Preventing relapse is a critical part of addiction recovery. Quickly and successfully recovering from lapses (a one-time “slip” where drugs or alcohol are used) and relapse (a return to an addictive lifestyle) when they happen is just as important. Fortunately, there are techniques and daily life skills recovering addicts can learn in order to make relapse prevention easier.
One of those skills, according to Terence Gorski, a leading addiction and mental health professional and academic, is learning to identify and manage the warning signs of possible relapse.1 These might include an uptick in arguments at work or at home, feeling lonely or isolated, or being unable to cope with stress. By recognizing the signs, the recovering addict can work on strategies for coping with each one: making more time to relax and rest, sharing feelings with others, spending more (or less) time with friends and family, etc.
Another relapse prevention tool that has developed in recent years is recovery coaching. A recovery coach works with people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction to help them avoid and recover from relapse, find the support they need in their community, and work on achieving their personal goals.
Recovery Coaching Resources:
- Faces and Voices of Recovery
- Join Together
- William White
- School of Coaching Mastery
- Coaching Tools Newsletter
- Recovery Coaches International
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