6 Ways to Guard Against Relapse When Transitioning Back to Living Alone

6 Ways to Guard Against Relapse When Transitioning Back to Living Alone

To continue your recovery success, you need a plan to guard against relapse, especially when you transition back to normal life after rehab ends. While in rehab, people who struggle with addiction are on regular schedules that include daily interaction with therapists and other patients. Unfortunately, when treatment is over and the patient returns home, she must find a new way to cope with life without such help, but these relationships can seem overwhelming. However, if you employ the coping strategies that you learned in rehab and stick to a recovery plan, then you can execute the best strategy to avoiding relapse. Along with having a recovery plan, the following 6 steps can help you and your loved one prevent relapse when transitioning from home from rehab.

Avoid Temptation

It may seem like a no-brainer for those who are recovering from addiction, but avoiding the temptation of drugs and alcohol is one of the best ways to guard against relapse. If you live alone, then have your friends, family or accountability partner rid your home of all substances before you return home. If you have no drugs at home, then it will be difficult to relapse again. However, it is also important that you stay away from family gatherings and parties with friends where alcohol is present. Talk to your family and friends about keeping get-togethers alcohol free to promote sobriety. If your family and friends support of your recovery, then this will be an easy request for them to honor. However, if your loved ones are unwilling to support your recovery in this way, then you may need to find alternative social outlets.

Develop a Support System

Family members and friends who support your recovery is just one part of the equation when it comes to healthy support. After rehab ends, you can join a support group to build this system while also learning to be there for others who share similar struggles. Your support system can also include members of your church, synagogue or other places of worship as well as your co-workers. Choose a couple of people from your support group and become accountability partners—these people can be a vital lifeline in your battle against relapse. Having one or two friends who are available to you and you to them 24 hours a day can give you the strength to say no to drugs when the temptation to relapse becomes too great.

Develop Healthy Habits

Many people who struggle with addiction also deal with malnutrition. During the worst days of drug abuse, food takes a back seat to getting and using a substance. You could develop healthy eating habits to heal and strengthen your immune system: when your immune system is healthy, you are less likely to crave your drug of choice. In other words, as your body continues to heal by supplying it the nutrients it needs, your need for other things to satisfy will reduce.

Another healthy habit can guard you against relapse, and it is getting enough sleep. Before rehab ends, you were preoccupied with getting and using drugs or alcohol. Nothing else mattered at that time, including a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, exhaustion of this level can feed a substance abuse problem as you search for things to help you rest. A proper night’s sleep reduces the risk of depression, gives you clarity of mind and helps you resist turning to unhealthy options that make you feel better.

Get Regular Exercise

Studies show that exercise increases energy and releases neurotransmitters that boost mood and create an overall sense of wellbeing. Releasing these neurotransmitters naturally means you are less likely to crave them from a substance. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies show that regular exercise reduces drug-seeking behavior and increases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine into the brain at a similar level as cocaine. Regular exercise also decreases your risk of relapse by giving you a variety of healthy activities from which to choose if you are living alone.

Stick to Your Recovery Plan

Before leaving the rehab facility, your team of therapists, doctors and other professionals will help you develop a plan for life after treatment ends. Stick to this plan no matter how you feel on a given day to stay clean. Individual therapy sessions, group therapy and support group meetings work together to keep you balanced and focused on recovery.

Understand the Realities of Relapse

If you understand that relapse is always a possibility, then you can maintain realistic expectations. If you think you will never be tempted to relapse or never have a bad day, then you will be unprepared when these moments come. Trouble will come, so be ready to face times of discouragement with a good plan place.

Find Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

If you live alone, then be prepared for life after rehab to increase the likelihood of recovery success. If you or a loved one struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, then know that we are here for you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.