Drug and alcohol addiction are difficult situations to which people must cope. The addiction has lasting effects on the addict, their family, and the community. Getting help is not easy. Addicts must accept the fact that they have a problem, which is a task in itself. Next, they must enter a treatment center and complete the program. These programs focus on making the recovering addict ready for life outside of treatment; where temptation and enablers are plentiful. Recovering addicts are taught what to avoid and techniques to reduce the chances of relapse. Relapse is not a normal part of the recovery process, but it does happen. Recovering addicts should not see relapse as a failure in drug addiction treatment, but rather a sign that more treatment is necessary to strengthen their self-efficacy. Here are five ways to avoid addiction relapse.

Avoiding Temptations

Avoiding temptations is the first defense against relapse. Many recovering addicts feel rejuvenated, strong, and powerful after completing a treatment program; which they have good reason to feel. The problem with that is they have more hubris than strength. They want to prove they can be around those substances without caving-in. Unfortunately, many are unable to turn down this temptation. Avoiding temptation is the first and last line of defense against relapse. If you do not go near or around drugs, alcohol, or the individuals that you associated with during your addiction you have a better chance of long-term sobriety. Recovering addicts are encouraged to refrain from associating with old friends or going to old hangouts. Any situations, people, or places that could trigger a craving should be avoided.

Developing a Positive Support Network

Recovering addicts are given the tools to help them maintain sobriety after treatment, which is very hard to practice. Even the strongest, most successful treatment patients get themselves into trouble or situations that could lead to relapse. In these cases the availability of a strong and positive support network can help. These individuals are people you can count on for help in a moment of weakness. There are even applications for smart phones that connect an “in-trouble-of-relapsing” recovering addict with up to ten contacts. These individuals would be alerted of the potential danger and given an opportunity to help. Recovering addicts must cut ties with anyone that could be toxic in their lives. They should surround themselves with positive people that can help them.

Create a Healthy Schedule

Most people do not realize the time and energy that goes into acquiring and consuming drugs. Drug addicts designate nearly every second of their lives to getting and doing drugs. When they finally get clean they are left with loads of free time. It is essential that they develop a healthy schedule to keep them out of trouble. Recovering addicts that create a healthy schedule increase their chances of long term sobriety. By eating healthy balanced meals, exercising, and maintaining a safe social life recovering addicts create an environment that is conducive to sober living.

Do Not Stop

Recovering addicts must maintain their enthusiasm and confidence in treatment. Drug addiction treatment does not end at the end of inpatient treatment programs. Recovering addicts must continue to improve their lives. When recovering addicts find what workers for them they must stick to it and continuously try to improve on it.

Relapse is Not Failure

It is imperative that recovering addicts do not view their relapse as a failure. Getting sober and staying so is a difficult process. It is something that requires constant work and enthusiasm. When recovering addicts view relapse as a failure they allow themselves to fail. Relapsing only means that further treatment is required. Recovering addicts who relapse should reevaluate their relapse. Life is not about falling down, but how you pick yourself back up. Relapse should be considered a chance to learn. Learning from your mistakes is the only way to evolve.