Relapse Prevention Programs

The nature of addiction is that it is a chronic and relapsing disease. This means that addiction cannot be cured and it also can reoccur if a person recovers and then resumes using the substance they are addicted to. Because of the fact that it is in the nature of an addict to relapse, a prevention program is of extreme importance.  Relapse is a great deal more common than many people believe.  Between 40 to 60 percent of people who successfully make it through a drug addiction treatment program will relapse at some point in the future. Because it is so widespread, the more prepared a person is for the possibility, the better they will be able to maintain their sobriety and protect their health and well-being once treatment is complete.  

Relapse is not just a single moment of substance use or abuse after addiction treatment. That is a lapse rather than relapse. When a person goes through relapse, they are moving through a three-step process. At any point during the relapse process, it can be stopped and reversed, which is why recovering addicts need to understand how relapse occurs.

The first step of relapse is one that is emotional. This can be tough for an unaware observer to notice, but can be easily recognizable if you know what to look out for. Negative emotions and habits are what occur during the emotional stage of relapse. Anger, aggression, intolerance, sadness, depression, restlessness, and melancholy can all be signs of emotional relapse. If a person stops caring about their appearance, does not eat healthily, or begins to engage in poor sleeping habits, these are also telltale signs.

Mental relapse is the second stage of the relapse process and is more active in nature. The addicted person actually plans and thinks about substance abuse. These plans often begin to occupy their minds much of the time and they may seem to be distant and secretive to the people closest to them. And, of course, the final stage of relapse occurs when a person actually resumes substance abuse and engages in the compulsive behaviors that go along with their substance abuse.

Having access to relapse prevention programs will give a person the skills and know-how to return to the world after their treatment resisting and avoiding temptation and triggers as they go about their lives.

We value high quality relapse prevention programs as one of the cornerstones of complete rehabilitation at Sober Living Recovery Center.    

In the past, an addiction issue was treated much like a medical crisis. A person was swept into a facility, given needed care, pronounced “cured” and then sent back home again. While some people may have achieved long-term sobriety under this model, many did not. When they returned home, their old habits were waiting for them as though they’d never left. Friends tempted them with drugs and invitations to parties. Families continued to drink or use drugs in their presence. The corner bar right by the office seemed to call out each time the person walked past. A relapse seemed almost inevitable.

To close this gap, and help the person deal with the chronic nature of addiction, experts now use a variety of methods to extend addiction care. Instead of releasing a person from care and simply hoping that person will stay free of a relapse, therapists are taking an active role in helping people manage their disease over a long period of time. Through this method, the person strengthens their sobriety skills and stays well for a longer period of time.

Telephone Outreach program

When some patients emerge from recovery programs, they’d like to head back to work and move back in with their families as quickly as possible. These patients may be able to handle many of the stresses of everyday life, but they still need to stay connected with their therapists on a regular basis, so they can deal with issues as they emerge and handle them before they grow into enormous problems that are hard to solve. In order to tackle these goals, some therapists use a telephone outreach program.

In a typical telephone outreach program, patients attend multiple counseling sessions both with a therapist and with a support group; however, they also talk with their therapists periodically in a telephone touch-up session. The calls may be either formal or informal, but the patient is expected to participate in each and every call, just as the person is expected to keep every appointment made with a therapist.

Sober Living

For people who aren’t quite ready to live at home, but who may not want to participate in intensive daily counseling sessions, sober living communities can provide an ideal setting. These facilities provide no medical staff and no therapy. Instead, they’re made up of communities of people who are all in recovery from addiction. Sober living communities often ask members to:

  • Abstain from drugs and alcohol
  • Complete household chores
  • Participate in sobriety meetings
  • Keep therapy appointments
  • Abide by a curfew
  • Demonstrate respect for others

These rules aren’t optional, and people who habitually break the rules are often asked to leave. By enforcing these rules, sober living communities teach residents how to live a sober lifestyle that is based on work, responsibility and routine. These are the cornerstones of a sober life, and an addict can strengthen those skills by living in sober communities.  These facilities also ask residents to live in groups and enforce the rules on their own when possible, but the residents are all still connected to the resources provided in the residential program. Counselors are still involved, drug testing is still provided and meals are still served on a regular basis. This option allows people to learn how to interact in a community, while still allowing the addict to maintain contact with the therapeutic community that was formed during the early stages of the treatment process.

Some people may need to live in an extended care program. The issues they face at home are just too strong to deal with alone. Other people might be able to heal with the help of counseling sessions and telephone contact, as long as they can rely on their family members and friends to help support their recovery.

No matter the setting, remember that participating in an extended care program is the best thing an addict can do to achieve long-term sobriety. By having access to care for a longer period of time, the addict has the opportunity to strengthen sobriety skills and learn how to live a completely new life.