Individuals who have conquered an addiction to alcohol or drugs run the risk of a relapse after their rehabilitation; because of this risk, relapse prevention is an important part of any long-term treatment plan. Relapses do not occur spontaneously; they represent a slow and steady return to addiction.
Relapse prevention is more effective when individuals are aware that they’re at risk and address the problem before they slide further into compulsive behavior. People in recovery should work with their treatment center to develop a relapse prevention plan that can help them stay on the road to long-term sobriety.
Drug Rehab Cape Coral FL offers relapse prevention plans catered to each patient’s individual needs. Talk to an addiction specialist today at (239) 330-3382.
Relapse prevention is more successful when the three stages of a relapse are recognized and understood. Many experts in the field of addiction stand by the notion that “a relapse is a process, not an event”. In fact, a relapse typically begins weeks or months before the physical relapse itself.
The first stage of a relapse is emotional relapse. During this stage, the individual isn’t thinking about using; however, emotions like anger and anxiety may be occurring that set the stage for using in the future.
Mental relapse is the next stage: This stage is marked by a conflict in the individual’s mind about using again. What begins as passing thoughts about using turns into fantasizing about using and feeling the pull of addiction. If an individual can recognize the signs of these earlier stages of relapse, they may be able to catch themselves before they progress to a physical relapse.
The final stage of the process, physical relapse, is the return to substance use. Once an individual has reached this stage, they may need to receive the same services and support that originally got them on the path to recovery.
An individual who suffers a relapse shouldn’t feel like a failure: Relapses are extremely common among people who are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that up to 60 percent of recovering individuals will experience a relapse at some point in their recovery.
Despite these discouraging odds, individuals can help increase their chances of uninterrupted sobriety by identifying the underlying emotional factors that could trigger a return to substance abuse. Recognizing the problem and reaching out for help can help an individual head off a relapse before it’s too late.
Drug and alcohol treatment centers offer services that can help individuals maintain their sobriety and mitigate the risk of a relapse. The therapy offered by these centers teaches participants coping skills that can help them deal with the temptations and stresses that often trigger a relapse.
Addiction treatment centers also help individuals in recovery choose new activities that can occupy the time that was previously filled by drug or alcohol use. Through new activities and interests, participants learn how to replace their old habits with healthier ones.
A key concept taught in any relapse prevention program is the difference between a one-time lapse and a true relapse. By addressing the behavior immediately and avoiding feelings of shame and failure, individuals can keep a single lapse from sabotaging their recovery.
Support groups can also help people in recovery avoid relapses. It’s not easy to stay drug-free without support; feelings of loneliness or isolation can trigger painful emotions that often lead to substance use. Spending time with support group members who face similar challenges can increase an individual’s chances of continued sobriety. In addition, support groups offer the opportunity to develop new friendships with people who share the goal of sober living.
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