Drug or substance addiction is not a rare disease in America. Two years ago, there were over 20 million individuals who had a substance abuse disease. Of the 20 million, almost 4 million of these were receiving medical care, and more than 2 million were being treated in a drug addiction facility. While these 4 million started their journey towards healing and recovery in 2018, it did not end after rehabilitation was done. Instead, substance abuse treatment is only the initial step on the long-term path to sobriety. As they walk that path, there will be rough roads and pitfalls, particularly the threat of relapse. In truth, of those individuals who have undergone treatment, at least 40% of them relapse.
In these stressful and challenging times, when depression, fear, and boredom are the main variables influencing our lives as the coronavirus spreads worldwide, it is even more crucial to practice new habits that will help you effectively avoid relapse.
Tips To Avoid Relapse
There are different strategies for being mindful of yourself and achieving success in terms of healing and recovery. These strategies may be even more imperative as we face anxieties, seclusion, and social distancing as the weeks and months go by. With the global crisis affecting our way of living, those who have finished rehab and continuing to recover must be mindful of following these tips.
- Confide in others about how you feel. Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend, family, or significant other gives you a chance to release the negativity, fear, shame, or loneliness that you’re dealing with. Remember to be as honest as you can, or else it will be useless.
- Learn new coping skills. Managing your stress, worry, or fear positively is very vital if you want to achieve sobriety for the long-term. Acquiring relaxation and stress management techniques may help you resist the temptation of thinking about drugs or alcohol during challenging times like the COVID-19 outbreak. Yoga, meditation, and breathing are all effective techniques that will definitely help.
- Take Care Of Yourself. Despite the problems that you or your family may be facing because of the pandemic, you should always find time to practice self-care for your physical and mental health. This will place you in a better mindset. Self-care includes exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating healthily, taking time to meditation or self-reflect, going outside and feeling the sun and wind from your balcony, or simply changing the position of your furniture to feel brand new.
- Don’t allow yourself to be bored. Schedule your day and fill it with activities that will strengthen your body and mind. Work on a puzzle or play a word game with your family. Sweat it out while watching television. Or read an exciting book just to load your day with something to do.
- Be aware of the HALT – hunger, angry, lonely, or tired. These are all emotions that can heighten your stress and anxiety and may cause you to make unwise decisions.
- Formulate a relapse avoidance plan. This plan may involve making a daily checklist of reminders, chores, reflections, or anything important to you. This list contains cues and reasons why you need to be sober.
- Always be grateful. Despite the period that we are going through right now, which may be one of our darkest days, there is always something to be thankful for, and we must not forget that. Every day, be grateful for whatever you have received and for what you are blessed with.
- Seek help when you need it. Staying sober is truly daunting, and you constantly are at risk of making it more difficult if you try to go through it alone. If you feel like you can’t get through today, seek help from family or friends. Reach out to them by calling them, as it won’t be as easy as before to let them come over and keep you company. It depends on the gifts of digital technology to keep yourself connected to them and your community. You need a support system – do not deny yourself that.
The road to recovery is indeed a journey filled with bumps and falls, and you must acknowledge the fact that our current worldwide crisis may contribute to the risk of having a relapse. Be ready for this risk so that you will remain sober amid COVID-19.