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Preventing a Relapse During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Getting sober and staying sober is an extremely tough journey under normal circumstances, but when there’s a national health care crisis like the one we’re facing with COVID-19, the journey is made far more difficult. That said, even though the road to recovery may have a few more hurdles, there are some steps you can take to prevent relapse.

Tres Vistas Recovery, a premier addiction rehabilitation treatment center in San Juan Capistrano, California,  is currently operating its residential treatment programs, intensive out-patient programs, virtual support, and after-care support. 

Daniel Headrick, MD, owner and operator of Tres Vistas Recovery, urges you to stay in close contact with us. The key during this time is to keep anxiety at bay and to stay focused on your recovery. To help further, Dr. Headrick offers the following tips for safeguarding your recovery during this unprecedented crisis.

You’re still not alone

If support groups like alcoholics anonymous (AA) or narcotics anonymous (NA) play an integral role in your recovery, you can still maintain the connections despite social distancing practices and sheltering in place.

Many AA and NA groups have come together in local communities to offer virtual meetings using teleconferencing. If you check out your local AA or NA website’s meeting locator, you will find instructions about how you can still “attend” a meeting.

This is especially important if you’re in early recovery and trying to get your 90-in-90 (90 meetings in 90 days). If this is the case, you’ll need to loosen the definition a little for the time being — for example, consider a conversation with another alcoholic or addict a meeting.

Use the phone

If support groups aren’t part of your recovery program, we urge you to still maintain connections. Anyone with a substance use disorder knows that isolation is dangerous, so in lieu of staying connected to friends and family in person, pick up the phone. The sound of another human’s voice can quickly dispel the notion that you’re facing the crisis alone as you swap stories about how your lives are affected.

Social media groups

There’s no shortage of social media groups that are designed for people in recovery. All you need to do is simply search your social media channel of choice using keywords like “recovery,” or “support groups,” and you’ll find plenty of people who are in the same struggle as you and who may have some extremely useful tips on how to prevent relapse during a crisis.

Stay active

Another important aspect of recovery is to stay physically active. The old adage about moving a muscle and changing a thought very much applies here, and there’s ample evidence that supports the fact that exercise reduces anxiety. Gyms, yoga studios, and more are offering virtual training classes using video conferencing during this crisis, which is a great way to stay both active and connected. 

Stay distracted

If you find your brain wandering into dangerous relapse territory, distraction is key. Since hopping into your car and going to a movie or out to a museum isn’t possible, the internet is your friend in this case, too. For example, museums around the world are offering virtual tours, allowing you a rare glimpse inside some of the world’s most famous collections. To get started, check out this article from Travel + Leisure.

As well, there’s always TV, and you can bide your time and occupy your mind by delving into a movie or series.

The point here is that distraction is key to alleviating boredom, anxiety, and thoughts that can start to worm into your head about picking up again.

Above all, remember that your recovery is one step and one day at a time, and we’re here to help in any way we can. Call us at 844-900-0444, or send us an email here.

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