Recent studies show that the overwhelming majority—approximately 85%—of people in recovery from substance addiction will relapse within the first year. This statistic should not discourage your efforts to adhere strongly to your recovery plan, but it should bring comfort to know that the community in recovery shares your fears of relapse and may be able to offer some advice based on lived experiences.
Relapse is not a failure, but a setback. There are tools to help you manage anxieties regarding relapse, but, if you do turn to substances during your recovery, recognize the experience and grow from it.
Share With Members of Your Community
Tell members of your 12-Step or other support groups about your fears of relapse. They likely are experiencing similar stresses and will share their strategies for managing their fears. Some may have relapsed, and they can offer advice based on personal experiences. Externalizing your feelings will relieve some pressure on your emotions, too.
Develop a Long-Term Relapse Prevention Plan
Relapse occurs in high-risk situations that strip individuals of their self-control. According to the American Psychological Association, depression, anxiety, frustration, and boredom all contribute to relapse. Attending events that provide access to addictive substances, like parties, while feeling the effects of poor mental health dramatically increases your risk of relapse.
Before you find yourself in an unsafe situation, devise a prevention plan with your therapist. When you have effective coping mechanisms at your disposal, you may find that urges to use substances are weakened.
Know the Signs of Relapse
Shifts in mood can alert you to an increased risk of relapse. Self-isolating from friends and family, taking poor care of your mental and physical health, and relaxing the rules that keep you on track in recovery are all indications that you are vulnerable to relapse.
You may start minimizing the result of relapse, justifying your cravings to yourself. Talk to your therapist if you feel your mental and emotional health wavering.
At Alta Loma, we understand that the fear of relapse can be overwhelming. Our dedicated team of addiction recovery specialists will work with you to develop an effective relapse protection plan that will keep you on track in your recovery. If you relapse, Alta Loma will help you find your strength and guide you back to mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. If you are interested in the unique mental health services provided at Alta Loma, please call us today at (866) 457-3843.