Once a person who suffers from a substance abuse problem or drug addiction realizes that they have a problem, their primary focus becomes the initial detox process and the journey to get clean and sober. However, what often happens is that people become so focused on the process of quitting or detoxing, that they do not realize how important it is to shift their focus to staying clean and maintaining their sobriety going forward.
Addiction recovery is not just about getting clean, but about maintaining a drug-free lifestyle for the rest of a person’s life. Thus, it is important to begin thinking about relapse prevention as early as possible. Before beginning detox, get to know more about the concepts of relapse and relapse prevention.
Relapse prevention is a treatment technique designed precisely to help patients combat or avoid a setback. This is a proactive treatment that helps to educate recovering drug addicts and to teach them appropriate coping mechanisms to deal with any of the stages in the relapse process and to prevent the person from beginning to use drugs once again. Call Drug Treatment Centers Manchester to find out more about our relapse prevention education programs. Dial 860-288-8653.
Substance abuse and addiction relapse is a process which occurs in stages. Each stage is unique and requires different types of treatments and prevention techniques to be properly dealt with. This involves coping with urges, thoughts, cravings, and dangerous behaviors that could cause a return to alcohol and drug abuse.
The first stage, emotional relapse, is characterized by a set of behaviors or emotions that could lead a recovering addict down the wrong path. This stage can often go undetected in people who do not know or understand the process because it is not a conscious desire to resume addictive behaviors. High risk emotions and behaviors during this phase can include extreme mood swings, poor eating habits, anger, depression, poor sleeping habits, and aggression. These symptoms can happen at any time in the drug addiction recovery process, but is highly prevalent early on in the detox and withdrawal process.
Prevention requires becoming fully aware of behaviors and emotions as they are occurring and understanding their significance. Emotional awareness can be developed through individual and group therapy and counseling, but also through equine therapy and art therapy. Knowing when to ask for help with these feelings and behaviors is pinnacle in avoiding further progression.
The second stage is known as mental relapse. This is the stage most people recognize as a sign of serious trouble. At this stage, the individual begins thinking about resuming addictive behaviors or about using the drug again. This can start out as simple reminiscing about past drug use or about the people and places that were associated with drug use. People may also mentally glamorize or glorify their experiences while using drugs, essentially looking at their drug use through rose-colored glasses. A person may even contact or spend time with former associates, become preoccupied with the past rather than the present or future, or even plan or fantasize physical relapse. Secretive behaviors, lying, and unexplained disappearances may also occur in this stage.
Treating and dealing with this second stage involves being able to know when and where to seek help. Having a strong support system of friends, family, support groups, a sponsor, and substance abuse counselors is vital in being able to overcome and combat this relapse stage. In initial treatment, counselors will help to prepare you for this precise situation and help you to develop proper coping mechanisms to deal with cravings and other unhealthy addiction-related thoughts.
The final stage of relapse is physical. This is what most people know relapse to be, the time in which a person gives in and uses the addicted substance once again. At this stage, there is no longer a way to prevent the setback, the process is complete. This means that the entire addiction recovery process may need to start over.
If you or a loved one is in need of treatment for relapse, call Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Manchester at 860-288-8653.
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