Positive Coping Mechanisms for Substance Abuse Relapse

While everyone engaged in any kind of substance abuse addiction recovery program wishes they could be done with their abused substance once and for all without any issues, the reality is that things aren’t always this simple. It’s not uncommon for those in recovery to return to the use of a given substance, and this is generally known in the addiction recovery world as relapse.

At Moonlight Mountain Recovery, we’re proud to offer the very best addiction recovery programs in Boise and nearby areas, including drug addiction recovery, alcohol addiction recovery and more. We’ve assisted numerous patients with relapse situations, and one concept rises above all others during these settings: While relapse is certainly not a good thing during recovery, it’s also far from the end of your recovery road — and isn’t something you should shame yourself over, as this will only detract from your long-term efforts. Rather, here are some simple coping mechanisms we often recommend to those who have relapsed during substance abuse recovery, but are looking to overcome this temporary speed bump and get back on their recovery path.

No Shame

We just said it above, but we really want to drive home the point that you shouldn’t shame yourself when you relapse during your recovery journey. It happens to countless others, and the fact of the matter is that it’s a normal part of substance abuse addiction recovery.

Rather, you should look at relapse as a learning opportunity. You can use this information to determine what went wrong during the relapse, and you can also learn how to better prevent another relapse from occurring in the future.

Keep a Gratitude-Based Attitude

One of the first things to get lost during a relapse is your sense of gratitude. Things like exercising, eating healthy, and focusing on the finer things in life all tend to take a back seat when you’re addicted to a substance — and this can make it that much more difficult for you to recover from addiction.

However, when you look at things through the lens of gratitude in the wake of a relapse, it’s much easier to keep things in perspective. It’s important to maintain a positive outlook on life as you go through your recovery journey, and being grateful can be one of the most powerful ways to do this.

For instance, you can bee grateful for the fact that you’re alive, that your body is still healthy enough to participate in a recovery program and more. There’s always something to be grateful for in life, even when things seem their bleakest — and focusing on these items can help immensely during relapse situations.

Get Social Support

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of recovery is your social support. Many people who have relapsed during their recovery journey do so because they don’t feel supported by anyone, and this can lead to feelings of isolation.

Getting the support of loved ones during relapse periods can be one of the most powerful ways to overcome these times. Whether you call a friend, family member or loved one to talk through things or set up regular meetings with a therapist or support group, getting social support can help you better avoid relapse situations moving forward.

You don’t have to go through your recovery journey alone — and in fact, it’s typically much more beneficial for you if you don’t do so. Reach out to those who care about you, and you’ll likely find that it’s much easier to get back on your recovery journey with the proper guidance and support.

Talk or Write About It

Down related lines, another powerful strategy for overcoming a relapse is to talk or write about it. Maybe you don’t feel ready to talk to someone in your life, and that’s perfectly fine — but we highly recommend taking the time to simply write down how you’re feeling during this difficult period.

The reason why writing can be so helpful here is because it provides an outlet for the emotions you’re feeling — and it also can help you to process them in a more effective manner. Writing about your experience with relapse during this time, what happened and what you plan to do moving forward may be just the tool you need to push past this difficulty and get back on track.

Focus on Learning Opportunities

As we touched on above, viewing a relapse as a learning opportunity can be a powerful way to push past difficult situations. You can take the time during this period to learn more about what happened, why it happened and how you can avoid it in the future.

Whether you decide to set up therapy sessions or simply write down your thoughts, taking the time to reflect on things from a learning perspective can be an incredibly powerful tool during the difficult time of a relapse. After all, you’re not going to learn from your mistakes if you don’t take the time to look at what went wrong and how it impacted recovery.

Though it can be incredibly challenging to deal with a relapse situation, we hope that this article has given you some helpful tips for working through it. Remember to focus on remaining positive, getting the support you need and working toward your recovery goals moving forward. The road to recovery is a long one — but there are always things that can be learned along the way.

For more on this or any of our caring addiction recovery programs, speak to our team at Moonlight Mountain Recovery today.

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