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Relapse Prevention Putnam

What Is Relapse?

In the world of addiction, a relapse is when a person returns to drug or alcohol abuse after a period of sobriety. Whenever a person struggles with addiction, the possibility of using drugs or alcohol again is always there. This is why rehabilitation programs offer relapse prevention training.

Through recovery education, Drug Treatment Centers Putnam aims to equip those recovering from addiction with relapse prevention techniques. Call (860) 207-8360 to learn more.

Statistics of Relapse

When considering the statistics, relapse prevention becomes even more important. The likelihood a person will relapse after sobriety is between 40 and 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These statistics are similar to that of chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes.

What Are the Stages of Relapse?

Recovery theorists Terence T. Gorski and Merlene Miller theorize that slipping back into drug use happens in steps rather than as a single incident. Each stage of relapse can contribute to the next.

The three chief stages are emotional, mental and physical relapse:

An emotional relapse is when a person begins to experience a change in his or her emotions, but doesn’t quite yet know how or why. A person may feel like he or she is going through the motions of recovery or “stuck” in the recovery process and not moving forward.

Signs include:

  • Anxiety
  • Attempting to re-gain control in life by over-exercising, dieting or overworking
  • Denial, convincing himself or herself that everything is okay
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Memory loss

Mental relapse is the further progress of a person’s thinking to considering using drugs again. A person may start reminiscing about drug use as “the good old days.”

This phase is associated with:

  • Continued denial, knowing the person is thinking about using drugs again, yet believing there is nothing to worry about
  • Distorted thinking, such as thinking that using drugs again could be okay
  • Feeling as if no one could help the person
  • Feeling out of control
  • Putting themselves in high-risk situations, such as hanging out with people the person used to abuse drugs with.

Physical relapse is when a person’s problems seem to build up to a level where he or she cannot take it anymore. The person feels like the only way to help is to use drugs or alcohol again as a way to cope. Eventually, their resolve crumbles and they return to their former substance abuse habits.

The Importance of Recovery Aftercare

When a person uses their drug of choice after a period of sobriety, he or she has one of two choices. The person can continue to use drugs or they can make the decision to get sober again. Proper treatment centers offer on-going recovery aftercare that helps a person identify warning signs and high-risk situations that could potentially lead to using again in the future.
Examples of strategies that are part of an aftercare program include:

  • Attending sober living meeting
  • Finding an aftercare program for a person to prevent using
  • Finding a sponsor who can support a person struggling with addiction
  • Identifying high-risk situations and warning signs that could lead to using
  • Identifying warning signs that could indicate a person is heading toward using
  • Starting beneficial therapies, such as yoga or writing in a journal

While not every relapse prevention technique works for every person struggling with addiction, having multiple techniques available can help.

For more information on relapse prevention techniques, please call (860) 207-8360 to speak with the drug addiction specialists of Drug Treatment Centers Putnam.

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