Drug or alcohol addiction is a chronic disease, and the risk of relapse is always present for a recovering individual. Addiction treatment programs and aftercare services focus on relapse prevention in an attempt to reduce this risk. A relapse doesn’t occur in an instant: It’s a gradual process that starts long before an individual actually returns to substance use. Part of relapse prevention involves learning how to identify the earliest signs of a relapse and taking the appropriate action.
For recovery advice and fast resources for drug addiction, call Drug Treatment Centers Lakeland at (863) 248-8588.
The process of returning to substance use usually occurs in three clear stages. Emotional relapse is the first stage: During this period, a person may not even be thinking about using, but they may be experiencing emotions or behaviors that lay a foundation for substance use in the future. Poor eating habits and excessive stress can set the stage for an emotional relapse; the early stage may also be triggered by skipping therapy sessions or 12-step meetings.
Addressing these feelings and getting the appropriate therapy and support is critical. Without intervention, a mental relapse will occur. This second stage of the process is marked by conscious thoughts about using. A person dealing with a mental relapse may start fantasizing about using and try to justify their desire to use again. A therapist or sponsor can help a person get back on track before they reach the point of physical relapse and actually use the substance of addiction.
According to various statistics about relapse, recovering individuals face daunting odds against uninterrupted recovery. Data from the American Bar Association indicates that about 75 percent of alcoholics in recovery will relapse at some point. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the relapse rate for substance addiction is comparable to that of other chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Addiction, like these other conditions, isn’t curable, but it can be managed with the right treatment. The risk of returning to substance use is high, but therapy and support services can improve the chances of continued sobriety. Developing relapse prevention skills can help people manage the stresses and triggers that often lead them to lapse in their recovery.
Not only do relapse prevention programs teach participants how to avoid a return to substance abuse, but they also help individuals understand that a minor slip doesn’t have to derail their recovery. With quick action, it’s possible to get back on track and remain sober.
Relapse prevention is a key element of most rehab programs, and the topic is addressed as soon as rehab is complete and the patient has started therapy. A cognitive-behavioral style of therapy is used to teach recovering individuals how to avoid a return to substance abuse. Participants develop practical coping skills that will serve them long after they leave rehab.
Some recovering individuals need additional support after completing rehab and leaving the treatment center. Sober living houses can provide a safe and temptation-free environment to help residents make it through the early weeks of recovery without a relapse. Although the rules of a sober living house may seem strict, the structure and support of the program help residents maintain their sobriety and get their lives back on track.
Aftercare services play a key role in any recovering individual’s long-term success. It can be hard to handle the triggers and stresses of everyday life after completing addiction treatment, but these resources can help participants avoid the temptation to use again. Support groups and 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous are two of the most common examples of aftercare programs.
Learn more about the available treatment and aftercare programs for yourself or a loved one by calling Drug Treatment Centers Lakeland at (863) 248-8588.