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5 Relapse Prevention Group Activities to Keep After Rehab

by | Last updated Feb 11, 2021 at 5:29PM | Published on Nov 24, 2020 | Relapse Prevention

Relapse Prevention Group Activities

Addiction treatment is a long and complicated process. Everyone’s experiences in rehab are entirely different, so are their struggles. However, regardless of their type of addiction, they’ll all partake in relapse prevention sessions that will become the core of their coping strategies in recovery. These are the most important relapse prevention group activities to keep practicing during your recovery.

1. Functional Analysis Exercises

An everyday relapse prevention group activity is this functional exercise. The purpose is to help participants identify feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that relate to their addiction. The goal is to identify high-risk behavioral patterns and situations that may lead to relapse. Like in group therapy, the exercise involves identifying how you feel physically before, during, and after substance use. By knowing signs like stomach ache, tingling sensations, or headaches, you can learn to spot those triggers and prevent a relapse. It also helps you recognize any mental health triggers that can lead to relapse.

2. Centering Exercises

Now that you can clearly identify these triggers and behaviors, it’s time to think about how to calm yourself down. Here, the purpose of this exercise is to calm your racing thoughts and center yourself to make the right decisions during high-risk situations. Usually, you have to take a seat to complete this exercise. Close your eyes, breathe through the nose, hold it, and then breathe out through your mouth. Ask yourself what negative thoughts are racing through your mind. Repeat the breathing and focus on those. You can use mantras or prayers to help those negative thoughts fade away. Keep doing these exercises until you feel calm and centered.

3. Trigger Management Exercises

Once you’re out of rehab, there’s no way to control or manage triggers. It’s paramount to learn how to identify personal warning signs and external triggers that may push you to relapse. Usually, in this exercise, you’ll be reading your triggers to the group, and they’ll respond with strategies by asking “what if” questions. However, you can still practice this exercise by yourself. Next time you’re faced with a trigger, ask yourself “what if” questions and see what happens. Indeed, asking yourself these questions forces you to play the potential life movie of what would happen if you relapse.

4. History Exercise

Like the previous exercise, the history activity is there to remind you of the power of addiction. In a group discussion, you’ll have to share a short history of how your addiction affected your life. The group members then ask questions to help you find the turning points in your life that potentially led to your addiction. This is perhaps one of the most critical recovery group activities you want to keep after rehab. Replaying the story of your addiction will tell you exactly how much you’ve advanced and what would you be giving up if you relapse. 

5. Complete the Sentences Exercise

In essence, the ability to pick up thoughts and beliefs that are not true about yourself, the world, and others is key to prevent relapse. The sentence completion exercise is a quick technique that helps you identify and correct thoughts that aren’t true. Examples of these include, “I know my recovery is in jeopardy when…” or “when I think about drugs or alcohol, I usually…” Then, give yourself about six to eight different possibilities. If you can, write them down, you can even use your Notes app on your phone. Afterward, review the endings and look for the recurring theme. Those usually contain mistaken beliefs. 

What Are Relapse Prevention Programs?

While most inpatient rehab programs go over relapse prevention mechanisms, they don’t incorporate continuum care. After completing rehab, patients still need support to transition to the next phase of their recovery journey. Relapse prevention programs are often known as aftercare programs incorporated into intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) or outpatient programs. 

Overall, relapse prevention group activities can help recovering addicts and their loved ones learn how to:

  • Identify high-risk situations and teaches them the mechanisms and skills to handle those situations. 
  • Work on their confidence in early recovery.
  • Eliminate common misconceptions about the realities of alcohol and drug addiction recovery. 
  • Change their perception of the relapse process.
  • Recognize the first signs of relapse to prevent relapse before it sets someone back.

Truthfully, these programs are designed to give recovering addicts a sense of structure as they navigate back to their daily lives. Furthermore, these programs integrate various therapies and alternative treatments that can help people maintain their sobriety. It often involves family therapy, group therapy, and individual counseling to help look at the recovery journey from every possible angle.

The Importance of Rehab Activities for Addicts

Trying to find your way in rehab can be challenging. Rehab activities are meant to help people navigate addiction treatment easier. Having a holistic and nurturing activity to engage with can keep those in abuse treatment engaged between individual and group therapies. It’s also a good opportunity for family members to participate in their loved one’s hobbies and activities as rehab centers often open the doors to them.  

Overall, activities include things like music therapy, dance therapy, and simple feel-good days by the beach. The key is to focus away from the substance abuse and show people how long term sobriety after leaving drug rehab can feel and look like.

Finding a Relapse Prevention Program Near Me

Ultimately, choosing a treatment center that offers a relapse prevention program to help people stay sober, connected, and promote recovery support is critical. A comprehensive treatment center will incorporate these relapse prevention group activities in their schedules.

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe in offering customized drug addiction treatment plans for those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. On a case-by-case basis, we look at each treatment program to cater to whatever your needs are to get better and walk towards recovery.

From detoxification programs to support groups and more, everyone in our team is committed to helping you win the struggle with addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, don’t wait any longer. Countless treatment options can help them conquer their addiction and manage any withdrawal symptoms. Remember, quitting potent drugs alone can be life-threatening. It’s essential to have the support and supervision of drug addiction specialists by your side. 

For those in early recovery, we recommend asking about our aftercare recovery programs. Like structure to alumni programs, we designed our aftercare program to offer ongoing support that helps those in recovery learn the tools they need to maintain sobriety and succeed in their recovery journey. 

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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