For many in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, it isn\u2019t a question of whether relapse will occur but when. Not that anyone goes into drug rehab believing they will slip, but the reality is that many ultimately do. One point that recovery experts stress repeatedly, however, is that relapse does not mean failure. It only means there\u2019s more work to be done to maintain sobriety. That\u2019s where the newly recovered \u2014 and those who love him or her \u2014 need strategies to know how to deal with relapse.\n\n10 Key Strategies to Face Any Addiction Relapse\nIt always helps to have a plan. Maybe this is your first time sober and you\u2019re eager to know what to do to keep from relapsing. Or perhaps you\u2019ve been down this road before and have not always withstood temptation and triggers well. Either way, having a plan on hand can make facing a relapse less overwhelming or shame-filled.\n\nWhile in drug rehab, you likely learned a number of coping mechanisms. You practiced them, discussed them in group and individual therapy and also put together a recovery program to follow once you completed treatment. Now that you\u2019re in recovery and home again, it\u2019s time to dust off that carefully prepared plan and augment it with some strategic tips for dealing with relapse.\n\nHere are 10 key elements to get you back on track if you relapse.\n\n \tGet help. When you recognize the signs or feel yourself starting to slip, make it a point to get help right away. The situation won\u2019t go away on its own. You need to be proactive.\n \tStep up meeting attendance. Maybe you\u2019ve slacked off or seriously cut down on self-help or 12-step meeting attendance. This is the time when you need to step it up again. If you\u2019ve only been going once a week or once a month, start going several times a week, even daily. You need the support from this network to reinforce your commitment to sobriety.\n \tAsk for support from family and friends. No one knows you better than your family, and these are the people most crucial to your ongoing efforts to remain sober \u2014or come back from relapse should it occur. Ask them for help in supporting your goals. Also ask your friends for their support and encouragement.\n \tLighten your load. Very often what happens is that you get back into the thick of things at work or school or home and quickly become overwhelmed. You take on too much and find you cannot possibly deliver. The key here is to lighten the load. Only tackle what you must immediately handle. Concentrate on working on your recovery. That should be your foremost priority.\n \tStick to the essentials. After you pare down your workload, it\u2019s a good idea to start sticking to the essentials. When dealing with a relapse (or threat of relapse), it's doubly important to get back to the basics. These are the basic strategies of taking good care of yourself:\n\n \tTend to your daily recovery routine\n \tRead recovery-oriented or other inspirational literature\n \tSpend time with positive people\n \tPace yourself\n\n\n \tPay attention to your body\u2019s needs. You are still in recovery and it may take quite some time to heal properly. You are better equipped to deal with the threat of relapse, when your body is strong. During this early period of recovery it\u2019s very important to take care of your body:\n\n \tEat nutritious foods\n \tHydrate properly with water\n \tGet at least eight to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night\n \tEngage in some form of physical exercise daily\n\n\n \tKeep a list of coping tips with you at all times. You never know when a sudden craving will overtake you or when you\u2019ll encounter triggers that may be too powerful to overcome without help. Have a list of coping tips with you at all times that you can quickly refer to and implement on a moment\u2019s notice. This is all part of having an effective and workable plan.\n \tWork hard, but take time for you. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel \u2014 trying to dig your way out of a relapse or potential relapse \u2014 means having the will and giving yourself the permission to not only work hard at your recovery but also to take the time that you need for you. This means making time to have fun, to engage in recreational, entertainment, educational or other pursuits that you enjoy.\n \tTap into your spiritual side. Meditate, do yoga, go for walks in nature, pray or devote yourself to self-reflection and contemplation of what means the most to you in life. Your spiritual nature needs nurturing as well as your physical, mental and emotional self.\n \tBe kind to yourself. Even if you deal with a relapse, don't beat yourself up--recognize that the threat of relapse is part of the disease. The tendency to be hypercritical and tough on yourself will be hard to overcome, but you\u2019ll need to adjust your thoughts to learn how to be kind to yourself. When you start to berate yourself for your failures, acknowledge the thought and tell yourself that you are making changes, that you want to change and you will do everything you can in order to change. Give yourself the power to forgive your faults, mistakes, missteps and any wrongs you have done. You will need to make amends, but this is the first step toward being kind to yourself.\n\nHow Will You Know It\u2019s Working?\nOne question you might have is how to know if your strategy is working. What if you have doubts along the way? What happens if you run into difficulties or slip even further? It\u2019s important to recognize that recovery is never a straight-line process. There are ups and downs for everyone \u2014 not just those who may need to deal with an imminent or potential relapse. Knowing this, if you feel that your process isn\u2019t working or you need additional help, go after it.\n\nThis may entail going for more counseling to get you over the bumps or doubling up on some of the strategic parts of your plan that have been working or have worked in the past. Talking about what you need with your key supporters (your sponsor, fellow self-help group members, family members and loved ones and close friends) may be just what you need to get you past this hurdle. Above all, never give up.\n\nMake use of this 10-point strategy to help navigate relapse \u2014 or prevent it in the first place. If it works for you, share it with others who may benefit from it as well. There\u2019s nothing like networking effective tips to help motivate and inspire others to enhance their recovery.