How to prevent a drug relapse
Why people relapse
There are multiple causes for relapse. Common ones include stress, anxiety, anger, loneliness, boredom, purposelessness, the memories of great drug-highs triggered by people or places, and unrecognized triggers that can instantaneously over-rule the conscious mind and the intent to not do drugs. The latter leads to actions which, in turn, leads to shame and confusion and further relapses. Avoiding a drug relapse can be enormously challenging.
Cravings can also lead to relapse. These can be of the ‘medicinal’ kind, where life after drugs is such an emotional and physical mess that you desperately want drugs to take away the pain and to make sense of life again. Or cravings can be a longing for peak performance or altered states, because life after drugs is too ordinary, mundane and plain boring.
Because there are so many physical, emotional, psychological and even spiritual causes for relapse, and combinations of all the above, preventing relapse requires changing everything in your life after addiction. Change your environment, your body, mind, spirit, work, friends and future.
Additionally you need a therapeutic lifestyle, which rebuilds your health, creates the ongoing momentum for change, constantly introduces ‘the new’ into your life, and creates a rich inner world, as well as successful interaction with the physical world.
Here are the 11 key things to implement to prevent a drug relapse and start an addiction-free empowered and extraordinary life.
11 ways to prevent a drug relapse
- Spring clean your home, car and phone
- Take an intensive course of top quality nutritional supplements
- Eat nutritious cooked meals (no fasting, no raw foods, no juice cleanses)
- Get weekly acupuncture and remedial massage
- Exercise as soon as you wake up every morning
- Take up a chi-practice (tai-chi, yoga or both)
- Do not give in to guilt, shame or judgment
- Get into bibliotherapy (therapeutic reading)
- Base your life on routine not randomness
- Do vision boards of your future
- Recapture peak-performance, or altered states
Spring clean your home, and phone.
The only way to avoid relapse is to design and create a totally new life after quitting. Start with your home. Get a major spring clean done. Then get rid of everything, such as furniture, clothes and objects, associated with your past drug use. Drug vibes (what we’d call ‘chi’ in Chinese Medicine) are negative and extremely powerful. They can attach to places and things and become one of the subconscious triggers for relapse. Once you’ve cleared out the old, refurbish, make your home as much like a nurturing health retreat as possible.
Clean out your car and all drug paraphernalia. Get a new phone (or delete all drug-related contacts from your phone). Do this big clear-out on a Saturday, a day probably previously associated with being on a bender, because this imprints new associations over the old. Respect yourself and the seriousness of your intent to change and start anew. Invest in making your place special because this is investing in yourself and in a great future, and you deserve this.
Take an intensive course of high-powered nutritional supplements
High-powered nutritional supplementation is absolutely critical to prevent relapse. Drug use leaves you with aches and pains, lethargy, depression, anger, emptiness, lack of motivation, pessimism and emotionally reactivity. These states create cravings. High quality supplements immediately alleviate these symptoms and lift your mood.
They also repair much of the organ damage sustained through drug use. You will never be able to get enough nutrients from food to correct this, not even from a ‘healthy diet’. Supplements are concentrated foods and they are the secret to health and happiness for everyone. They also create the physiological basis for you to be able to experience peak performance and altered states again without drugs.
If you have had extended use of the ATS (amphetamine type stimulants like ice) drugs, high quality supplementation is necessary to just regain normal physiological and emotional function, but critical if you want an exciting and engaging life again. Drugs are a concentrated intensified substance that deliver instant results, and that functionality needs to be matched in the efficacy of the supplements. So go for practitioner ranges not supermarket supplements.
Eat nutritious cooked meals (no fasting, no raw foods, no juice cleanses)
There is a direct relationship between what you eat and how you feel. Numerous studies have revealed that depression can be cured simply by improving diet.
To avoid relapse, everything you eat needs to be ‘medicinal’. This means it needs to nourish your body, mind and spirit by building what we call ‘jing’ in Chinese medicine. This is your internal force which powers you physically, emotionally and even spiritually. Slow cooked food (like congees, stews or soups) are ideal as they put jing into your body and are easy to digest.
Drug use takes a toll on your digestive functions so you are you are likely to have food intolerances after quitting. Make sure to avoid fad ‘healthy’ diets like green smoothies for breakfast. Raw foods require much more energy to digest and they will aggravate your digestive system and other imbalances. They can also contribute to the development of obsession and depression. You can’t afford this, it leads to relapse.
In Chinese medicine, vegetarian or vegan diets, detox diets, juice fasts, or raw foods, are not recommended for most people, and never for depleted or chi-deficient people which is your state after addiction.
Get weekly acupuncture and remedial massage
Use acupuncture, Chinese herbal formulas and remedial massage as treatments. These are the most powerful ‘zone’ and ‘chi’ treatments available. Traditional Chinese Medicine combines psychology and medicine so keep getting treatment and eventually there’s no need to talk to people about your problems.
Initially after quitting you need acupuncture two to three times per week for about four to six weeks. Then once or twice per week for about six weeks. After this get acupuncture once a week for at least three years, because that’s how long it takes to get the drug vibes out of your body-mind-spirit. Then continue having acupuncture for the rest of your life because why wouldn’t you want to feel as good as possible forever?
A great acupuncture or massage session can also make you feel ‘chi-stoned’, which is an inner reward state. I recommend booking either a regular acupuncture or massage treatment for Fridays straight after work, especially if you are anxious about triggering a relapse if friends or workmates decide to go out to party.
Acupuncture and remedial massage treatments balance your yin and yang so you won’t feel the need to ‘correct’ imbalances with drugs. You’ll just want to go home, watch a movie or chill out.
Exercise as soon as you wake up every morning
As an ex-addict, you will probably wake up each morning feeling depression, anger, anxiety or even nausea. This can continue for many years after you quit, and it is another thing that can lead to relapse. Movement will immediately change this and shift negative states.
Do a therapeutic exercise routine of core exercise, a chi practice (yoga, tai-chi etc) and weights. This instantly deletes negative emotions and cravings, and ultimately sets you up to access altered states more powerful than those generated by drugs.
Working with weights or muscle growth stimulation (the technical term for building muscles) is crucial for developing a positive psychological outlook. You can use weight training to become powerful over cravings. A specific type of weight training enables muscular development that can support the emotions; the confidence to build your own business, realize your dreams and follow your purpose.
Learn how to use your body to control your mind. Trying to control urges or emotions with your mind doesn’t work, if it did there would be no relapse. Focus on building your body and you have the most effective anti-relapse strategy in existence.
Take up Yoga and or Tai-Chi
There are multiple reasons to get into a chi practice. It makes chi move, so it makes you feel good and if you feel good you don’t crave drugs. It builds health and strength, it is anti-ageing. Excessive drug use accelerates ageing internally and externally and creates skin issues including rashes, dark spots and lesions, but work with chi practices in the morning and a medicinal diet and supplements, and you can return your skin to clarity and suppleness.
A regular chi practice is also the counter for those subconscious triggers for relapse. Addiction is a compulsive or impulsive disorder. When you are faced with a stimulus you may suddenly and impulsively react. Some triggers for relapse are so fast that your conscious mind may never even recognize what has set you off. This means you have to be on guard all the time, you can’t afford to relax because you don’t know when or where you might lose it.
Attempting to control these triggers with your mind is unreliable. New research has revealed that the conscious mind can process 120 bits of information but the subconscious can process around 4 billion. Chi practices harness your subconscious processing power and will automatically neutralize those split-second triggers.
Additionally, taking up yoga, tai-chi, chi-gung, martial arts or meditation is also an opportunity to connect to other people who are on the same path. Expand your peer group, move towards the new in the social sphere, but with people who will support a different future.
Do not give in to guilt, shame or judgment
Most ex-addicts are tormented by feelings of guilt and shame after they quit. This is of no value, don’t go there. Shame is at the lowest end of the emotional range, drug highs are at the top. There is no point discussing shame in the context of drug use. Attempting to do so is the path to relapse because you will never resolve this with the conscious mind and the ensuing frustration will lead to cravings for drugs so that things feel like they ‘make sense’ again.
Get into bibliotherapy
After quitting it is normal to feel demotivated, trapped in the old. Reading is an immediately accessible way to access new horizons. You can turn a page and enter other worlds, learn, expand your horizons, make discoveries.
Reading may sound boring but to prevent relapse you need to throw every change switch possible and ‘bibliotherapy’, the therapeutic power of reading, is an easy one. Read about people who have broken down barriers, changed the world, and overcome massive, endless obstacles to pursue something beyond normal, this will help motivate you and keep you on track. Sunday is a great day to read as it imprints a new purpose over what was probably a hangover day.
Base your life on routine not randomness
Addiction is a lifestyle which revolves around drugs. It provides a sense of purpose (getting drugs) and offers reward (drug highs) and there is a motivating drive of something to move towards (the next high). When you quit that is gone and life quickly becomes purposeless, random, chaotic and an emotional minefield. Relapse is the outcome.
To avoid this follow the Chi Cycle lifestyle. It is 24/7 map of what to do when, so there is no randomness or confusion. It imprints a new purpose on every hour of the day and it is assists you to feel better every day. It is based on my decades of study and research into recovery techniques and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) which, in turn, is based on over 2,000 years of research, so no need to question any of this, just do it.
Planning prevents relapse. Never wait to see how you feel on a particular day, or in the moment, to spontaneously decide what to do. Instead of acting spontaneously, as you might have done in your pre-addiction days, you’ll probably feel disinterested, uninspired and as if you can’t be bothered doing anything. You can end up sitting around, feeling negative and very tempted to text your dealer. Failure to plan in life after drugs is planning for relapse.
Research has proven that the first 90 days in recovery holds the highest relapse risk and that the longer you are in a recovery program, the more successful it is. A recovery lifestyle lasts forever. Live in a way that delivers ongoing physical, emotional and spiritual benefits and you won’t even think about drugs.
The Get More Energy Online Course has a lot of great ideas here.
Do vision boards of your future
To prevent relapse, and to be happy in life in general, you need to keep moving towards your visions, towards something new. So get a big whiteboard, and write whatever comes to your mind about how you see your future on it. Do it spontaneously and regularly When the whiteboard is full, take a photo. Never wipe the board before you have recorded the content somewhere.
Don’t let negativity impede your progress. Don’t resist. You have to start generating new ideas whether you feel inspired to do so or not. This gets that mechanism functioning again and creates that feeling of ‘moving towards’ which prevents cravings and relapse.
It doesn’t matter how unrealistic your goals appear to be, over time even the most unreachable goal becomes achievable, as long as you prevail. Keep looking at your vision board. This unleashes your creative power and taps into and activates unseen forces. This system works, so don’t question it, just do it.
Recapture peak-performance, or altered states
Addiction is not a disease.
If you were an addict it is because you wanted peak performance or altered states. You were right to want this. There is a system to recapturing peak performance or altered states and it is based on chi.
Drugs provide a glimpse of the peak performance potential that lays dormant in all of us, but which is out of the reach of the ordinary mind. Everything feels bland and boring in comparison to this peak performance. Thinking that only drugs can provide this state leads to relapses.
A chi practice is not ordinary exercise, it’s not about burning fat or chasing a certain fitness goal. Chi stores in your body and in your cells. A chi practice is like a savings account, every chi dollar you save is tucked away and generates interest at a super high rate. You gain and gain and gain. Eventually you have so much chi that you perceive everything in an altered state, while remaining fully functional.
That means normal or mundane activities will trigger a chi flow that will heighten your senses just like recreational drugs would have done. Daily life gets better and better, more and more altered, and eventually the mundane merges with the mystical.
Cravings can be a longing for peak performance or altered states because life after drugs is too ordinary, mundane or purposeless. Get techniques to recreate altered states on demand, and you’ll never relapse. The chi-practices are a priority for this.
Addiction is a lifestyle, so you need a ‘future-proofing’ lifestyle afterwards which heals emotional pain, counters stress, cravings, purposelessness and boredom, but also delivers a sense of reward and a more powerful motivating drive than drug highs to counter those subconscious relapse triggers. Combine all of the 11 items above and you will forge new routines, memories, habits and a new future so you won’t be looking back and longing for the good old days of drug highs. You will be heading instead to an addiction-free and happy life.
How to Prevent a Drug Relapse
My online recovery course is the ideal way to imprint new better experiences, and to help prevent future relapses. Check it out here.
Other Reading:- How to deal with emotional triggers