What Are the Elements of an Effective Relapse Prevention Program?

The Best Ways to Prevent a Relapse

When you’re trying to get information about drug treatment centers, you might worry that no matter what you try, you’re going to end up relapsing. Maybe you’ve tried quitting before and ended up using again. There are ways to discover whether the rehab center you’ve chosen provides effective relapse prevention. Here’s how to find out.

Does a Relapse Mean You’ve Failed?

You hear about it all the time. An addict or alcoholic goes to rehab and gets clean. Shortly after that, they’re back in a full-fledged addiction. Maybe you’ve lived that scenario yourself. Maybe you have a loved one who has been on that roller coaster.

Is relapse inevitable after rehab? Is it a sign of failure? And how can a good program prevent it from happening? Let’s take those questions one at a time.

Relapse is Part of Recovery

You might worry that drinking or using drugs after you’ve been through rehab means that the whole thing was a waste of time. That isn’t the case. Addiction is a chronic disease that has to be monitored for a long time. Like any disease, it can have moments when it seems to be in remission and moments when it flares up again. The important thing is to maintain a commitment to your recovery.

Most addiction counselors understand that a relapse is an unfortunate part of recovery. A relapse can be turned around if the addict or alcoholic immediately gets counseling and support and makes a new commitment to sobriety.

Relapse is Not Failure

A relapse is only a failure if you let it become one. When you find yourself back in the middle of using drugs and alcohol again, it’s time to get some help. Many addicts had to quit more than once before they were able to achieve lasting sobriety.

At the same time, it’s important to note that too many relapses can derail your chances of attaining lifelong sobriety. You need to put the brakes on your substance abuse and minimize the chances that you’ll have a slip-up. That’s why a good drug rehab program has a solid plan for aftercare in place.

What Are the Elements of an Effective Relapse Prevention Program?

The following elements are those that have proven to help people stay sober and live happily free of addiction.

Physical Withdrawal

If the addict or alcoholic did not undergo a medical detox, there may still be traces of the substance in their body. They will continue to crave the substance physically until all traces of it are gone.

A successful rehab should begin with safe, medical detox to ensure that the drugs or alcohol are out of the addict’s system.

Structure and Schedules

Many addicts and alcoholics say that too much free time can lead to dangerous thoughts about their favorite substance.

While they don’t need to schedule every minute of the day, most addicts find that having a full, detailed list of daily activities, chores and appointments gives them much-needed structure.

Knowing that they’re going to a meeting or a counseling session can help an addict hold out a little longer.

Ongoing Peer Support

Regular group support for sobriety has proven to be one of the best ways to prevent relapses.

Attendance at sobriety support groups should begin during rehab and continue immediately afterward.

Group meetings provide a structured block of time.

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling can help an addict or alcoholic determine what daily triggers are likely to trigger a relapse and how to cope with those triggers.

A counselor or therapist can provide individualized help for the emotional triggers that lead to a relapse.

Individual counselors are often alert to the signs that an addict is struggling and might be on the verge of relapse.

Understanding How Rehab Centers Deal With Relapses

Before you attend an inpatient or outpatient treatment center, find out what their policies regarding relapses are. Will you be allowed back in treatment if you have a relapse? What kind of support is in place for the addict once treatment has ended? Does the center focus on relapse prevention techniques? These are important questions to ask.

Find the Right Treatment Center

Finding the right treatment facility can seem overwhelming. If you’re struggling to find the right center for yourself or a loved one, call our counselors anytime. They’re available 24-7 to help you find the program that’s right for you. 

Ready to Make a Change?

We know that overcoming addiction is not easy and requires courage to ask for help. At Woburn Addiction Treatment, our team of professionals has decades of combined experience in helping men, women, and families overcome substance abuse.

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