Imagine this scenario: You have just gotten out of a residential treatment program, haven’t had any drugs or alcohol in several weeks, and you’re feeling fantastic. No drugs or alcohol for you ever again, you’re cured! That’s how treatment programs work, right?
One of the biggest misconceptions about drug or alcohol treatment is that you’re instantly cured once you finish the program but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Addiction is a lifelong battle. To help combat relapse or winding back up in treatment you need a solid relapse prevention program. Let’s learn what to expect in our relapse prevention program.
What is a Relapse Prevention Program?
A relapse prevention program is a series of therapeutic steps and actions formulated by addiction counselors to decrease the chances of relapse. Our relapse prevention program is an evidence-based series of steps and counseling sessions that are proven to benefit addicts and alcoholics after they leave direct treatment programs like residential treatment or intensive outpatient.
Steps and Methods for Relapse Prevention
We believe in a multi-pronged approach to relapse prevention including counseling, therapy, education, and giving additional resources. We focus on the following areas to help our patients continue success in sobriety.
Continued therapy and check-ins are highly recommended for our relapse prevention therapy. This can include meeting a few times a week to discuss your challenges with a counselor or in a group setting or even just a one-hour weekly phone call. Follow-up and continuing your therapy is remarkably beneficial for continued sobriety and will help you keep the enemy of relapse at bay. Think of continued therapy as relapse prevention booster shots.
You’re not growing as a person if you’re sober but not taking the next steps to get your life together. Relapse prevention programs will touch on your professional development including your plans in sobriety. Learning about lifestyles, careers, and other developments are stressful and can lead back to addiction but a proper relapse prevention plan can help you continue a successful life – not just successful sobriety.
What good is being sober if you’re still miserable or stuck? Relapse prevention’s primary goal is to keep you off alcohol and drugs, but personal development is a key part of recovery. You can work with a counselor on your growth and any other personal defects that could contribute to relapse. Personal development strategies including anger control, meditation, mindfulness, impulse control, getting a handle on depression or anxiety, and more. The more you grow as a person the better your chances of long-term sobriety.
Relapse Warning Signs
A large portion of relapse prevention is learning about the warning signs of relapse and recognizing when you’re at risk. In most circumstances relapse is not a snap decision, but a slow descent into the emotions, rituals, and negative thought processes that kept you addicted to begin with.
You will learn to recognize emotional relapse symptoms like isolation or mood swings, mental relapse symptoms like lying or fantasizing about using again. Counselors will lay out time-tested warning signs that relapse is imminent like hanging out with old using friends or going back to your favorite bar. Learning to recognize the thought patterns, situations, and events that could lead you back to active addiction builds a guard against relapse and is often the most beneficial lesson in our relapse prevention program.
There’s more to treatment than one program or one exercise. Building your sobriety resources gives you more tools to keep you on the right path. Our relapse prevent program will give you as many additional resources as possible including websites, books, 12-step and other recovery-focused meetings, daily readings, and more. The more outlets we can give you the more likely you can stay focused.
Life will not slow down or get easier for you because you’re sober. You will always have to deal with life. Our relapse prevention program helps build coping skills to deal with the sadness, anger, and daily stress of life without returning to the bottle or your drug of choice. Thousands of Americans deal with the loss of job, tragic circumstance, and other curveballs every day without throwing their lives away – and so can you. Our relapse prevention program uses clinically-established coping techniques to help you deal with life on life’s term in healthy, non-destructive means.
If Relapse Happens
What do you do if you slip up? Unfortunately, relapse happens. It is not something to sit and mope about, it should be more fuel for you. Relapse prevention plays out many challenges including what to do when you relapse and immediate steps you can take to avoid continuing down a dark path.
Learning About PAWS
Why do people turn back to drugs or alcohol after they’ve been sober for weeks or months? While the causes for relapse depend on the person, not being prepared for post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is one of the top reasons people turn back.
PAWs is a collection of symptoms experienced by many addicts and alcoholics for weeks and months after acute-withdrawal. The most common PAWs symptoms include mood swings, trouble sleeping, trouble concentration, anxiety, depression, and others. The symptoms are normally not as severe as acute withdrawal but can make a significant impact on sobriety if the recoveree doesn’t have a plan for them. We’ll formulate a PAWs plan specific to you and your needs so you’re mentally and emotionally prepared.
Putting Addiction in the Corner
Sobriety is a lifelong battle but the more weapons you have, the more likely you’ll be happy, joyous, and free. If you or a loved one is having difficulty maintaining sobriety, they need the help of our licensed and evidence-driven relapse prevention program. Call today or visit our site to learn more about getting the help you need.