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What's the best way to avoid relapse when you've been clean for over a year?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 10/22/2018 at 7:25am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Brenda King, PsyD


I treat life changes, women’s issues, and issues of aging using evidence-based treatments with healthy doses of warmth, empathy and humor to enhance healing and growth.

Top Rated Answers
April 19th, 2015 1:58pm
Take on every day, one at time, as if it's your very first day in recovery. Know your triggers, reach out to your support group and be self aware of warning signs of relapse.
July 21st, 2015 4:03am
Have an accountability partner. a friend, a family member, a therapist, a youth leader, a listener, anyone who can check on you for updates and support you.
September 25th, 2017 4:35pm
Relapses are normal parts of the healing process. The urges will only last for a little while. Try closing your eyes, say "5 more minutes", and after that do it again until the urges go away. Think "I've gotten so far, I don't want to reset the progress I've made". Try to distract your mind with something such as hobbies, exercise, watch a movie. You can actively talk to listeners here to get out what you need in order to stay somewhat healthy. Avoid hurtful situations that can trigger these urges, don't allow negativity in your life because you've come so far and you deserve to be happy. I hope this helped a little, good luck! I believe in you.
January 24th, 2015 5:53am
Avoid the thing you're clean from as much as possible. If you start feeling the urge to start again, distract yourself (with music, a movie, exercise, etc.) until that feeling goes away!
May 31st, 2015 8:49pm
keep yourself distracted if you dont wanna relapse remind yourself constantly that you dont wanna fall back into old habits, stay away from people that are beginning to trigger you.
September 1st, 2015 7:41am
Keep a healthy and clean life style have at least two Hobbies to keep you distracted of these influences.
December 8th, 2015 3:29pm
Try to find something that keeps you distracted, gives you energy and focuses your attention on it. For example, sports or a hobby which you enjoy doing can increase your mental health immensely. As soon as you start to feel that you may relapse, talk to a close friend who knows you and your situation and tell them how you feel. Set your emotions free in a way that can't hurt you, cry, scream, write your feelings down. Take a shower or a bath and try to stay calm. You are searching a permanent "solution" not a temporary which in the end, only makes you feel worse. You can go through this.
December 28th, 2015 12:15am
realise why you stopped in the first place, and then think of the reaction of your family and friends would be if you left this earth
February 9th, 2016 7:13am
One way to avoid a relapse is to contact someone you trust for support like a close friend, relative, therapist, or sponsor.
April 4th, 2016 5:14pm
Face daily activities and join in events stay focused remember why you want a better life and keep pushing one foot in front of the other
April 26th, 2016 7:21pm
Remind yourself how far you've come and think of all the reasons you stopped. Avoid triggers (images, conversations). try meditative and relaxing exercises.
May 30th, 2016 6:41pm
Throw out your blades and think how proud of yourself you are for managing that incredible achievement. Do something you love to forget about the urge to self-harm again.
June 13th, 2016 6:41pm
Continue to avoid temptations that lead you to the addiction in the first place. This will help you
July 25th, 2016 10:07pm
The best way to avoid a relapse when you have been clean for any amount of time is to re focus your attention on why it is you became clean in the first place. If that point is no longer relevant to you, think on why you stayed clean. There was a reason to start your issue, as there was a reason to change your situation. If your afraid you are reversing and may relapse, take a big deep breath and checklist those reasons - and make new ones! Every day you spend clean is a new reason to celebrate because every day we are given is a gift. A new sunshine, a new breeze, a new smile. Re group, re focus, Reason.
August 16th, 2016 4:57am
Honestly, no one method works for every person. The important thing is to be cognizant of your behaviors and to avoid actions, feelings, and emotional states that were closely tied with whatever drug or negative behavior that previously occurred. Understanding how to deal with these emotions or behaviors allows you to create a better plan to avoid relapse.
October 4th, 2016 7:23pm
I feel like the best way to avoid relapsing is to keep yourself occupied and find something to distract you from wanting it. Like to refrain from self harming, go on a walk and listen to music, enjoy the outdoors. And overtime that might eventually become a habit.
March 27th, 2017 12:45pm
Continue what you have been doing for that year. There is a reason why it was so successful in the first place
August 1st, 2017 5:18pm
I find that the urge to self harm doesn't leave once you've do it. It comes and goes like waves, the best thing to do is remove everything you can that can lead to self harm. Have an accountability partner, someone you trust to check up on you and give reward for good behavior and punishments for bad ( ex: treating you to your favorite food or take away treats for a time being) the key is to reward good behavior and celebrate achievements while at the same time communicating the repercussions of bad.
October 22nd, 2018 7:25am
I think that each person has his/her own journey to take and so if you are really wanting to avoid a relapse first you have to know how amazing that is for you to want to better yourself, but you have to do it for you, not for your friends and family, but for you. you have to learn to love yourself and love taking care of yourself. I also think surrounding yourself with the people who support and care for you is very important, you have to build a support system that you know would never judge you, this doesn't have to be family or close friends, it could be a group you are recently attending. Also filling your time doing things you love so you don't get bored and lonely can be very helpful at times!