Relapse prevention is a set of treatments, therapies, techniques, and coping mechanisms that are designed to treat relapse in its earlier stages and prevent the process from continuing or progressing. In essence, these techniques are learned in initial treatment, but are put to use after treatment is complete and the recovering addict is back in the “real” world.
Relapse prevention can help stop a person from returning to their substance abuse lifestyle. To get help today, contact Drug Treatment Fort Pierce at (772) 409-6657.
Part of relapse prevention is being able to identify when an addict who is struggling with their sobriety. There are three distinct and unique stages of relapse that a person may experience or progress through following addiction treatment:
Emotional Relapse is the first stage of relapse and is largely unconscious. This means that the recovering addict does not necessarily have any intention of resuming substance abuse or is even thinking about using the addicted substance. However, their feelings and behaviors may be triggers or precursors to future substance abuse. Some of the signs include:
This can be prevented through redirection or distraction in many cases. If a person is aware of their emotions or behaviors, they will be able to change their habits and direct their feelings in ways that will not trigger future substance abuse.
For example, if a person realizes they are feeling depressed or angry, they can engage in the creation of art or music to direct those emotions into productive activities, or they can attend support group meetings or talk to a therapist about how they are feeling. The key is to be aware and to redirect those bad habits or negative emotions.
Mental Relapse is the first fully conscious stage of the relapse process. In this stage a person’s mind and thoughts begin to work against them and they cannot fully trust themselves or their own mind. This makes the stage far more troublesome and dangerous to maintained sobriety. Some of the common signs include:
When a person is in the mental stage of relapse, there is no way that they can deal with the issue alone through simple redirection or emotional channeling. Instead, they will need to contact other people to help them reverse the process. The first step is to go to support group meetings as regularly and frequently as possible.
Resuming therapy sessions with a counselor, contacting and meeting with sponsors, and confiding in and talking to family members or friends who can provide support are also viable options. Another way of coping is by thinking the process of substance abuse through beyond the initial “pleasure” moment of using the substance. Think through to the aftereffects, the social, mental, and physical consequences and all of the work that will need to be done to get clean and sober again.
Physical Relapse is the time in which a person purchases the substance that they are addicted to again and resume drug and alcohol abuse. At this stage, prevention is not an option anymore. Instead, a person simply needs to begin their recovery process again. It is important at this stage not to give up on addiction recovery, but to seek out help and get clean and sober once more through a drug rehab center.