The toughest challenge for persons recovering from alcohol or substance abuse is avoiding relapse. There might be instances after rehab that could spur the urge to again use substances or get intoxicated. However, if the person sticks to his/her prescribed regimens and keeps his/her resolve with the help of support systems, relapse prevention can be manageable.
Patients who have completed detox, show signs of high motivation, and prove that they no longer require 24-hour care can be treated on an outpatient basis. Follow-ups will be scheduled after the outpatient treatment. Taking prescribed medications to manage cravings or treat mental health problems is important. A patient who feels the need for professional help beyond these follow-up sessions should seek further consultations.
Dietary modifications and exercise regimens recommended while on an inpatient treatment program may need to be adhered to even as an outpatient. These are critical to stabilizing mood, keeping energy levels under control, and overall caring for the patient’s health. Non-destructive rewards for accomplishments are encouraged.
Leisure activities and support systems can help in strengthening motivations and managing stress that can trigger relapse tendencies. Calming or relaxing activities like sight-seeing, keeping a sweet pet, and taking a vacation can be very effective. It will also help to attend support group meetings or enjoy the company of friends and family who make the patient feel he/she is not alone in the fight against relapsing.