Relapse Prevention Techniques

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Many individuals who make it into recovery will relapse at least once within the first few months. This is why in many treatment centers there is so much emphasis put on providing relapse prevention techniques to those who are new in recovery and those who have also relapsed already. Returning to addiction can mean many more years of additional suffering for the addict. And some people who relapse will never have another opportunity to quit and could even die due to their drug use. This is why focusing of relapse prevention techniques is so helpful; it literally can reduce the risk of relapse and death.

Relapse prevention techniques include any tool that an addict can use to avoid a return back into drug use and drinking. The causes of relapse are usually broken down into three categories. Relapse prevention techniques have been developed to combat all of them. The three categories of relapse usually are:

  • Emotional causes: This is when the addict usually goes back to using drugs because they can’t cope with their thoughts and emotions.
  • Developing unhealthy patterns of behavior, and this makes them more prone to relapse.
  • External situation can also increase the chance of a relapse. Perfect example of this would be an individual who has halfway house roommates that are all using drugs and drinking.

Another part of relapse prevention techniques is identifying different triggers which can be precursors for relapse. By identifying relapse triggers a person can find different coping mechanisms they can use to combat them all. Here are some examples of relapse triggers:

  • Feeling sad
  • Feeling happy
  • Looking at veins
  • Going to football games
  • Driving down certain streets
  • The car or wherever the individual used
  • Certain T.V shows and music

Recognizing also what precedes the relapse is also an important relapse prevention technique. These things are kind of behaviors, thoughts or ideas an addict would have before they relapsed and there is usually a pattern with these:

  • The individual can experience overconfidence . This can mean that they are not prepared when things get hard.
  • Life in recovery can take a bit of getting used and some people may experience periods of self-pity. This is a dangerous emotion because it can sap motivation.
  • Those people who have unrealistic expectations can become disappointed.
  • If the individual_ behaves dishonestly_, it can lead them right back to addiction.
  • Occasionally, people in recovery will experience periods of depression. This can take a lot of the satisfaction out of sobriety.
  • Those who continue other types of substance abuse will be increasing their chances of relapse.
  • Taking recovery for granted leads to complacency. This then means that the individual is no longer doing those things they need to do in order to remain sober.

Also knowing the different stages of a relapse because a relapse is not merely the use of drugs and alcohol again it is also everything leading up to, is another great relapse prevention technique. Here are the stages of a relapse:

  • During the emotional stage the individual will be struggling with recovery, but not actually thinking about a return to substance abuse. The most appropriate relapse prevention tools here would be those that can restore emotional equilibrium.
  • During the mental stage of relapse, the person is thinking about drinking or using drugs again. The urge to return to addiction can be strong. Various techniques are needed to combat this before it is too late.
  • All is not lost at the relapse stage. If the individual has the right resources, they may be able to return to the recovery path right away.

What is a Sober Companion?

What is a Sober Companion?

What is a Sober Companion, Sober Coach, or Recovery Coach?

A sober companion, sober coach, or recovery coach provides one-on-one assistance to newly recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The goal is to help the client maintain total abstinence from alcohol and drugs, and to establish healthy routines outside of a residential treatment facility. Sober coaches assist with the transition from treatment back to everyday living. The sober coach will meet the client at discharge, accompany them on their trip home, and within 24 hours, attend with them their first AA or NA meeting.

What are the Duties of a Sober Companion?

The sober companion’s duties encompass a wide variety, from ensuring that the client remains abstinent to serving as a resource broker and advocate in the client’s home community.

The primary duty of a sober companion is to ensure the recovering addict does not relapse. They may be hired to provide round the clock care, be on-call, or to accompany the recovering addict during particular activities, such as taking them to fellowship meetings at which the recovery coach encourages them to meet people and get phone numbers. They work together with the client in making their home a clean and sober environment, as well support the client in following through with their recommended discharge plan.

A sober companion also acts as an advocate for the newly recovering person and provides new ways for the client to act in their own living environment. Many companions use techniques such as chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, meditation, distraction, massage, diet and proper nutrition, exercise and even prayer and affirmation of sober choices. A sober coach either completely removes the addict from his own environment of hidden stashes, or may search for hidden drugs in their own environment, in an effort to make the living environment safe for the client and to prevent them from relapsing

How Long Does Sober Companion Services Last?

Companions are available to assist clients for as long as support is deemed necessary. Sober companion treatment usually lasts for 30 days however, oftentimes, much longer. The time required to effect a meaningful change varies greatly depending upon the client, their co-occurring disorders, and the family life at home. Ideally, a companion’s presence in the client’s life will decrease as the client’s ability to confront family, work, and legal issues without relapse is proven. Some providers stay with their clients for many months, and some offer only transportation services.

The Benefits of Having a Sober Companion

The first few days outside of the structured treatment setting are typically the most critical – and most trying for the newly recovering alcoholic/addict. This transitional period is often awkward and uncomfortable for the recovering person therefore, sober companionship and coaching offers support, encouragement, and camaraderie during this crucial time.

Other circumstances for which having a sober coach is beneficial are cases where an actor or musician will not attend treatment, but must remain abstinent to complete a film or recording project. Another circumstance might be that the newly recovering alcoholic/addict is in school and thus needs to be back in their own living environment.








Advice for people with less than 30 days in Recovery

First 30 days of recovery

Advice for people with less than 30 days in Recovery

There’s a reason that most drug rehabs will recommend you stay in treatment for at least 30 days, and why 12 step programs tell you to go to 90 meetings in your first 90 days of recovery. The first few months after quitting drugs and alcohol are often the hardest. During this time, addicts and alcoholics are at the highest risk of relapse. Here is some advice for people with less than 30 days in recovery:

Advice for people with less than 30 days in Recovery: Take care of yourself

One of the biggest reasons for relapse for people with less than 30 days in recovery is that they do not feel well. When your body is not physically fit, it can drain you psychologically and emotionally. Take care of yourself in the first couple months: eat good food, get plenty of rest, and exercise. Make sure you are washing your hands often to protect yourself from other people’s germs. Don’t let yourself get too hungry or tired. Make your health your top priority. If you do get sick, take it easy. Realize that a lot of what you are feeling is due to a temporary illness and that you will feel better soon.

Advice for people with less than 30 days in Recovery: Go to meetings

Meetings are very important for people with less than 30 days in recovery. They allow you to build a support system, be accountable, and talk to other people in recovery. It also occupies your time. Having too much free time in early recovery can be a recipe for disaster. Boredom can very quickly lead to thoughts of using. Get a home group and a sponsor as soon as possible. Volunteer for a service commitment like making coffee or greeting people. Service is one of the best ways to meet new people and strengthen sobriety through helping others.

Advice for people with less than 30 days in Recovery: Tell on yourself

It is very common for people with less than 30 days in recovery to have thoughts of using. The best way to combat these thoughts before they turn into actions is to get in the habit of telling on yourself. As soon as you have these thoughts, call someone and tell them. Or raise your hand at a meeting and share. Not only will you open yourself up to people that can help, by just saying these things out loud, you can often stop the thoughts of using from consuming you. This can also work for any behaviors that you know are detrimental. When you lie, ‘fess up immediately. If you are having thoughts about breaking rules or doing other things that aren’t right, just tell someone. Remember, your addiction wants you to keep quiet. It wants you to justify your negative behavior. It wants you to isolate yourself from your support system. Do not let it. Do not trust your thoughts in early sobriety. Always talk to someone about how you are feeling and get input before every decision. If you are hesitating about talking to someone else about something you’re doing or planning to do, that should be an indication that it is not the right thing.