Why relapse prevention is critical to recovery
Relapse prevention is an important part of drug rehabilitation, both during formal residential programs and on an aftercare basis. Relapse prevention programs help people to stay clean following rehabilitation, and the techniques and systems taught are essential to long-term recovery.
In the context of drug and alcohol treatment, relapse describes a situation where someone returns to using drugs or alcohol following a period of abstinence. It can be seen as both an outcome and a failure of the recovery process.
Thankfully, most drug treatment centers in Dallas offer relapse prevention programs that teach patients how to recognize and cope with high-risk situations to prevent a total relapse from happening. For more information about the available treatment options, call (214) 935-2287.
Key concepts in relapse prevention programs
While the specific approaches may differ, most alcohol and drug rehab centers in Dallas that offer relapse prevention tend to follow these key ideas:
The Three Stages of Relapse
“The Three Stages of Relapse” is a descriptive framework that shows relapse as a process rather than a one-time event. This framework is used in drug recovery programs and facilities throughout the U.S.
According to this idea, the stages are as follows:
- Emotional relapse
- Mental relapse
- Physical relapse.
Emotional relapse is the first stage of relapse, with patients still engaged with the recovery process but unable to deal with their feelings in a healthy way.
Common signs of this stage include:
Patients are often unable to recognize these signs during the early stages of relapse, which is why it’s so important for people to be engaged with a formal treatment program. Therapists can help people to recognize and manage the signs of emotional relapse before it’s too late, with mindfulness techniques taught and systems in place to provide support and coping strategies.
If the emotional stage is not dealt with accordingly, it will turn into a mental relapse.
This stage is defined by the following:
- Confusing and contradictory thought patterns
- Patients still engaged with the recovery process but thinking about returning to drug use
- Fantasizing future drug use
- Spending time with old friends who still use drugs
- Planning relapse scenarios
While these signs may be obvious to a recovering individual, they may not have the skills or support required to deal with them effectively.
If a mental relapse is not treated accordingly, it will turn into a physical relapse, with this stage representing a failure of the recovery process. In this stage, the individual goes back to using drugs or alcohol.
Mindfulness and relapse prevention
Emotion regulation and mindfulness systems are integral to relapse prevention because they teach patients how to integrate thoughts, feelings, and behavioral resp