Relapse prevention is an important aspect of drug treatment, with therapy and aftercare programs designed to follow periods of detox and medication. Relapse prevention is a cognitive behavioral approach to therapy that treats a wide range of high risk situations including alcoholism and drug dependence. Relapse prevention is a vital component in the context of drug treatment, with prevention techniques integrated into existing therapies and taught to patients through aftercare programs.
A relapse or recidivism describes a return to previous problematic behavior. In the context of drug treatment, this event takes place when a patient starts to use drugs or alcohol again following a period of prolonged abstinence. Because substance abuse and dependence are learned behaviors that actually change brain structure over time, the possibility for recidivism is high. Relapse prevention programs are essential in all treatment programs, because they teach patients the skills needed to change behavior. Physically and psychologically dependent patients are at risk of returning to drugs or alcohol unless action is taken. The professionals at drug treatment centers Tallahassee can help you get started on the path to sobriety. Call now to learn about your treatment options at (850) 460-3170.
Recidivism does not just take place when someone starts using drugs again. It also describes the process leading up to physical relapse, with a range of unhealthy emotional and mental states noticeable long before someone starts using again. Emotional relapse is the first phase, with patients not yet thinking about using drugs again but still setting themselves up for failure. Common signs of this stage include anxiety, intolerance, anger, isolation, poor sleeping habits, poor eating habits and not asking for help. Patients may not be able to recognize many of these signs in the early stages. Counselors are able to educate and support patients before the situation progresses to the next phase.
Mental relapse is the next phase, with patients still engaged in the recovery process but also thinking about using drugs again. This can be a confusing and frustrating time for recovering addicts, who often don't know which way to turn. Common signs of mental relapse include lying, glamorizing past drug use, fantasizing possible future drug use, spending time with old friends, thinking about relapsing and planning relapse scenarios. It's absolutely critical that patients are engaged with a recovery program during this phase in order to avoid physical relapse from taking place. Physical relapse occurs when someone starts to use drugs or alcohol again, with patients then having to make a choice between re-engaging with the recovery program or leaving treatment.
Various techniques can be taught to patients to help them deal with relapse scenarios before it's too late. Therapists and counselors are able to engage with patients at each stage of recovery, giving them the psychological tools they need to make healthy choices and the support they need to continue the treatment program. Common techniques include distracting yourself, waiting for a period of time, dealing with recovery one day at a time, learning to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings, and learning to relax to avoid impulsive and compulsive responses. Group and individual counseling sessions are also useful for people in recovery, with coaches and mentors able to offer guidance and support. Traditional 12-step programs are the most common approach, with SMART recovery and other groups also available to help people in their time of need.