthy behaviors through alcohol consumption or substance use. Often, you will hear the phrase “falling off the wagon” to describe this.

Addiction has been characterized as a chronic relapsing condition. Many who go through treatment struggle with relapse prevention once returning home. In some cases, this can be due to the generalized care that should have been individualized. At Healing Pines Recovery, we specialize in small groups, which allows clients to create individualized treatment plans tailored to each client’s needs. This grants extra time for each client.

Healing Pines Recovery also helps reintegrate clients back into society and daily life outside of residential treatment. When equipped with knowledge and life skills, you will find you are more equipped with the necessary skills for relapse prevention.

Relapse does not mean that you are a failure; if you do relapse, it is not something to be ashamed of. The goal of recovery is to reach long-term success without relapse, and with the help of places like Healing Pines Recovery, this is greatly achievable.

Identifying Your Triggers and Warning Signs

One of the best ways to avoid relapse is to know what triggers you and what warning signs to look for. When it comes to triggers, understand that yours are specific to you.

A trigger is considered a social, environmental, or emotional situation that can bring on memories from active addiction. These things can also come with overwhelming emotions and the urge to relapse. Some triggers include being around others who drink or use substances.

Along with recognizing what triggers may affect you, you also have to be aware of the warning signs of relapse. Similar to triggers, warning signs can vary from person to person. Although warning signs can be different for everyone, some can generally apply to most people.

The more common warning signs include:

  • Isolating
  • Keeping feelings and emotions to yourself
  • Poor self-care habits, such as an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and poor hygiene
  • Reminiscing on or romanticizing times when you used substances
  • Craving alcohol or other substances
  • Lying to loved ones

While these are just some of the warning signs of relapse, it is ultimately up to you to determine what applies to you. The biggest thing with noticing warning signs and triggers is being honest with yourself. There is no shame in having these feelings and it is better to acknowledge them as feelings versus actions.

When and if you do start to notice these warning signs, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Working through a recovery program and accepting help for your addiction does not make you seem weak but rather the opposite.

How to Cope With Feelings of Relapse

After determining what triggers and warning signs apply to you, the next step is developing coping skills to manage those feelings and thoughts. There are five rules of recovery to help prevent relapse, which include:

  1. Change your life; recovery involves creating a new lifestyle free from substances
  2. Be completely honest
  3. Ask for help
  4. Practice self-care
  5. Don’t bend the rules

These can be a great foundation for building coping methods. At Healing Pines Recovery, we offer many holistic treatment options to utilize at home. These programs can also help you build better coping methods. For instance, practicing mindfulness and meditation can calm the mind and help you process your emotions when feeling triggered or wanting to relapse.

When it comes to facing relapse, the best approach is to be prepared and to know your triggers and warning signs. Getting to know yourself and what can trigger these feelings can help you catch them sooner and give you the time to process these emotions and thoughts.

Having thoughts of relapse is common in recovery. However, the goal is to reach long-term success, and Healing Pines Recovery is here to help you do that without having to face relapse or the thoughts of relapse unprepared.

The fear of relapse in recovery is something a lot of people experience. Knowing your own triggers and warning signs is the best way to avoid relapse. When you can acknowledge that you are not in a safe space or mental state, it can help you catch yourself sooner.

Along with learning what triggers you and what the warning signs of relapse are, you also have to learn coping methods to handle those feelings. At Healing Pines Recovery, we seek to guide men to healing by uncovering these things. Our expert team of professionals make learning about yourself feel like second nature. With us, you will learn new coping skills and activities that resonate with your individual needs.

If you identify as male and are seeking long-term success in recovery, reach out to Healing Pines Recovery today at (720) 575-2621.

Have questions about Healing Pines?

We are 24/7 available to help you! Call or visit us in Elizabeth, Colorado.

We’re within driving distance from Denver or Colorado Springs, and anywhere within Elbert County or Douglas County.