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Slipping back into drug or alcohol use after treatment is very common. Relapse is the return to the substance abuse after treatment for the same. People recovering from addiction often have one or more drug use incidents along the way. Relapse prevention plays a key role in ensuring recovery from addiction and can vastly improve the quality of life of addicted people.

The cognitive-behavioral approach followed by treating physicians for relapse prevention aims at identifying and preventing high-risk situations such as substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and depression. Certain factors that can lead to drug use include stress, major financial changes, social pressures, health issues, loss of a loved one or even change in employment.

Therapy for relapse prevention is crucial to provide the patient with the skills necessary to avoid or cope with situations that could lead to future drug use. Alcohol or drug relapse prevention requires a plan.

To start forming your sobriety maintenance plan, call Drug Rehab Centers San Diego at (833) 324-0298.

Three Stages and Signs of Relapse

  • Emotional – The emotional stage occurs before you actually start using alcohol again. This is the stage where you’re not thinking about using alcohol, but your emotions and feelings are paving the way to a possible drug use scenario. Signs to watch out for are: Anxiety, mood swings, poor eating habits, and anger and frustration.
  • Mental – The stage begins where the addict in you occasionally thinks about using alcohol, while the recovery part doesn’t, leading to a mental war between using and not using. As the stage progresses, the sufferer is consumed with thoughts about using. Signs include: Lying, hanging out with old friends who use, glamorizing past use, and planning to use in the future.
  • Physical – This stage occurs after failing to manage emotional and mental stresses. Necessary prevention steps are crucial. However, it’s hard to stop the process at this point. Signs at this stage are increased heart rate, irritability and anxiety when in the presence of alcohol or drugs, contacting a former dealer or visiting a liquor store, and being visibly intoxicated.

Relapse Prevention Programs

Therapy for the prevention of future drug use involves the acquisition of new cognitive and behavioral skills that help addicts to identify their substance abuse triggers and high risk situations, find alternative coping methods to deal with those triggers, identify the warning signs, reduce the severity of a relapse and regain self-confidence and recovery after a lapse in sobriety.

A complete addiction prevention plan would take into consideration a number of important elements. These include successfully managing triggers and cravings, and an effective support system comprising family, friends and professionals.

Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT) is a collection of interdependent techniques that include:

  • 12 step meetings – After completing inpatient treatment, many treatment centers motivate their patients to continue with an aftercare program or 12-step meetings. The 12 principles will remind them of the consequences of substance abuse.
  • Counseling sessions – Counseling helps in many aspects of self-recognition, honesty and commitment to change, leading to long term recovery. It helps the patient to recognize the thought patterns and behaviors that lead to addiction and thus supports the patient in preventing future drug use.
  • Mindfulness based cognitive therapy – This can reduce the risk of future drug use or recurrence of depression by identifying negative or destructive thought patterns and gradually learning to replace them with more positive and productive ones.

The right substance abuse treatment center should be able to offer you a number of resources to avoid relapse. The more resources they have, the better your chances of meeting your recovery goals and avoiding a lapse in sobriety. An ideal treatment center will offer comprehensive alcohol RPT programs that will equip you with the coping skills to achieve long-term sobriety and create the life you really want.

To hear more about options following rehab for addiction recovery, call 833-324-0298