Effective Ways to Prevent Relapse

Effective Ways to Prevent Relapse

Most people relapse even after they’ve completed treatment. Relapse often occurs in the first year after completing addiction treatment and can happen for different reasons. However, each person is different, so everyone’s situation will also be different. What may cause you to relapse may not trigger a relapse for another person.

The sad thing is that relapse can happen whether you’ve been sober for a few days or a decade. But, understanding your triggers can help you avoid or deal with them, reducing your chances of relapsing. For instance, if your trigger is depression, joining an intensive outpatient program with The Life Adjustment Group can help you get personalized care and support to fight depression and prevent a relapse. Here are a few other effective ways you can prevent relapse:

1. Distract Yourself

One of the most effective ways to prevent relapse is to deal with cravings when they occur. Cravings often leave after 30 minutes. Come up with ways to distract yourself whenever the urge to relapse comes. These can include making a call to a friend, attending a meeting, or doing something you enjoy. You can also try learning distraction techniques like counting birds in the sky or flagstones on the pavement.

Another proven technique to distract yourself when craving strike is breathing exercises or dialing a random number and apologizing for calling the wrong number. On top of that, ensure you’re well-prepared for the worst if you start to feel the urge to relapse. This can be coming up with an action plan you can use in an emergency.

2. Develop a Positive Support Network

Another proven way to prevent relapse is surrounding yourself with a circle of support during your recovery. Having a support network can go a long way in helping you in your low moments, reminding you why you decided to get sober, and encouraging you to connect with sober people. Your support network should complement your communication style and attitude.

For example, one study showed a mobile texting aftercare support program to be effective at helping young adults participate in post-treatment recovery activities and avoid relapse. Your support network can include peer support groups, family members, and friends. A peer support group allows you to join other people in recovery and offer each other support by sharing experiences, knowledge, and coping strategies. This also helps you feel less isolated and lonely, which can help you avoid relapse.

3. List Your Triggers

Besides creating a positive support network, you can also avoid relapse by understanding your triggers and creating a comprehensive relapse prevention plan. List your triggers to avoid the possibility of another relapse in the future. Once you identify your triggers, develop an action plan for each. Make sure you also understand what led to your alcohol and drug addiction in the first place and how relapse can affect you.


Preventing relapse is something you have to continuously work on during your recovery. Refer to these tips above whenever you get overwhelmed or feel the urge to relapse. Understand your triggers and find ways to deal with them. Reach out to your support network and get the support and help you need to reduce the chances of future relapse.

Asheley Rice

I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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