The initial detoxification program, or “detox,” is often thought to be the hardest part of recovery from addiction. However, once therapy is over and the client is back in the real world without 24/7 support, the greatest struggle can be relapse prevention. Recent statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggest that up to 60 percent of recovering addicts suffer relapse.
If you or a loved is in need of a relapse prevention program, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Hoboke at (201) 620-9144.
A relapse occurs when someone in recovery reverts to his or her addictive behavior. This can happen soon after treatment or even after years of living “clean.” Equipping clients with the skills necessary for relapse prevention is the most important part of any rehabilitation program.
Good drug treatment plans include relapse prevention education. As addiction is a chronic disease, prevention of relapse should be seen as an ongoing endeavor.
A relapse doesn’t just happen; it follows a set of phases or stages. Even after physical addiction is resolved, relapse can still occur. Here are some of the key “triggers” that may cause relapse.
Under stress, unless new coping mechanisms have been learned, an addict is more likely to relapse
Feelings of anger, sadness or even great joy can all lead to a return to the drug, either as consolation or celebration
Places or circumstances in which the drug was used (in the bar, at parties) can trigger a powerful urge to use the drug again
Keeping company with former users can lead to a lot of pressure to start the habit again in order to fit in socially
A recovering addict at risk of relapse may show many of the symptoms previously associated with drug addiction, including insomnia, restlessness, irritability and displacement behaviors.
Substitution activity, where excessive food consumption, exercise, sex or obsessive behaviors are used as substitutes for drug or alcohol use can also indicate a possible relapse. If this is recognized early on, the addict can be guided through therapy and counselling to recognize the underlying causes of the anxiety being experienced and to deal with it more appropriately.
Relapse can be a consequence of an emotional complex, irrational thinking and cognitive disorder, or an unresolved physical dependency. A good rehabilitation program will teach the addict new skills to help them recognize these signs and either seek help or rationalize their behavior until the urge to return to drug abuse has passed.
Drug Treatment Centers Hoboken doesn’t just focus on breaking addiction through detox. We also focus on helping the client maintain sobriety in the long term. We teach the client to be aware of potential triggers and how to avoid them. For those situations that cannot be avoided, we assist the patient in developing a plan to respond to them in an appropriate way.
Part of the relapse prevention treatment may be dealing with underlying problems, such as past trauma or emotional issues. The client learns alternative methods for managing situations instead of resorting to drugs or alcohol. Most centers develop an individualized plan to help the client remain drug- or alcohol-free.
The battle against substance addiction is not won in a day, a week or even a month. It is an ongoing process to guard against relapse. When a client is given the right tools and resources to prevent a relapse, the chances of success are much higher.