Suffering from addiction wether the drug of choice is alcohol, illicit or prescription drugs, gambling, sex or even eating disorders takes its own emotional toll.

The first step to address the underlying cause of addiction and possibly a detox will be done in an in-patient rehab centre. In-patient treatment can be an overwhelming experience as a lot of trauma and pain may be opened up with a team of therapists.

People struggling with substance use issues often use these substances as a means to alleviate emotional pain so it is vital that the environment at the rehab is safe and non-judgemental.

Once the in-patient treatment is complete many people may opt to go into secondary treatment or choose to live in a sober house.

This allows them a safe place where they can focus on getting their lives back on track, finding employment, re-establishing ties with family and making new friends. If a person leaves rehab and their support structure is weak their chances of relapse increase dramatically. This is another reason why rehabs often also offer family therapy.

Creating a relapse prevention programme is vital for long-term recovery. And it extends beyond just not taking drugs or drinking.

It is a new mindset that needs time to develop and the opportunity to form better coping mechanisms.

Meditation and mindfulness is well-known in both psychiatric and psychological treatments. You do not have to prescribe to a particular religion or do Yoga to be more mindful.

Meditation Technique and psychiatry

Eleanor Rosch has identified four therapeutic systems which includes mindfulness training as one of the components:

  • Mindfulness-Based stress reduction (MBSR)
  • Mindfulness-Based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Relapses are not “spur of the moment” events.

There are often signs and clues days or weeks before and addict picks up again. Learning how to be mindful of those emotional states is how you prevent relapse. And it’s also important to understand that relapse does not make you a failure. It is an opportunity to delve into what you were feeling at the time and learn how to deal with similar situations better in the future.

If you do relapse, ask for help.

Recovery is a life long journey, there will be pitfalls and life will not always be easy. If you have been in inpatient rehab, take part in their aftercare programme. It will help you better understand what drives addiction and provide you with a support structure when you need it most.