Relapse is what happens when a person who was once addicted to a substance returns to using that drug once again. Relapse prevention is a behavioral treatment plan used to help identify and prevent situations that place substance abusers and those with addictive behaviors from returning to former habits.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40% to 60% of people who were substance abusers will suffer a relapse at some time after treatment. Alcoholics have an 80% possibility of using again after their first year of recovery. With the correct treatment, however, relapse prevention can succeed, especially if good aftercare services are in place.
To learn more about how relapse prevention can help you or a loved one through addiction struggles, contact Drug Treatment Naples at (239) 687 - 3421.
There are basically three stages that occur during a typical relapse. The stages are emotional, mental and physical.
During this stage, a person might be experiencing difficult emotions or dealing with certain behaviors that can lead to a total relapse. These feelings must be dealt with so that the next stage can be avoided.
At this time, a person is thinking about a return to drugs or alcohol. They may start seeing old friends related to the drug abuse or alcohol period of their life and start to obsess about using. There is a real internal struggle not to use at this time.
At this stage, someone has succumbed to their obsession and has used the drug of choice. Once this happens, it is much more difficult to recover.
There are many goals integrated into prevention plan. One of the main aims of drug relapse prevention is to have the patient understand and master his behavior. This is accomplished by learning how to avoid high-risk situations or events that can threaten sobriety. It means learning strategies to deal with negative emotional states such as anxiety, depression, boredom and other upheavals of emotion that can lead someone to return to drugs.
Avoiding high-risk groups or friends that still use drugs is important, as is staying away from interpersonal relationships that cause conflict and anger, which often lead to using again. Recognizing cravings for drugs or alcohol is a goal of many prevention strategies. Reaching out for help at any of these stages is important to avoid a return to using.
Other goals of a relapse prevention model include:
Yoga is a way to keep stress under control. Behavioral therapy and counseling help addicts cope with urges and also help eliminate stress and triggers to use again.
Some of the techniques used to avoid a return to drug use include thinking through what would happen if you, as an addict, had that one drink or that one pill. Going through the steps in your mind, not being able to stop once you start, and remembering all of the negative consequences of that one action, is a strategy to help avoid using.
Relaying your urges to someone else in recovery or a close friend can often turn you around and help those cravings disappear.
Other techniques include distracting yourself by calling a friend, going to a meeting or just taking a long walk. Also, remembering that recovery is taken one day at a time is very useful as is learning relaxation strategies.
There are various types of recovery programs to help someone who has used again after drug rehab. There is family therapy, and therapeutic help to address addiction triggers and learn ways of coping with mental illness. Other helpful interventions include skills development that lead to jobs, addressing sober living, individual and group counseling and a lifelong commitment to attending AA or NA meetings.