Relapse Prevention Babylon
Rehabilitation treatment can be highly effective for patients who want to break their physical and mental addiction to drugs or alcohol. However, most addicts will require additional help when they leave a rehab program in order to stay sober. Long-term sobriety can be achieved when addicts enter relapse prevention programs.
Relapse prevention programs are a series of therapies and resources that are offered to addicts who are newly sober. Also known as addiction aftercare, these therapies and programs can make a huge impact on high relapse rates for drug and alcohol addicts.
To learn how to access aftercare programs, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Babylon at (516) 283-5664.
Lapse vs. Relapse
When an addict fails to abstain from drugs and alcohol, it can be emotionally traumatizing for them and the family and friends that are trying to help. It is important, however, for both addicts and their allies to understand that one-time drug or alcohol use after a period of sobriety does not necessarily mean that they will completely return to their former lifestyle.
A lapse is defined as an addict using drugs or alcohol once, then immediately returning to treatment. This can occur when life stressors become too much. It is important to encourage the addict’s decision to re-enter treatment and to offer support and positivity when they return.
A relapse is defined as an addict making a complete return to their former lifestyle of drug or alcohol addiction. This process occurs in stages rather than all at once. These stages are:
- Emotional: At this stage, the addict has begun to feel a number of stresses. Negative thought and emotion cycles begin. The addict may begin to feel as though their sobriety will not last forever, or that they are failing at building a new life in sobriety. They may begin to act distant towards friends and family and exhibit signs of depression or anxiety. Usually, addicts do not realize that they have been in this state of mind until they have entered the next stage.
- Mental: The negative emotions from the first stage begin to materialize into more action-based thoughts. The addict may fantasize about past drug/alcohol use, contact friends that they used with, or make loose plans to contact a dealer or visit the liquor store. Addicts in this stage begin to focus heavily on when, where, and how they can use their drug of choice again.
- Physical: The final stage is when the addict relapses—they obtain the substance that they are craving and return to their former drug or alcohol use in full.
Recognizing these stages as they occur and before the addict reaches the final stage is important in preventing a relapse.
Support and Relapse Prevention
A large part of addiction aftercare has to do with supporting the addict. Addicted patients often have low self-esteem and can easily be discouraged. Feelings of guilt and inadequacy can tempt them to return to substance abuse. These feelings and thoughts can last for months, years, or even decades. Having a strong support system can help addicts manage these negative thoughts and emotions and keep them on track for long-term sobriety.
Relapse prevention resources can include:
- Group Meeting Associations: There are a number of group meetings that addicts can attend, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Likewise, family members can attend meetings that are geared towards educating loved ones on how to best care for and support addicts, like Al-Anon. These meetings can give addicts a way to feel connected to others who share their experiences and give them a place to vent and gain new coping skills.
- Individual/Family Therapy: Psychotherapy can be a healing experience for addicts individually as well as the family as a whole. Individual therapy can allow addicts to work through complicated feelings associated with addiction, as well as any mental health issues. Family therapy can strengthen the support system and heal some of the damage caused by the addict’s actions in the past.
- Sober Living Houses: If an addict does not feel ready to completely immerse themselves in “normal” life, they can live with others in recovery in a totally drug/alcohol-free environment at a sober living house. There, they can focus on their recovery, take time to find gainful employment, and continue to attend meetings and therapy.
Learn more about all of the relapse prevention options available for you or a loved one when you call Alcohol Treatment Centers Babylon at (516) 283-5664.