How To Prevent Relapse: The Guide to Deal With The Stages

Recovery from any drug addiction is a challenging task itself. It becomes more difficult for those who’ve accepted the new change and hope to move on toward a better life.

Because, after a certain treatment gap, relapse can drag them into the same life they decided to quit earlier. Recovery from strong drug addiction takes quite a time.

In this case, relapse can trigger after a certain period. It is tough to deal with relapse, but it’s nothing incurable.

Here, in this guide, you’ll learn how to prevent relapse and encourage yourself to maintain good growth in your life consistently.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

What is Relapse?

In simple words, relapse means again getting into substances after a cut-off period. It is the urge of an addicted person to find a way to get involved in drugs again. Relapse can occur at any stage of the recovery procedure.

While in treatment, the patient doesn’t get in contact with any kind of substance. One may think that not getting in touch with the drugs for a few days has made the addict free from addiction.

But, in the actual scenario, it is high time when relapse can take place. So, the patient needs to be under careful supervision. Moreover, he/she should try to deal with it themselves.

Why Does Relapse Take Place?

During the recovery period, relapse can take place after a breakoff using substances. Research has shown that relapse is prone to occur within a year of drug addiction treatment.

It is not possible for a person to forget drugs in a short time if he or she has been in this for a long time. Addiction doesn’t go away quickly.

When a person is clean for a good time, he/she can again get into it at some point where they lose control over themselves. Sometimes the memory trigger or lack of self-awareness can cause relapse.

How To Prevent Relapse

Ways To Prevent Relapse

You may think relapse happens suddenly. One moment you’re not thinking about it; the next moment, you’re using it. And you don’t even know how you reached there.

Relapse is an ongoing process. It works subconsciously in your mind. So, you must learn about the warning signs of relapse and the ways to prevent it.

Stages Of Relapse

To know how to prevent relapse, firstly, you need to know its stages. There’re mainly three stages of relapse. Emotional, Mental and Physical. Let’s know in detail about them.

Emotional Signs Of Relapse

The first stage is emotional relapse. It is the very early stage of relapse. At this time, you’re in all your senses, and you’re not thinking about using drugs again.

But sometimes, all your behavior and emotions set you up for relapse again. So, you must recognize the signs of emotional relapse and seek help for them. Otherwise, at a time, you’ll start to feel uncomfortable in your own skin, leading to mental relapse.

The primary signs of emotional relapse are-

  • Isolating yourself
  • Bottling up your emotions
  • Not asking for help
  • Avoid meetings and gatherings
  • Poor diet and sleep
  • Overall poor self-care

Mental Signs Of Relapse

When your emotional relapse is there for too long, you get into thinking about using it again. This is where the mental relapse starts. A constant war is there in your mind about using and not using.

At first, it is easier to rectify your thoughts. But it becomes too difficult for you if they’re coming again and again.

The signs of mental relapse are-

  • You start to think about the people, places and things that encourage you to use the substance
  • You recall moments and states when you were using
  • Seeing old using friends
  • Start to lie to others as well as yourself
  • Looking up for the opportunity to take drugs again

Physical Signs Of Relapse

After you cross the borders of emotional and mental relapse you reach the physical stage. This is the part where you take the action and you’re again involved in addiction.

The worst thing is, you’re using it after a long time. Your body at present is not capable of taking the dosages like before. So, you end up in a more complicated and worse condition if you use it again.

Treatment Options – Ways To Prevent Relapse

First things first, when you start to notice the rising signs of relapse within yourself, seek professional help immediately. It’ll help you to manage the situation easier with assistance.

Make A Daily Routine

Making a daily routine and maintaining it will help you to prevent relapse. When you’re in a certain routine, it helps your mind to get used to doing things properly. Which brings you satisfaction, thus your mind is not encouraged to make you think about getting into drugs or drinking again.

Don’t Give Much Room To Your Cravings

You were into drugs and drinking in the past. Indeed, the need or want of doing it again won’t disappear suddenly. You’ll have the craving to use it again in some stages.

When the craving is ongoing, wait for 30 minutes and give yourself some time. After a while the craving goes away by itself if it is not too strong.

Share Your Thoughts And Feeling

Bottling up emotions and thoughts can make you vulnerable, leading to relapse. So, share your feelings and thoughts with someone to ease yourself. Sharing helps a lot in preventing relapse.

Asking for help doesn’t always come easy but if you want to prevent relapse you have to learn how to ask for help. This could mean reaching out to your case manager or therapist, your recovery support group, or another set group of friends.

Keep Yourself Busy In Doing Something Productive

To master your mind, you must regularly exercise a particular positive act. Form different productive habits and get busy in performing those regularly. It’ll make you feel fulfilled.

This fulfillment will help you not get into drinking and drugs again.

Meditate And Focus On Your Breathing Exercise

We all know that meditation relaxes your mind and helps you to achieve control over yourself. Try to meditate and maintain a routine. You can also try different physical exercises or yoga to keep yourself calm.

Again, whenever you’re triggered to the sense of relapsing, focus on breathing exercise. It helps you to calm down instantly at a level and prevents you from indulging in the thought of using substances.

Keep A Journal And Write Down Your Thoughts

Journaling has always been a great way to understand yourself clearer. Maintain a diary to write down what you’re thinking. It’ll help you to understand yourself more clearly.

You’ll get to know what you want to do, who you really are and what you’re planning on doing in the future. This better vision of your future life will assist you to find a better meaning of life, thus preventing relapse.

Take Proper Medication And Therapy

Medication and therapy play a big role in preventing relapse. Get professional help if you’re noticing that you can’t handle yourself on your own only. Join a great support group to share your emotions and thoughts.


Preventing relapse isn’t an easy job, but you can surely overcome it if you try hard. No matter how much you’ve suffered in the past from addiction, ask for help if you need it. Most of the time, asking for help is the key to preventing relapse.

Niramoy Hospital is right here to help support your recovery. Please reach out when you have questions on relapse or to learn about relapse prevention and treatment alternatives that can help you get returned on track.