Relapse prevention systems and techniques are an essential element in all drug treatment programs. While returning to drug or alcohol use is both an outcome and a transgression of the recovery process, a relapse is best treated as a process with a range of progressive triggers and warning signs.
Relapse prevention programs are designed to reduce the possibility of an addict using by dealing with these warning signs as they arise. Relapse prevention techniques may be taught to patients during behavioral therapy programs, with dedicated relapse prevention systems also put in place during counseling sessions and aftercare programs.
For more aftercare in recovery and support for addicted patients, call Drug Treatment Centers Cary at (919) 443-3258.
In the context of drug and alcohol treatment, a relapse takes place when someone starts to use drugs or alcohol again following a period of abstinence. The warning signs which lead to an addict using can be automatic and unconscious, with patients often not aware of the triggers until it’s too late.
In order to reduce the possibility of an addict returning to their former lifestyle, prevention systems deal with relapse as a process with a number of separate stages. Patients are taught how to identify and manage warning signs if and when they arise, with mindfulness programs and practical support offered to patients to enhance the process.
Recurrent drug abuse rates are very high for drug and alcohol dependent people. Physical and psychological addictions are hard to break. Addictions are learned behaviors that create changes in brain neuroplasticity, with patients needing to develop new connections in order for new behaviors to develop.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recurrent drug abuse rates for drug addiction are very similar to those for other chronic diseases. This adds weight to the disease model of addiction, which views addictions as a disease with biological, genetic, neurological and environmental sources of origin.
Typical sobriety failure for drug addiction are 40-60 percent.
Sobriety failure is a process, with a number of separate stages identified to help understand and reduce relapse rates. Emotional relapse is the first stage, with patients not yet thinking about using drugs or alcohol again but still setting themselves up for future failure.
Common signs of this stage include anger, frustration, irritability, mood swings, depression and anxiety. This phase can easily be identified by therapists and counselors, with patients experiencing a general inability to deal with their emotions in a healthy fashion.
If the signs are not identified and dealt with at this stage, the process is likely to continue and may lead to a failure of the recovery program.
This is the stage where the patient becomes aware of their situation but is still unable to deal with it in an appropriate manner.
Common signs of this stage include fantasizing about future drug use, romanticizing past drug use, lying to yourself, spending time with old friends, and planning different drug abuse scenarios. This can be a confusing and confronting time for recovering addicts, because they are stuck between worlds and don’t know which way to turn.
Patients need to identify the signs that lead to recurrent drug abuse in order to deal with them, with therapists and counselors able to help patients develop the psychological skills necessary to make healthy decisions. By understanding the triggers that lead to an addict using again, patients may be able to avoid unwanted impulsive and compulsive response patterns.
The final stage is physical relapse, where an addict uses drugs or alcohol again. Patients are then left to decide whether they want to re-engage with the recovery process.
Drug rehab centers can help manage every aspect of treatment, with recovery aftercare programs put in place to ensure a successful and long-term recovery. To find out how, call Drug Treatment Centers Cary at (919) 443-3258.