How to Avoid Relapse After Successful Detox

September 13, 2017 - - 0 Comments How to Avoid Relapse After Successful Detox

There are always new challenges to face once detox for women has been completed and patients return to their daily lives. The most difficult challenge to face is temptation, particularly as the disease pervades the lives and social circles of addicts before treatment, making significant lifestyle changes inevitable.

Female addicts are often more susceptible to the opinions of others and the pressures of their role in the family, making opportunity for relapse much more common than in their male counterparts. Preventing relapse is essential to a successful life of recovery and so coping mechanisms have to be created and implemented to deal with any cravings or temptations that may arise.

Here we take a look at the steps that can be taken following women’s detox to ensure maximum protection against relapse.

Ongoing Counseling

Open and frequent communication with a professional addiction counselor is essential to reduce the risk of internalizing issues that are causing anxiety. One of the main reasons women with addiction issues find it difficult to seek detox for women is a fear of being judged harshly or having to confront their own feelings of inadequacy. By talking about these issues with someone qualified to provide appropriate support, internalized issues can be forced into the open, reducing their effect on a woman’s state of mind.

Counseling is also important to provide a platform of understanding from which a woman can learn more about what triggers are likely to cause a relapse and how she can take steps to protect herself against them. Talking openly in a non-judgmental environment is crucial to living a healthy life in sobriety.

Effective Stress Management Strategy

It is impossible to eliminate stress from people’s lives although there are methods and mechanisms available to women with addiction that can adapt their reactions to stressful situations and circumstances. The best detox for women includes developing a personal strategy to cope with the unique stresses prevalent in a woman’s life and certain medications can be used to suppress the cravings that they inevitably have to deal with after treatment.

Physical exercise is also effective in strengthening the mind and body to deal with the daily stresses and strains of life. After detox for women, it is a good idea for patients to step-up their physical activity and experience the feeling of well-being created by the natural production of endorphins. Physical activity can take all forms including going to the gym, walking vigorously, running or even just playing with the kids outdoors. There are ways to incorporate these type of healthier behaviors easily into most women’s lives and the benefits are enormous for those in recovery.

Health and Happy Relationships

For many women with addiction, discord in close personal relationships can often lead to addiction in the first place. For those women who are caregivers, there is an additional sense of not being able to walk away even when there is detriment to their own mental health. This kind of commitment expectation society places on women is often the most difficult obstacle to overcome in women’s detox treatment.

Learning how to set boundaries is something that is addressed in detox for women and is vital for recovering addicts who need a structure for their new lives in sobriety. Learning to be assertive with feelings rather than constantly compromising for the sake of another’s happiness is integral to recovering a woman’s sense of self-worth and also leads to her forming healthier relationships going forward.

Reaching Out to Others

The most important thing for a woman with drink or drug dependency to remember is that they are not alone. Although there is still a somewhat widely held misconception that women are ‘above’ addiction, it is increasingly becoming apparent that this is not the case. The positive side of this new openness about women with addiction is that the stigma is gradually falling away, paving the way for more women to reach out for help and support.

There is no shame in reaching out to others, whether they understand addiction as an illness or not. Bonds with family and close friends are the first to suffer when a woman is addicted but they are rarely beyond repair. Learning to lean on others for support and feeling confident enough to become vulnerable to another person is important for a healthy life in recovery and also to avoid relapse.

Understand Mistakes Happen

It’s crucial that following detox for women, patients appreciate that they are not ‘cured’ of addiction issues. Although the substance or alcohol may have been ejected from the body after detox, the emotional and psychological drivers are still present in many cases.

It naturally follows that temptation will arise and cravings will occur at various points after treatment but it is the response to these situations that is important. Talking to someone as soon as a relapse incident has taken place is important to get the issue ‘out there’. By bringing these events into the open, an addict is able to share the burden of it and talk it through rather than using relapse as an opportunity to fall back into addictive behaviors. The best detox for women programs ensure the most effective coping mechanisms are instilled to deal with temptation as it arises.


Although the same methods are used to detox women as they are for men, women have special needs in addiction that are best treated in an all-female facility. Providing a non-judgmental and understanding environment in which to begin a recovery journey from addiction is perhaps more important for women than men, given the disparity in social opinion of female addiction. Research shows that rehabilitation in gender-specific units is more effective for a long term life in sobriety, mainly because they offer complete understanding of how addiction varies considerably between the sexes.

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