To Dream is to Starve Doubt and Feed Hope

relapse on drugsCompleting drug and alcohol treatment is a major accomplishment for newly recovering addict. When treatment is completed, an individual feels like a whole new world opens up for them that is filled with new opportunities and limitless possibilities. While this new chapter in life is exciting, it may be difficult to comprehend that relapsing back into addiction often occurs and that addicts have high rates of relapse, no matter how solid their plan of recovery.

According to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 70% of those who complete substance abuse treatment will experience a relapse, and especially within the first year of recovery. This is the reason why drug rehab facilities place great emphasis on teaching those new in recovery the essential relapse prevention techniques that are needed to combat the urges and cravings that can lead to relapse behavior. At Dream Center for Recovery, the teaching of relapse prevention skills is a critical component of our drug and alcohol treatment program.

Understanding the Causes of Relapse

At Dream Center for Recovery, we teach our clients that relapse isn’t a singular event that “just happens” out of the blue in an instance. Instead, relapse is an ongoing process of events. Clients will understand there are three stages of relapse, and by recognizing these stages and the symptoms that accompany each stage they can engage in healthy ways to combat these symptoms. These stages can begin weeks and even months before the addict begins to reuse substances. These stages are as follows:

  1. Emotional Relapse

emotional relapse

In the emotional stage the addict may not be thinking of using again, but they can experience overwhelming emotions that may set them up for a relapse. These symptoms can include anxiety, fear, fatigue and anger among others. Additionally, a newly recovering person can also experience a loss of control, poor judgment, insomnia or other sleep issues and may have problems at work or school. Since an addict had substances to handle difficulties in the past, reliving some of these emotions can put them at risk for relapse. It is important to manage whatever is going on that is causing any of the above symptoms.

  1. Mental Relapse

emotional relapse

When the addict is struggling to cope with their emotions and it is causing distress, the newly recovering addict has entered the mental relapse stage. In this stage, the urge to use drugs and alcohol again is causing an internal tug-of-war with the deep desires to not throw away all the pain, sacrifice and effort it took to get clean and sober in the first place. The common signs of mental relapse can include the following:

  • Beginning to hang out with old friends and acquaintances the addict used to do drugs and alcohol with on a regular basis.
  • Longing for the times when they used drugs and alcohol.
  • Preoccupation with thinking about the people, places and activities from the past that centered on substance use.
  • Thinking of discrete ways to use substances without family and friends knowing or while they are at work or school.
  • The occasional thought of using substances become a constant stream of thought that revolves around using substances.
  1. Physical Relapse

physical relapse

The inevitable step after mental relapse is the actual event in which an individual starts using drugs and alcohol. Physical relapse occurs shortly after the mental relapse stage and the moment when drug use occurs means recovery is over. When a person reaches this stage, an individual experiences extreme feelings of guilt and remorse which can result in depression. In this state, the addict may feel they may be a lost cause and will continue to abuse drugs and alcohol.

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Early Relapse Prevention is the Key to Long-Term Recovery

Recovery Support

While the possibility of relapse is always present, the experienced counseling staff at Dream Center for Recovery emphasizes the fact that early relapse prevention in critical in order to maintain recovery.  As soon as these symptoms are noticed, the addict must utilize healthy preventative measures. If the addict doesn’t have a plan and tries to wait these symptoms out, it can mean the difference between long-lasting recovery and relapse.

There are many options that the newly recovering addict can apply in order to deal with these symptoms in a proactive manner. For those clients who are involved in our inpatient or intensive outpatient drug treatment programs, client can learn to utilize the following resources in order to create a solid relapse prevention program so they can maintain their recovery:

  • Continued and active involvement in Twelve-Step meetings and similar support groups.
  • Obtaining sponsorship from your AA, NA or other Twelve-Step meeting group.
  • Meditation techniques such as mindful meditation, tai chi and yoga.
  • Continuing counseling sessions, whether in individual or groups settings, as part of a solid aftercare plan.
  • Continuing exercise programs that help boost both physical and mental health.
  • Pursuing new hobbies to help keep the mind and body active, to make new friends, and to fill one’s daily schedule with a variety of activities that help reinforce recovery.
  • Learning how writing and journal-keeping can help one stay motivated in recovery.
  • Attending booster sessions in which counselors can evaluate the status of a recovering person and make suggestions regarding other relapse prevention techniques.

Dream Center for Recovery Provides the Tools You Need to Prevent Relapse

For any addict, having a solid set of relapse prevention skills and techniques is an absolute must if they are to maintain long-term recovery. Without having these foundations, the chances of relapse significantly increase and can cause further problems for the addict, their family and their loved ones. As part of our full continuum of care, Dream Center for Recovery offers clients a full and comprehensive relapse prevention component as a part of our substance abuse treatment program.

Our highly trained addiction specialists will teach clients how to recognize the many warning signs of an impending relapse including how to identify the stressful circumstances that can trigger relapse and teach essential coping skills to help clients avoid or defuse the those situations that trigger relapse. Call Dream Center for Recovery today and take the first steps towards a new you.

Dream Center for Recovery

In addition to over 4,000 sq. ft. of clinical office space, clients reside in a newly renovated apartment complex featuring seven(7) fully furnished, gender specific 2-bedroom apartments that are exceptionally clean, comfortable and conducive to recovery.