Recovering from addiction or dependency is a difficult journey, and relapses can be common. So common, in fact, that it’s wise to have a relapse plan, as WebMD suggests. Having a relapse plan in place will help you prepare for the event before it happens, and cope with it if it does. It’s important to remember, though, that a relapse is not a sign of failure; it’s just a sign that you need to address the causes and make the appropriate changes in your life — or that you are in need of further professional help. Preventing relapses will take effort on your part, but by remaining diligent and steadfast in your dedication to recovery, you can overcome situations in which temptation or triggers are unavoidable.

What Can Cause a Relapse?

There are countless triggers or situations that can cause you to relapse, depending upon your experience and associations with alcohol. Here are some of the most common:

  • Exposure — it’s unwise to spend your time with friends who are heavy drinkers or to attend events in which drinking will be featured prominently, though sometimes this can be difficult to avoid. It helps to avoid any situations in which you will feel pressure — from the social setting or from other people — to drink. In fact, Alcoholics Anonymous recommends avoiding certain “people, places, and things” for this very reason.
  • Stress — stressful situations or pressures at work or in relationships can lead you down the path to a relapse if they are not properly addressed and managed.
  • Other triggers — you may have specific triggers that cause you to crave alcohol. While these triggers can vary from person to person, only you know exactly what may cause you to have a lapse in sobriety. When it comes to avoiding and battling these triggers, you may need professional help in the form of a therapist or a rehab aftercare program.

How Can You Prevent a Relapse?

The best way to prevent a relapse is by seeking out continued support and care. You’ll need the motivation to stay sober and keep working on your recovery process in the face of challenges, and centers for alcohol rehab in Phoenix like The River Source offer continuing care and relapse prevention programs for this very purpose. You’ll want to choose a rehab center with a variety of treatment options — medical and holistic included. Treating your body and mind to the proper amount of self-care, as well as integrating natural remedies for stress relief, can give your recovery more of a boost than just traditional methods alone. In fact, according to The Huffington Post, mindfulness can be an incredibly helpful practice when it comes to battling relapses in alcohol addiction.

Traditional therapy and medication, in addition to holistic techniques, can also help you avoid a relapse in some cases, especially if you have a dual diagnosis of addiction paired with another mental illness. But one of the wisest choices you can make in avoiding a relapse is to keep up with outpatient aftercare following your initial treatment for addiction.