Relapse Prevention as Part of Drug and Alcohol Rehab

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Relapse Prevention as Part of Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Wellness Retreat on February 26, 2018

When you come to rehab, the goal is to get you clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. Also, we want to make sure that your sobriety is long lasting, so we also place a heavy emphasis on relapse prevention, which is more complex than you may think.

The Components of Relapse Prevention

Everything you do in rehab is aimed towards preventing a relapse once you go back out into the “real world”. That effort has to cover a lot of ground to make sure you have the best possible chance of success.

Relapse prevention isn’t as simple as just staying sober. There are many layers that need to be addressed in order to help you along the way. Here are some of the areas you can expect to touch upon in treatment:

Identifying past trauma if there is any. Trauma and PTSD plays a huge role in contributing to addiction. It is essential to address this trauma and bring it to light in order to move past it. You need to know that your past doesn’t have to define you. It is ok to have painful parts of your past, as long as you don’t let them dictate your future. During treatment, we’ll help you identify these past events and give you tools to process them correctly.

Diagnosing mood disorders. Mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder hugely impact addiction. You might find yourself self-medicating to ease the symptoms of these conditions. We will help diagnose them and treat them properly. You are likely to find that once your mood disorder is treated, you will feel much better overall, and staying sober will be much easier.

Identifying triggers in your life. It is important to know what sets you off so that you can avoid it in the future. People, relationships, places, and situations can all be triggers. Even if someone seemed like a super close friend in addition, in recovery you may need to avoid them in order to stay sober. Knowing your triggers and avoiding them is all about self-protection to help you from finding yourself in a bad situation.

Knowing the 3 relapse stages. Relapse doesn’t just happen. It happens in three stages. In the first, you let your guard down. This could mean you stop making recovery a priority, or something significant happens in your life that is emotionally draining. You are vulnerable to negative influences. In stage two, you are already thinking about using or drinking, but haven’t touched anything yet. Basically, you are setting the stage. You might have contacted your dealer, or made plans with your old drinking buddies. Stage three is the physical relapse where you actually ingest the substance. Knowing these stages can help in relapse prevention because you can identify what is going on before it is too late.

Coming up with a long-term recovery plan. You don’t just go to rehab and then go right back to your regular life like nothing ever happened. Recovery takes time, effort, and commitment for the rest of your life. It is important to build a strong support system around yourself. This can include going to outpatient treatment, attending AA or NA meetings, living in a sober home, getting a therapist, and making sure you are surrounded by positive influences.

As you can see, there are a lot of components to relapse prevention. If you have tried to stay sober in the past and relapsed, our program is designed to identify why that happened to ensure it never happens again and that you have a long and sober future.