5 Ways to Strengthen Recovery and Prevent Drug and Alcohol Relapse

By Alan Meyers, Ph.D., NBCFCH  

Inspire Palm Beach 


Throughout the history of addiction, relapse prevention has always been one of the key recovery components.   

Due to the relative ease with which addicts and alcoholics experience relapse episodes, treatment programs and discharge planners pay close attention to providing referrals that place emphasis on the prevention of relapse. Relapse prevention techniques vary greatly in their practice and results. Unfortunately, relapse with drugs or alcohol occurs so frequently in the recovery process that a combination of prevention activities play a prominent role in most aftercare and continuing care treatment plans.  The following are 5 basic inclusions in any addiction treatment or prevention plan activities.   


1.    Add a Spiritual Practice to daily life. Spiritual practices may include all or combinations of activities that best fit the client’s needs.  Clients may include: Religion, Eastern Philosophy, Meditation, Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Metaphysics, and other practices or education that aids in preventing relapse as well as providing a spiritual sense of Hope and Peace. 


2.    Continue to practice and build Awareness.  When a person is aware, relapse does not happen.  A continuous conscious effort to build awareness of feelings, emotions, thoughts and surroundings provides the opportunity to make the best choice and change the thinking process from using drugs or alcohol to promoting a more positive activity that reinforces sobriety and health. 


3.    Build a positive and supportive system of family and friends with whom the client may develop their own social network.  Clients may consider AA, NA as a method to make contact with people that conduct a wide variety of drug and alcohol-free activities. 


4.    Practice being in the moment and eliminate Boredom.  People in recovery agree that boredom is one of the most difficult situations to resolve. Clients must make the effort and take responsibility for developing activities and schedules that promote positive reinforcement for recovery. 


5.    Evaluate your diet. Consult with a Dietician to assist in developing an eating regimen that promotes health and well-being.  Bringing the diet into the recovery strengthening process aids recovery by continually training the “conscious decision-making process” to make new choices for healthy eating practices. 


Bonus: Learn about and practice Mindfulness.  Living a mindful life is sure to build an awareness of appropriate choice mechanisms and add strength to recovery, thinking and behaving. 


 “When Thinking Changes, Behaviors will Change by Themselves” 

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