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Relapse Prevention

According to the NIH, 40 to 60 percent of recovering addicts relapse at some point following treatment. If you believe that you could benefit from a relapse prevention plan in North Dakota, do not hesitate to learn more about your options. Discover the leading methods used to prevent in the following.


What is Relapse?

Relapse is the break of abstinence from a substance, such as drugs or alcohol. It is an unfortunate but also common part of the recovery process. In fact, most people relapse several times before finally achieving long-term sobriety. Relapse typically occurs as a result of bursts in old behaviors or exposure to triggers. It can also result from giving into cravings or urges. However, with an individualized relapse prevention plan in place, you can avoid it entirely, or at least increase your chances of maintaining long-term abstinence in North Dakota.


What Are the Stages of Relapse?

Many people think relapse is a sudden choice that occurs without any prior contemplation. However, most people experience it in three distinct stages, which consist of emotional, mental, and physical relapse.

Emotional relapse is the first stage. During it, most people are not actively or consciously thinking about using drugs or alcohol again, but their emotional state sets them up for a relapse. This is because many people in this stage become depressed, irritable, or isolate themselves from loved ones. They may also begin to participate less and less in support groups.

Mental relapse is the second and most difficult stage to identify. This is because individuals tend to internalize their thoughts or feelings and may engage in sneaky behaviors. Mental relapse is characterized by reflecting on one’s past drug or alcohol use in a glamorous or positive light. Some people in this stage may even try to rekindle old connections or friendships related to their addiction.

The last stage is called physical relapse and marks the point at which an addict attempts to gain drugs or alcohol for the purpose of getting high or drunk. At this point, medical detox can help contract the chemicals out of an individual’s system and help him or her get back on track for recovery.


What Are the Warning Signs of Relapse?

Since relapse is not a sudden event, many people show signs that they are about to succumb to it. These signs may be noticed several days or even weeks in advance. The following are most common:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Financial instability
  • Lack of participation in support groups
  • Loss of interest in preferred activities or people

If you notice any of these signs, treatment centers are available to help.


What is Relapse Prevention?

Relapse prevention refers to any method used during treatment to help patients avoid breaking abstinence from substances. Therapies such as behavioral therapy, individual counseling, and group therapy all play a critical role in relapse prevention. They can equip you with the coping skills you need to combat urges and cravings while offering a safe and supportive environment where you can freely express yourself.

Besides receiving treatment in a rehabilitation facility, relapse prevention measures are also found in community-based programs, such as 12-step meetings and SMART Recovery. These options provide a strong support system to individuals in recovery and emphasize self-accountability. They can be used during or following treatment on an ongoing basis to maintain sobriety.

If you believe that you could benefit from any of the relapse prevention methods discussed, do not wait to take further action. Get started towards your own recovery journey today by dialing an addiction specialist for more information today