Relapse Prevention

Most don’t understand that relapse is not just the act of using a drug after completing detox, but it’s an entire process that can be identified in its earliest stages. Relapse prevention programs aim to help individuals to understand and recognize the process of relapse so that it can be prevented before the physical act of using actually occurs. Knowledge of how to prevent a relapse is so important that it can save an individual’s life, so it’s a vital step in the rehabilitation process.

Understanding the Process of Relapse

Before the physical act of using the substance, an individual must experience thoughts and emotions that lead to the behavior. That’s where the process of relapse begins. For example, if an individual graduates from treatment and begins to resent her life and the path of sobriety she has chosen, even if she does not intend to physically relapse, she is entering the beginning stage of relapse; the emotional stage. Next, she starts to imagine herself using to take the edge off. Even if she still doesn’t intend to physically use, she’s in the mental stage of relapse. Finally, she places herself into situations and around people which encourage these mental and emotional responses and decides to use which concludes the process of relapse.relapse prevention

The importance of understanding this relapse process is to recognize it before it’s too late. It’s completely possible that the individual could have sought help to change her mindset or utilize coping mechanisms when she started to feel the pressures of sobriety weighing her down.

Relapse Prevention by Recognizing Triggers and Cravings

Triggers and cravings to use the drug of choice are a real threat to sobriety. Once treatment is over, it may be more challenging for an individual to deal with cravings and triggers. So, throughout the relapse prevention program, individuals work to identify triggers in their own lives so that cravings can be prevented or avoided. Triggers individuals may experience throughout recovery may include:

  • High levels of stress
  • Depression
  • Relationship issues
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Career change
  • Health problems
  • Boredom
  • Financial issues

Relapse Prevention by Offering Support

relapse preventionOne of the main reasons why individuals relapse post-treatment is due to minimal support. When a recovering individual thinks that they’re alone, they are more susceptible to depression and high levels of stress which can both be relapse triggers. So, establishing a means of support throughout treatment is a big part of relapse prevention efforts. Not only will individuals at Asheville Recovery Center receive unlimited support from peers and counselors throughout their time in treatment, but they will be able to reach out to support after they have graduated the program. Our aftercare services allow the support and resources each individual needs, whether they are in the beginning stages of the process of relapse or have already physically relapsed.