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Written By Legacy Healing Center - Aug 12 2020
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To relapse is to slip back into doing something or being in a diseased state after you’ve recovered from an illness or disease. Someone who is recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol relapses if they begin using substances again after having undergone behavioral health treatment.
Addiction is a chronic condition. A return to drug or alcohol use after an attempt to quit using substances doesn’t necessarily mean that treatment has failed. It means that a relapse prevention plan needs to be in place as part of the recovery process. The relapse rate for substance use while in recovery is about 30%.
If you’re in recovery for a substance use disorder, a relapse prevention plan is vital to long-lasting sobriety after your treatment has concluded. This is because relapse can be a common occurrence for those recovering from substance use disorders. After treatment, a person may experience a relapse as part of the challenges of creating a new sober lifestyle.
At some point, people in recovery will likely experience people, places, and things that will trigger them to think about using. They may actually relapse and use drugs or alcohol again. One of the key components of a relapse prevention plan is having the ability to acknowledge and identify those triggers, and then to take steps to avoid them.
Common triggers that can cause someone to relapse may include:
Having a relapse prevention plan in place gives you the tools to recognize these triggers and ways to respond before the situation gets out of control.
Having a relapse doesn’t always mean you’ve physically returned to substance use. There are different stages associated with a drug relapse, which is a process that can begin many weeks before you might actually use drugs or alcohol again.
The stages of relapse are emotional, mental, and physical.
In emotional relapse, you’re not consciously thinking about using substances again, but you’re emotions are heightened, setting you up for a possible relapse.
In this stage, your mind is conflicted over whether or not to return to using substances.
At this point, if you don’t use some of the techniques in your relapse prevention plan, you will quickly take a drink of alcohol or go see someone who can get you the drugs you crave.
A great time to write a relapse prevention plan is at the end of a substance use treatment program. Your sober coach, therapist, or 12-Step sponsor can assist you in creating a relapse prevention plan.
A good plan should include:
At Legacy Healing Center, we provide Addiction Aftercare support and continuing care after completion of our addiction treatment programs. Our clinical staff helps each individual develop a relapse prevention plan for success in the ongoing months and years following treatment.
Click here to learn more about the programs offered at Legacy Healing Center and reach out to us today at (888) 534-2295 with any questions. We are available 24/7 and calls are completely confidential.