Relapse prevention is one of the most important aspects of any long-term treatment and recovery plan. It is all too easy for a drug addict or alcoholic to fall back into their old ways once they have left a rehabilitation facility.
Even if they want to stay clean, hanging out with old friends or visiting places where they once abused drugs or alcohol can be too great a temptation. If a friend or loved one is struggling with addiction and substance abuse, they need to not only seek treatment, but engage in relapse prevention programs as well.
Relapse prevention can take many forms; some aspects can be handled by knowledgeable and supportive friends or family members. They can work to keep the addict away old temptations and negative relationships. In addition to this, addicts can also find support from a relapse prevention group.
These are groups such as AA (alcoholics anonymous) or NA (narcotics anonymous), which are made up of other recovering addicts. These people are willing to share their experiences with addiction in order to support each other in their new sober lifestyles.
If you are interested in these and other aspects of addiction recovery, call Drug Treatment Centers Wilmington at (302) 397-5350.
Relapse occurs when the former substance abuser returns to their old habits. They may start hanging out with their drug-abusing friends or drinking buddies. They may begin to experiment with alcohol or drugs again. They may even develop a full-blown addiction only weeks after leaving rehab.
The threat of relapse is a serious one, and the majority of addicts who leave treatment relapse. Substance abuse changes the brains chemistry in a way that make resisting temptation incredibly difficult, especially without the proper prevention tools. The factors that gave rise to the addiction initially will not completely disappear. It is the job of the treatment facility to give the patient the knowledge and support needed to resist those urges and remain clean and sober, long before the problem even presents itself.
Addiction includes a number of stages, as does relapse. The first stage is emotional relapse, in which the underlying issues that gave rise to the substance abuse problems begin to reappear. Mental relapse, the second stage, is when the thought of picking up the substance again crosses their mind. An individual who had been using alcohol to self-medicate may turn to the bottle when faced with a stressful situation. A person who used drugs to deal with a mental health disorder might consider going back to their old ways when overcome with feelings of depression or anxiety.
If emotional and mental relapse are not greeted with the proper relapse prevention procedures, it can quickly turn into physical relapse. When the relapse reaches this stage, the individual is likely to return to their old ways — using drugs, abusing alcohol and dealing with the consequences of substance abuse.
Treating substance abuse is no simple matter, and relapse is all too common. With this being said, the right relapse prevention strategy can make a huge difference. The best drug rehabilitation facilities have solid prevention programs that prepare and follow up with patients once out of treatment. They learn the tools required to live clean and sober lives long after release.
If you are ready to change your life or the life of someone you care about, please call Drug Treatment Centers Wilmington at (302) 397-5350 for addiction treatment advice.
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