Relapse prevention is vital in order to maintain the benefits of treatment and avoid the pain of repeating the deadly cycle of addiction. At Discovery Transitions, we believe that recovery is a continuing process and that it is our responsibility to provide the tools to not just get clean and sober but also to remain clean and sober by developing effective habilitation services that are life changing.
Relapse tends to occur when the fundamentals of addiction therapy are forgotten or given less priority as the addict or alcoholic begins to feel better. Recovery is about approaching the world and its people—and one’s own self—from a new perspective and with a new mode of thinking. If the recovering person loses the recovery perspective and reverts to “old thinking,” a drink or a drug is the likely outcome. The thought that “I deserve it,” or “I can handle it now” can re-assert itself in spite of massive evidence to the contrary. The term relapse is defined as returning to a previous state. It is our goal and objective to enhance effective prevention skills needed for success.
Relapse Prevention Therapy
Relapse prevention therapy provides tools for recognizing signs that you are moving away from recovery mode and quite likely toward a drink or a drug. Counselors and loved ones will usually recognize the shift in attitude before the “slip” actually occurs. Relapse prevention is about being able to self-check in order to recognize this shift in attitude before it gains the momentum that will result in a relapse, and having a set of strategies to turn things around and remain on the recovery path.
Signs to watch for include irritability, dissatisfaction with how things are going, anger and resentment, a tendency to blame others, a lack of gratitude, impulsiveness (with unsatisfactory outcomes), and fear. Depression, anxiety, and hopelessness may take over. On the other hand, some people leave treatment and everything goes so well that they feel cured and—absent any of the above symptoms—find themselves at a party or event where alcohol or drugs are available. The consequences of getting high don’t come to mind, and the first drink or drug initiates the entire cycle that brought them to treatment in the first place.