The majority of people who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions assume that once they go through detox, they will be completely cured of their addictions. In so doing, they completely disregard the need for relapse prevention as a part of their treatment program. Not acknowledging the need for relapse prevention can be highly detrimental to the addiction recovery process. Without the appropriate relapse prevention plan, a recovering addict is very likely to resume substance abuse following treatment.
Relapse is, first and most importantly, a process. This is contrary to the popular notion that when a person relapses, it is a single instance of substance abuse behavior. This process occurs in distinct stages that are progressive in nature. Relapse is the process of resuming negative or addictive behaviors following initial addiction treatment.
Relapse prevention is a set of techniques, treatments, therapies, and strategies that are designed to keep a person from entering the different stages of relapse as well as stopping them from progressing through the stages and getting to the final stage. Call Chicago Drug Rehab IL at (312) 604-7346 to find out more about the various relapse prevention programs that are available.
There are three distinct stages of relapse that progress in order. However, entering one stage does not mean that a person will necessarily progress to the next stage. The three phases are emotional, mental, and physical. Each has specific signs and different treatments that can help to prevent and reverse the progression of recidivism.
Emotional relapse is not a conscious or aware stage. In other words, this means that the person does not necessarily have any intent to resume addictive behaviors or abusing drugs or alcohol again. Instead, emotional relapse involves the feelings and behaviors that may seem unrelated to substance abuse and addiction but can actually precipitate and/or cause a person to progress further in the stages of relapse. Some of the signs of emotional relapse include:
The key to dealing with emotional relapse is emotional awareness. This can be built up during treatment through individual and group therapy sessions that delve into the root causes of addiction, as well as art or equine therapy that is designed to deal with the identification and expression of the emotions a person is feeling.
When a person is aware of their emotions and patterns of behavior, they can develop coping mechanisms to redirect their behaviors and emotions that may involve attending support group meetings or engaging in other activities (such as art) that will distract the mind.
Mental relapse is a more conscious stage of relapse in which a person’s mind begins to betray them. This occurs when a recovering addict does not get their emotions and patterns of behavior in check in the first stage, and their mind begins to wander to problematic subjects. Signs of this phase include:
When a person’s mind begins to betray them as it does during mental relapse, it can be difficult to get back on track, though not impossible. The key is to redirect the thoughts that are problematic. This can be accomplished by attending support group meetings, contacting sponsors or therapists, or even relying on friends and family for support.
Family therapy is a treatment method that helps to deal with mental relapse, as it help to repair damaged relationships between recovering addicts and their families, as well as to help family members learn to look for the signs of the different stages of relapse and perform interventions to confront such slips.
Physical relapse is the act of obtaining and resuming use of the addictive substance. At this stage, prevention is no longer really an option, but steps can still be taken to get back on track. Family interventions, going to group meetings, therapy, and detox will help to get the recovering addict back on track and sober once again.
Relapse prevention is an essential part of successful drug and alcohol recovery programs. If you want to stay sober and avoid a setback following your initial drug and alcohol rehab treatment, you need to find rehab programs with a strong emphasis on relapse prevention strategies. Chicago Drug Rehab IL can help you find the best rehab programs for your recovery needs. Call today at (312) 604-7346.