Relapse occurs when a person who stopped using drugs or alcohol begins to use again. There are many reasons this can happen. A key component of drug and alcohol addiction treatment is to empower individuals to avoid relapse. We do this through ongoing relapse prevention. By providing the tools and resources necessary, it may be possible to prevent relapse from occurring. At Lakeview Health, we work with each of our patients on an ongoing basis to make sure that we have taken every measure possible to avoid relapse.
What Is Relapse Prevention?
The term “relapse prevention” describes the range of steps and strategies we utilize to help a person refrain from returning to drug and alcohol use. Relapse prevention strategies give you specific things to do to help you avoid giving in to cravings or responding negatively to triggers. There is no way to cure addiction, but with these tools and strategies, it is possible to minimize the risk of becoming dependent on drugs again.
Triggers and Relapse Prevention
One of the primary things you will learn during drug and alcohol addiction treatment involves triggers. These are particular people, places, or situations that put you at a higher risk of using. Avoiding triggers altogether is ideal but not always possible. That is why you need to develop strategies for managing the triggers you have identified and handling unexpected triggers. Triggers differ from person to person. Some examples include:
- Stress – At home, work, in relationships, or any other facet of your life, high amounts of stress, especially on a consistent basis, may trigger drug use.
- Boredom – People who do not have much to do often start thinking about using again to fill their time.
- Certain people or places – Many people have triggers that involve specific people, places, or experiences that they associate with their previous drug or alcohol use.
- Parties, events, and social gatherings – Situations in which you feel the need to use because everyone else is doing so, or in which you have habitually drunk or used drugs can be a significant trigger.
- Unchecked emotions – Feeling intense anger, frustration, pain, or even numbness to feelings can create a desire to use.
In every situation, relapse prevention aims to give you the tools to cope with each trigger impacting you. For example, having a healthy way of dealing with stress can help you avoid stress-related relapse. Avoiding relationships or people who are more likely to cause you to use can help. You may want to learn new things and engage in new activities to help you avoid boredom or see a counselor to get a better handle on your emotions. Whatever your particular situation, Lakeview Health can help.
Additional Relapse Prevention Strategies
Understanding and addressing triggers are one aspect of relapse prevention. There are other steps to take, as well. Some other strategies for avoiding relapse include:
- Having support available: Having a mentor and a list of people to call when you are thinking about drug use is a critical way of avoiding relapse.
- Making new friends: Open yourself up to new opportunities, so you are not pressured into drug use.
- Giving back: Work to give back to the community and treatment center. Mentoring others may help you stay on track yourself.
Knowing When You Need Help
Preventing relapse often comes down to knowing when you need help. The sooner you act, the more opportunity you have to avoid the return of addictive behaviors. At Lakeview Health, we can help with programs explicitly designed for relapse prevention, and based on your needs and triggers. These include:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Opiate addiction treatment
- Prescription drug addiction treatment
- Other drug addiction treatment
If you are thinking about using drugs or alcohol, reach out to the team at Lakeview Health immediately. Do not wait to get the help you need.
Do Not Wait to Get Help. Call Lakeview Health Today.
Relapse prevention is possible if you reach out soon enough for support. Lakeview Health can provide you with the help you need right away. If you or someone you care about is at risk, reach out to our experienced counselors now to minimize the chances of relapse. Let us help you today. Contact Lakeview Health today at 866.704.7692 for immediate support.