What is Relapse Prevention?
Relapse prevention is a cognitive behavioral approach with the goal of being able to identify a high risk situation and abstaining from any action that would result in the problematic behavior. At A New Start, Inc. relapse prevention is one of the main goals of continued recovery. Relapse to an addict could be a life or death decision. Relapse is not a sudden action. There are often stages to relapse and a large part of prevention is knowing the warning signs. There are many things in life that can cause stress, often times where there is stress, a person is more likely to relapse.
Specific situations can include:
- Death of a loved one
- Loss of a job or problems at work
- Marriage or relationship problems
- Financial problems
- Health issues
External situations are not the cause of relapse for people. Internal feelings and emotions can overwhelm people enough to feel the need to use, and unhealthy behaviors/habits is also usually a factor in relapse.
An important part of relapse prevention is understanding that there are situations in life that cannot be controlled. Sober support is crucial to preventing a relapse, therapists, sponsors, and friends can be helpful to speak with when struggling with triggers that could lead to using. There are many things that can be done when experiencing a trigger. Recognizing early signs of relapse is important, and learning coping skills will aid you in sustained recovery. Therapists at A New Start, Inc. work with patients on developing their own relapse prevention action plan for situations where they may be vulnerable.
Here are a few examples of positive things to do when dealing with triggers or cravings:
- Go on a walk
- Go to the gym
- Read a book
- Call sober support (sponsor, friends, family)
- Attend a meeting (NA, AA, etc.)
However bad the situation may be, using alcohol and drugs is not the answer. Relapse will bring more pain and devastation to any situation. Our therapists teach patients to recognize the warning signs of relapse in order to catch themselves before it is too late.
If you or someone you know has recently relapsed or is struggling with drug and alcohol abuse do not wait to get help. You can call us anytime, day or night, at 1-844-TALK-ANS.