5 Tips for Avoiding Relapse

Breaking the cycle of addiction to opioids or other substances is never easy. Dr. Daniel Headrick and his caring team at Headrick Medical Center in San Juan Capistrano, California, help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. While the path isn’t always smooth and you may relapse along the way, the following five tips can help you get back on your road to recovery.

1. Prevent relapse with medication

Dr. Headrick uses medications such as Suboxone® and Sublocade™ injections to block opioid receptors and reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal in order to heal your addiction and prevent relapse. Dr. Headrick and his compassionate team, including a board-certified addiction specialist, can create a special treatment plan for your outpatient detox. 

We can also suggest certain steps to help you avoid relapse. It all begins and ends with you and your willingness to seek help and follow certain time-honored guidelines, such as those noted below.

2. Change your behavior 

Relapse never happens suddenly and it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It’s simply part of your particular journey toward health. 

Relapse usually occurs over a period of time. Pay attention to early signs of potential relapse, such as:

Dr. Headrick can help you become more aware of these issues to avoid relapse.

3. Get help through a variety of therapies

Dr. Headrick recommends a customized program that may incorporate both medication and behavioral therapy to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. Consider such therapies as:

Cognitive behavioral therapy 

Feelings of anxiety and depression are common during withdrawal from drug dependency. Learn how certain situations may trigger your substance abuse. 

Contingency management

Positive reinforcement helps you remain drug free.

12-Step programs 

Being part of a group of like-minded individuals makes you feel less isolated.

Motivational enhancement therapy

Focusing on your desire to remain drug free keeps you on track.

Family therapy

Recognize certain family histories and dynamics to better understand your own behavior.

4. Deal with your mental tug of war

It’s normal to remember the past. If you find yourself thinking excessively about using again, talk to your therapist or Dr. Headrick. Be aware of certain signs of relapse if you begin to: 

5. Avert relapse with a few simple actions

When stuck in the push and pull of addiction, it may help to talk to a friend, doctor, or therapist, or attend a group therapy meeting. You can also do something concrete to change the direction of your actions or thoughts, such as a relaxing bath or invigorating walk.

 Remember, you’re not alone. If you’d like to discuss your addiction with Dr. Headrick, simply contact our office or book an appointment online today.

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