What Are Some Tools I Can Use to Avoid Relapse?
Throughout your time in recovery, you’ll develop what is called a “recovery toolbox”. This toolbox is a metaphor for all of the cognitive and behavioral tools you’ll learn in therapy, group sessions, and experiential learning to handle triggering situations, thoughts, and feelings. Relapse prevention is a critical component of recovery, as abstinence is the primary goal for many people. If you’re concerned about what to do if you’re triggered, there are a number of tools you’ll be able to use. One of the best ways to learn from these tools is not only through formal recovery activities, but through peers, too.
A 2016 study published in the International Journal of High-Risk Behaviors & Addiction sought to explore these exact strategies that were being used by those in recovery. Ten members of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) were interviewed and researchers found several tools that were mentioned to support relapse prevention:
· Recollection of sustained suffering in the course of recovery – by recalling the pain that came with recovering from addictive behaviors, participants were more easily able to hold back from acting on triggers.
· Being part of a community – by surrounding yourself with other like-minded people, you’ll have a support system you can lean on in times of need and for additional encouragement as well
· Observing others’ successes – sometimes it’s easier to walk down an unknown path when we see how others are getting along. Find some people you can look up to from time to time and use them as part of your motivation to keep moving forward in recovery.
· Rethinking – perception is everything, and the importance we place on our thoughts and feelings determines the level of intensity we feel towards being triggered. Rethink what you’re going through and ground yourself. Recognize that you have the power to choose which thoughts you deem important and which ones you deem unnecessary. Choose wisely.
Even with all of these tools readily available, you won’t always get it right. That’s okay – because we learn from our mistakes just as we learn what our strengths. Don’t give up on your journey, even if relapse does occur.
The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.
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