A relapse is giving in to a craving or desire to drink or use drugs after a sustained period of abstinence. Relapse prevention is the ongoing application of coping techniques that help to maintain sobriety. Once someone has been diagnosed with a substance abuse addiction, the occurrence of a relapse is always a possibility. As such, relapse prevention is critical to the recovery process because recidivism is inherent in the addiction condition. However, staying sober is not determined by moral fiber or based only on emotional resonance. It can be attributed, in part, to commitment to the recovery process.
Often people in recovery get overconfident about their ability to resist temptations to drink or use drugs. Complacency makes people relinquish their relapse prevention tools. This is a primary cause of relapse. Relapse prevention includes education and training that explore contributing factors such as environment and personal triggers. The quality of the training, acquisition of prevention skills and sustained efforts are all integral to long term sobriety.
The Baton Rouge community “I CARE” is a substance abuse preventative program that provides primary, secondary and tertiary prevention education as well as crisis response and management. These substance abuse and relapse prevention programs aid significantly in highlighting the importance of prevention and treatment when necessary. Drug Treatment Centers Baton Rouge also understand the nuances of drug relapse prevention and considers it a critical component in our drug rehabilitation process. Call Baton Rouge Drug Treatment Centers today at (225) 341-8208.
To prevent a relapse one must first be aware of the various stages that indicate the onset of one.
• Stage One – The first indication of a relapse is a shift in motivation and commitment to the activities necessary to maintain sobriety. That may include a budding lack of interest in communicating with people who support your recovery, frequent absence from meetings, and a loss of fear of addiction. These are subtle emotional shifts that often go unnoticed. Although the person in recovery is not really thinking about relapsing, thoughts about drinking and using drugs are definitely on the fringes of the mind. In this stage, behavior that encourage and lead to a relapse are beginning to manifest.
• Stage Two – This is known as the mental relapse phase indicated by an ongoing battle with thoughts about using and a gradual increase in a desire to indulge in substance abuse. One of the most difficult things to accept at this stage is the idea that using can plunge you back into full blown addiction. Many addicts relapse at this point by testing themselves. The need to feel that they can control their use is often so strong that thinking about it quickly becomes obsessive. It is here that former addicts reconnect with their drug using or drinking buddies and return to the old haunts of their addicted lifestyle. The most significant aspect of this stage is that this is when plans are usually put in place to secretly take a drink or use drugs again.
• Stage Three – This is the final stage of a relapse. At this point, all relapse prevention mechanisms have been abandoned, supporters are pushed to the background and the decision to use has been made. Even at this stage, a relapse can be prevented if the person recognizes what is happening and how close they are coming to what could turn out to be a fatal mistake. Stage three activities includes actually purchasing the substance of choice and/or making a commitment to hang out with people to drink or use drugs.
Following a relapse, many recovering addicts often panic. Reactions vary from seeking help right away or further indulgence as a sense of hopelessness set in. This is a dangerous place for most people in recovery because cravings typically outweigh current tolerance levels. After a period of abstinence, tolerance levels are lowered. As such, it is typically after long term abstinence that most drug overdose fatalities occur.
1. Recognize complacency or overconfidence as a threat to sobriety.
2. Rehearse relapse prevention techniques to ensure that you are implementing them.
3. Study the stages of a relapse and seek help at the first stage.
4. Know your relapse triggers and don’t take chances by testing yourself.
5. Relapse is a part of drug addiction and is always a possibility so stay committed to the efforts necessary to enjoy long term sobriety.
6. Contact a drug treatment center at any stage of a relapse to safely get past the looming event.
Research studies show that it is possible to prevent a drug or alcohol relapse. It necessitates awareness of the stages of a relapse and the triggers which are the primary warning signs. For those who received relapse prevention training, it requires full activation of the coping mechanisms when a relapse is pending. It is also important not to neglect reaching out to your support team or the treatment centers for help. Drug Rehab Treatment Centers Baton Rouge equip every recovering patient with multiple preventative tools and techniques that enable them to recognize, intercept or quickly overcome a relapse event.
If you are seeing signs of a relapse in yourself or a loved one don’t wait for it to occur. Call our Baton Rouge Drug Treatment Centers today at (225) 341-8208. Our call center representative are available 24/7 to help you through an addiction or a relapse.