Addiction is a chronic disease that, although not curable, can be managed with professional help and support groups. The physical addiction can be broken, however, this is not to say that one is free from addiction. Without proper guidance from San Antonio Addiction Treatment or a certified rehabilitation facility, the individual’s chance of relapse is tremendous. This is why relapse prevention is a crucial element of both addiction treatment and the aftercare plan that has been constructed for after the individual’s rehab stay. Relapse prevention education and training gives clients access to the knowledge, skills, and techniques necessary for relapse avoidance.
Stages of Relapse
Contrary to popular belief, relapse happens in stages rather than as a particular event. Recognizing the signs and being aware of the stages are significant aspects of relapse prevention.
- First Stage – Emotional Relapse: At this stage, most clients are not at the point where they have considered using yet. However, their attitudes and emotions may very well be setting them up for failure. The signs of an emotional relapse include skipping recovery group meetings, neglecting your health, and experiencing feelings of frustration, resentment, or anger.
- Second Stage – Mental Relapse: This is when clients begin having thoughts about using again, and by the end of this stage, they have started planning the lapse around loved ones’ schedules. Some signs of mental relapse include hanging out with old friends who still use, reminiscing about and glamorizing past use, and considering using again.
- Third Stage – Physical Relapse: This is the point when the individual physically ingests drugs or alcohol.
How Prevention Programs Help
As part of the treatment program at San Antonio Addiction Treatment, various therapies are incorporated to address relapse education and prevention skill building. Clients are taught to:
- Identify high-risk situations and develop individualized techniques to cope with them while working on strategies to avoid them.
- Develop healthy coping mechanisms to effectively handle cravings, stress, and triggers.
- Recognize the warning signs of each stage of relapse and create a written plan of action, should the signs appear or a relapse occurs.
- Fill their time with productive activities to avoid boredom, which can quickly lead to a relapse.