Relapse Prevention Therapy

Pertaining to substance abuse treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, a relapse means the reoccurrence of additive behaviors after trying to recover. Relapse prevention therapy (RPT) is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that aims to prevent or limit the chance of relapse. 

Through this type of therapy, you will develop a strategy that allows you to become aware of common relapse triggers. In this article you will read all about relapse prevention therapy, and how it has helped many recover.

What Causes Relapse

Unfortunately relapses are more common than not. When such an event occurs, individuals tend to feel extreme guilt and self-blame. However, through relapse prevention therapy you will learn all of the necessary tools and techniques needed for relapse prevention. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a relapse trigger is anything that urges your brain or body to want to use the drug. Triggers Although there is not one determining factor that causes relapse amongst drug and alcohol users, the following are common relapse triggers: 

  • Stress is known to be the top cause of relapse. Practice positive ways to manage your stress. Meditate, breath and eat healthy. Through RPT, you will learn to manage and cope with your stress. 
  • Places or people connected with addictive behaviors. People or places who once participated in your addictive behaviors can be common relapse triggers. 
  • Negative thoughts and emotions. Through RPT you will learn how to alter these thoughts into more positive ones, instead of using drugs or alcohol as the answer. 
  • Object reminders of your addiction. Whether you are watching people have a drink, or you smell a burning cigarette, these reminders can trigger relapse. 
  • Family gatherings or celebrations. These fun occasions with family members or friends may be triggers for you. Through RPT you will learn different coping mechanisms when attending events like these. 
  • Memories and thoughts. Old memories and thoughts can also be emotional triggers. These memories can bring back wanted feelings and emotions that were once tied to your addiction. Through relapse prevention you will learn how to control these emotions, and find new activities and hobbies that interest you.

What is Relapse Prevention Therapy 

Relapse prevention is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that will allow you to cope with and manage any triggers that may lead to your relapse. RPT allows individuals to open up about what triggers them, and any circumstances that are likely to result in a relapse.

Here, you will develop coping strategies for the triggers or circumstances that may leave you feeling the urge to use drugs or alcohol again. You will also become aware of the warning signs associated with relapse. 

Through this type of therapy, you will also develop a strategy for coping with certain environmental factors that could provoke relapse. Things like people, places or objects that may remind you of your addictive behaviors fall into this category.

In addition to learning how to cope with any triggers or urges you may have, RPT will teach you that relapse does not mean failure. Many recovering individuals who relapse tend to feel like a failure. The inability to fully recover leaves individuals believing they have totally failed at life. When in reality, this is not true and you are not a failure. 

It is recommended to pick up new hobbies or activities that interest you at this time. These activities or interests may be small or large, but can have tremendous positive effects on your life and overall happiness.

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Signs of Relapse

Changes in attitude, emotion, behaviors, and feelings are all common signs of a relapse. It is important to recognize the signs of relapse in order to maintain long-term sobriety. The following are common warning signs of relapse: 

  • Change in attitude
  • Recurrence of withdrawal symptoms
  • Behavioral changes
  • Loss of self structure 
  • Loss of judgement 
  • Social changes and discomfort 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Heightened Stress

It is common for relapse to occur following drug and alcohol treatment, however relapses are preventable. Understanding the warning signs and being able to identify them can help prevent a relapse. 

Relapse Overdose Warning

Individuals in recovery who have maintained their sobriety for an extended period of time are at a higher risk to overdose from drugs or alcohol following a relapse. It is recommended to seek addiction treatment if you relapse or overdose from any drug substance. 

These individuals are at high risk because their bodies no longer have the same tolerance to the drugs. Individuals who fall into this category should never take the same dosage of drugs they were once using. This can result in severe overdose and death.

Get the Help you Deserve

During relapse prevention therapy, you will learn to improve your coping skills, reinterpret your definition of relapse, and live a successful life in recovery! Many treatment centers offer this type of therapy for substance use disorders, alongside other proven therapies. 

The Recovery Team offers Relapse Prevention Therapy for those with substance abuse addiction. Our facility offers numerous treatment programs and therapies designed to help you or your loved one recover. Call us today for more information or help, we look forward to hearing from you. 

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