Going through rehab isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one of the biggest challenges any addict will face. Admitting that you have a problem, then taking the steps necessary to correct that addiction can be a terrifying experience. Once you’ve completed your recovery program, though, your work isn’t finished. If you aren’t careful, you might experience a relapse. Because of this, it’s important to understand everything you need to know about relapse prevention.
Relapse prevention essentially involves taking all necessary precautions to prevent relapse from occurring. While many individuals do regress, at least partially, utilizing relapse prevention techniques can help minimize this. While relapse prevention looks different for each individual, the basic idea is that you continue working on your recovery to prevent falling back into old habits.
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When you go through a recovery treatment program, you focus solely on recovery. That’s your only goal. Unfortunately, when you leave your treatment center and return to your real life, you may feel overwhelmed. Many addicts find that when they return to their regular lives, they have to deal with the same stress, anxiety, situations and people as they did prior to entering rehab. This can make continued success with their addiction quite difficult. Regression occurs when someone succumbs to the temptation to use the substance again, despite their current level of recovery.
Relapse is typically categorized in three stages: emotional, mental and physical. The emotional stage is the first part of relapse. This occurs when you’re so focused on beating your addiction and not using your substance of choice that you neglect the rest of yourself. You might skip meals or have poor eating habits. You might even begin to feel stressed or anxious with your life. All of your attention is going toward avoiding regression, which, unfortunately, can lead directly toward that.
The second stage of regression is mental. This is the stage when you’ll typically begin to think more and more about reverting. You might fantasize about the days when you used to use. You might remind yourself how much fun your substance was. You might even justify it, saying that you need to use the substance in order to deal with your stress. The final part of the mental stage is when you begin to plan your reversion.
Finally, the physical stage of relapse is when the temptation is strong you break down and use the drug or alcohol. Unfortunately, this can be devastating, especially after so much success. You might feel like a failure or like you aren’t worth helping, but it’s incredibly important to reach out for help should regression occur. Learning prevention techniques can drastically improve your chances of success.
Did you know that many treatment centers provide relapse prevention assistance? There are many options available when it comes to dealing with regression. Of course, preventing regression in the first place is always the goal, but you should still seek help if you regression after treatment.
A drug treatment center can help you identify exactly what led to your regression, including what your triggers were and what finally made you justify the decision. Furthermore, your treatment center can help you with group therapy, individual counseling and therapy techniques for coping with recovery in the future. You’ll learn how to identify when you might be tempted to regress and how you can avoid making that decision.
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