Relapse occurs when a recovering addict returns to the addictive behavior, or uses the controlled substance that is the subject of their addiction, after a period of abstinence. Relapse prevention is an important part of any drug or alcohol treatment program. Relapse prevention is an aspect of treatment that educates and equips the recovering addict with skills that help them to successfully negotiate life events, resist temptation and stressors, and avoid triggers in their daily lives.
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Relapse occurs in stages that are emotional, psychological, and physical in nature; and begin long before the physical act of using drugs or alcohol takes place.
Relapse prevention programs aim for successful, long-term recovery and total abstinence from the drug of choice. Prevention is introduced in counseling and therapy sessions attended by the addict at the treatment center in addition to being educated and trained in skills and techniques that the recovering addict will be able to use once re-integrated into their homes and society.
These skills help the recovering addict to identify high risk situations and triggers that can endanger their path to recovery, understand the stages of sobriety failure, and know how to do to avoid the danger of self-sabotaging recovery efforts.
Relapse prevention and post-treatment aftercare resources continually respond to the concerns of the patient and consistently remind patients to be diligent observers in their daily experience. Resources are utilized to reach out for help, meetings, sponsor communication, continued counseling, and various therapies such as yoga, music, or art therapy are recommended.
It is important to recognize when and how a person can go from being sober to using drugs and alcohol after treatment. Although a lapse in sobriety is nothing to be ashamed of, it is important to get yourself or your loved one back into drug treatment as soon as possible. Seeking rehabilitation recovery services as soon as a person uses drugs or alcohol can help prevent a complete return to their destructive, unhealthy lifestyle.