The road to recovery from addiction is not an easy one. It’s not uncommon for someone to return to old habits of substance use. Accepting that a relapse is possible, and preparing for it, is the key to recovery and long-term sobriety. Including relapse prevention therapy in a patient’s addiction treatment program can contribute greatly to successful detox and a new, healthier lifestyle.
At Promont Wellness in Southampton, Pennsylvania, we offer a wide variety of treatments and therapies to ensure holistic wellness and lifelong abstinence. Our evidence-based therapies, including relapse prevention therapy, can be tailored to each client’s unique needs, budget, and schedule. Contact us at 866.939.4243 today to take your first step towards a sober life.
What Are the Stages of Relapse?
Addiction is a chronic disease. When someone abuses a substance, it alters their brain chemistry in such a way that it creates a physical dependence on the substance. Due to this, relapses are a common threat to a patient’s recovery.
Contrary to popular belief, a relapse doesn’t just happen in one instant of weakness. In fact, the first signs of relapse start before someone even considers drinking or using drugs again. Here are the common stages of relapse:
- Emotional relapse – At this stage, someone isn’t thinking of drinking or abusing drugs. However, their emotional state is setting them up for a physical relapse down the road. Some common feelings associated with emotional relapse are restlessness, irritability, and discontent. It is not uncommon for someone to be in denial when they are in this stage of relapse.
- Mental relapse – Once someone is in the second stage of relapse, they are already actively considering abusing alcohol or drugs. They may be fantasizing about the high that the substance used to give them. They may start minimizing the consequences of their abuse or rationalizing that “a little bit” wouldn’t hurt. People that are in mental relapse are at high risk of physical relapse.
- Physical relapse – When someone actually breaks their sobriety, then they are in physical relapse. It is important to note that even in this state, help and support are still available, and recovery is still possible. Patients in physical relapse should seek help immediately.
Identifying these signs can go a long way toward preventing a physical relapse. Accepting that relapse is a possibility, and creating a plan of prevention, is essential to any recovery program.
5 Ways To Prevent Relapse
In relapse prevention therapy, patients are taught how to anticipate the triggers that may lead to a relapse. They can then develop a plan for how to cope with these triggers in advance. However, patients can also be more active in relapse prevention by following these tips to prevent relapse:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Recovery is difficult, even more so without the proper support. Being able to talk to a therapist or a support group can go a long way toward preventing relapse.
- Don’t lie to yourself and others – While someone may have the proper support systems in place, they would not be able to provide the help a patient needs if they do not get the proper information. Being completely honest about a patient’s personal situation and emotions is essential to getting the right care.
- Take care of yourself – This includes eating healthy, sleeping well, taking prescribed medications, and getting enough exercise. It is easier to maintain sobriety when someone feels physically fit and well-nourished.
- Maintain sober habits – Avoid places and people that create situations that make it easy to abuse drugs or alcohol. Start healthier hobbies that prevent feelings of boredom or loneliness.
- Follow your treatment program – Attend all the meetings and therapy sessions religiously. Trust that your healthcare providers know what is best for long-term recovery.
The returning urge to use is expected, but there are ways to set yourself up to be able to manage your triggers and cope healthily. Please consider relapse prevention therapy if you are struggling to maintain your sobriety. There is no shame in needing a little extra help sometimes.
Discover Relapse Prevention Therapy at Promont Wellness
At Promont Wellness, we believe in providing every client with the right care to ensure the best chance of success. If you believe that you or a loved one would benefit from relapse prevention therapy, call us at 866.939.4243 to discuss the best treatment program for you, or fill out our online form and let us get back to you.