At our Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program, we strive to provide the best treatment solutions and to support our clients in any way we can. From that first consultation to intake and on to graduation, our goal is your long-term success.
For this reason, we believe that relapse prevention is an important part of treatment. Addiction is a powerful disease, and just as it doesn’t develop overnight, it doesn’t go away overnight, either. While treatment can be the start of your recovery, it really is only the beginning. Relapse prevention can give you the necessary tools to help you continue thriving and growing in your recovery long after your time at treatment ends.
Relapse: Why It Happens, And What Prevents It
A quick look at the statistics around drug addiction can be disheartening. The relapse rate among addicts, even after treatment, is high. Relapse happens when someone goes back to drinking or using drugs after a period of sobriety. One of the scary aspects of the disease of addiction is that it is progressive. This means that picking back up again can result in even worse using and consequences than the last time.
Why is relapse so common? Well, first it helps to understand that while relapse is not a necessary part of recovery, it is a normal part. This means that it should not be seen as a failure. Just like with any other disease, there can be recurrences. One of the many problems that many addicts face is guilt and shame. Sometimes, these feelings can keep someone from reaching out and getting help after a relapse.
There are a variety of reasons relapse can happen in the first place. Often, people leave treatment with the best of intentions, but when confronted with old friends or even family members who use, find themselves using again.
Uncomfortable feelings of fear, anger, anxiety or depression can result in relapse if the person has not developed tools to deal with these problems in a healthy way. Remember, for many addicts, drugs and alcohol were a form of self-medication for years. If you don’t replace the habit of using with other habits, then using will continue to feel like a solution to life’s challenges.
Part of recovery is learning how to cope with difficult situations, emotions, and conflicts without using. Treatment can help you do that by helping to uncover some of the issues that contributed to addiction, and teaching tools and strategies that can be used in these situations.
While relapse may seem like a sudden occurrence that comes from out of the blue, this is rarely the case. There are usually warning signs that a person is in “relapse mode.” Attitudes and behaviors begin to change. The recovering addict may begin to isolate, and may stop doing the activities that helped keep him or her sober. In this vulnerable state, if a trigger occurs, the addict may relapse. A trigger can be something as simple as a fight with a friend or family member, or it could be running into an old using buddy. Either way, without tools, support and a strategy for these situations, the person is at risk.
Awareness is a good way to guard against relapse. Being aware of what kinds of things trigger the urge to use, and being aware of the behaviors and attitudes that could signal a problem can go a long way toward preventing relapse. Another safeguard is support. Having supportive people around to help when the going gets tough can be a lifesaver.
Why Relapse Prevention Is So Important In Drug Abuse Treatment
Awareness, prevention, and support are all addressed in relapse prevention. Knowing that relapse is always a possibility is important. Knowing the warning signs, and developing and practicing strategies to handle tough situations is a big part of relapse prevention.
At Guardian IOP, we strongly believe that relapse prevention education is part of a good foundation. Building a solid recovery foundation is the best way to ensure successful, long-term sobriety and a happy, healthy life. Our program helps recovering addicts learn how to identify triggers, develop strategies for dealing with them and practice those strategies so they become second nature.
Getting Help For Addiction With Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program
If you are struggling with addiction, or you have recently experienced a relapse, Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program can help you get back on track. Our program offers both day and evening programs to fit your schedule, and provides individual and group counseling, 12 step immersion, family restructuring support, holistic therapies and relapse prevention education.
Call today at 855-517-1871 to find out more.