Relapse is an unfortunate reality of recovery, and relapse prevention is a critical component of recovering from any addiction. If somebody has a loved one in recovery, then they most likely have a role to play in order to prevent the individual in recovery from relapsing. But how to help someone prevent relapse?
The number one key to preventing relapse is being honest with the individual in recovery. If one notices that the individual is returning to a pattern from the old days of addiction, such as disappearing for hours without word, unhealthy coping behaviors, etc, then one should say something, rather than let it pass.
Family members and friends who notice these patterns should take action and honestly tell the individual what they are seeing and what they think it means. Staying silent will put the individual’s sobriety in jeopardy.
The same is true for the individual themselves. If they are having thoughts about starting to use drugs or alcohol again, then they should be honest with their family about their worry over giving into temptation. If they cannot speak to their family, they should open up to their therapist or members of their 12 Step Program. Triggers can be difficult to resist, but being honest about things will go a long way to help the individual stay in recovery long term.
Tools for Preventing Relapse
What can the family do to help?
Reduce Stress Levels Early
When the individual returns home from inpatient treatment, they should be given enough time to ease back into a new routine. The family can start by giving them small tasks to do, like doing the laundry or making dinner. Over the course of the next couple of months they can be given larger tasks like taking care of some of the bills, or taking the kids to school. The key is not to rush and overwhelm the individual.
Attend Family Recovery Meetings
Going to AA, Ala-Teen, or other family support groups for the friends and family members of recovering individuals helps them stay sober. The dynamics within their social circle or household that helped nurture their addiction may still be present once they are home, and that puts their sobriety at risk.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
This is one of the most helpful things family members or friends can do. Make sure to engage in lots of fun activities with the individual that don’t involve drugs. This could be anything from board games at home to a night out at the movies.
Following these guidelines can not only prevent relapse, but can also foster closer and stronger relationships with the individual, which in turn will give them the support and encouragement they need to stay in recovery and away from relapse.
Blueprints for Recovery can help you prevent relapse. Contact us to find out how we can help you.