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Addiction relapse

At Priory, we understand that the path to recovery from an addiction is full of challenges, and you may be tempted to resume your alcohol or drug misuse, or your addictive behaviours, even after you have achieved and maintained abstinence. This is known as relapse. When you have struggled with addiction, you will need to continue working towards ongoing abstinence and recovery throughout the course of your life, and therefore it is hugely important to gain an understanding of the risks associated with relapse, especially in the early days of recovery.

From the moment that you acknowledge that you have a problem with drugs, alcohol or another behavioural addiction and decide to seek treatment, it will be important to begin to consider how your abstinence may become compromised after you complete treatment and return to your everyday life. This is by no means an admission of defeat, but rather an opportunity to honestly appraise your lifestyle and begin formulating a plan for life after treatment.

Relapse prevention

Each person’s experience of addiction and substance misuse will vary, and therefore each individual will have their own set of strengths and pitfalls to address, as they commit to a life free from drugs, alcohol or other addictive behaviours. However, everyone can expect to face cravings from time-to-time following treatment, and it should be noted that it is not uncommon for individuals in addiction recovery to experience a form of relapse at some point. 

At Priory, our addiction treatment experts are dedicated to providing comprehensive relapse prevention planning to each individual who seeks addiction support with us, and support them in maintaining abstinence as part of our personalised aftercare and Continuing Care Plans. We are truly committed to your ongoing recovery and provide a wide range of aftercare resources to support you in your transition back to your day-to-day life.

How to reduce the risk of addiction relapse

Relapse is a very real concern for each individual in addiction recovery, and therefore, it is important to plan ahead and take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of you experiencing an addiction relapse. By taking the time to identify your own personal triggers, you will be better prepared to avoid any negative influences that may have an adverse effect on your abstinence, and potentially lead to you relapsing.

Before you are discharged from your Addiction Treatment Programme at Priory, we will support you to make time for self-reflection, and encourage you to consider the following:

  • Be mindful of people who may not support your new, healthy choices. Whilst your abstinence and sobriety is ultimately your responsibility, if it is easier to avoid drinking, using drugs or engaging in unhealthy behaviours by steering clear of certain individuals, do not be afraid to cut ties with these people if necessary
  • Stress can be a major cause of addiction relapse, so be sure to consistently monitor your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, and take steps to address any negative thoughts or emotions that may lead to you relapsing
  • Ensure that you engage with the support that is offered to you as part of your bespoke aftercare plan, and take time to find the services that benefit you most within your community
  • If a relapse should occur, be kind to yourself and remember that it does not necessarily signal an end to the sobriety and abstinence that you have worked so hard to achieve. Priory can help you to get yourself back on track following relapse, so don’t be afraid to reach out

Relapse prevention planning is a priority at Priory from the moment that you enter treatment for addiction. By developing an understanding of the personal triggers that may compromise your abstinence, you will be much better prepared to accurately assess negative situations, and be better equipped to prevent addiction relapse. Furthermore, by having a robust plan in place for how you will respond to a relapse, you will stand a much greater chance of overcoming this setback, rather than viewing it as a defeat.

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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding addiction treatment, please call 0330 056 6023 or click here to submit an enquiry form. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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