Relapse Prevention: What to Do After Drug Abuse Treatment

After seeking drug abuse help and going through drug rehabilitation, drug users are back to dealing with normal life issues. The problem is that most drug abusers have a set of friends who use drugs, dealers who offer drugs and an environment that triggers relapse. After drug abuse treatment, users are tasked with relapse prevention to lower the chance of relapsing on their drug of choice.

What is Drug and Alcohol Abuse Relapse?

Although drug and alcohol detox is physically painful, many drug abusers have the hardest time during relapse prevention. Drug abuse treatment gets the drug abuser through the first few weeks of “kicking an opiate habit,” but the following weeks usually bring depression and a sense of confusion. It is during these times that the drug abuser is more likely to relapse on drugs, although a relapse can happen years after alcohol and drug abuse treatment. There is a high likelihood that a drug abuse will relapse after drug abuse treatment. Even if drug relapse occurs, the patient should focus on getting clean.

Substance Abuse Relapse and Drug Triggers

Drug users refer to any conversation, image, smell or activity that leads to temptation a “trigger.” Drug triggers make it more difficult for users to avoid drug relapse. For instance, seeing images of drugs in blogs or other forums can lead to temptation, so the drug abuser avoids these types of drug triggers for relapse prevention.

The biggest triggers are friends. The drug abuser needs to avoid hanging out with friends who use drugs. This is probably the most difficult choice, because some drug abusers have friends with whom they have associated for years. Some friends decide to quit using drugs and seek drug abuse treatment together to avoid the triggers.

Dealers who call and offer new products are also triggers. Some drug abusers delete the dealer’s phone number and flush any remaining product in the toilet to avoid a drug relapse. All of these triggers and steps to prevent drug relapse are emotionally and mentally difficult, but they improve the chance of a full recovery.

Diet and Exercise to Help Prevent Relapse

Diet and exercise play a role in drug prevention and it also helps with health, attitude, avoiding depression and improving mood. Drug users can help avoid drug relapse using diet and exercise. Cognitive behavioral therapy also helps deal with the depression and drug triggers. Regular exercise gets endorphins circulating and helps with improving move to avoid depression. These two factors reduce the chance of a drug relapse along with proper psychiatric therapy with a licensed professional.