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Relapse Prevention Raleigh NC

Relapse prevention is an essential element of drug treatment, with various techniques and strategies used to assist recovering addicts and reduce the potential of it occuring. Based on behavioral and cognitive principles, relapse prevention has proved useful in a range of different contexts. Relapse prevention programs are used to treat substance abuse, alcoholism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual offending, obesity, and depression among others. Relapse prevention measures can be applied during residential care and on an out-patient basis, with aftercare programs also helping patients to identify and prevent high-risk situations. Call Raleigh Drug Treatment Centers today at (919) 424-5711 to find out more about available programs

What is relapse?

In the context of drug treatment, it refers to the situation that arises when a drug dependent person starts using drugs again following a period of abstinence. It can occur at any time, from the early stages of treatment through to the later stages of aftercare support. Relapse rates for drug addiction are especially high, with dependence developing as a result of brain alterations that are very hard to change. It can be understood as both an outcome and a transgression of the recovery process, with most treatment centers dealing with it as a series of different steps. Relapse prevention patients are taught to recognize the different phases as they arise, with different techniques and skills used to address potential triggers.

Relapse steps

Emotional relapse is generally believed to be the first step for patients starting to struggle with the recovery process. While patients are not yet thinking about using drugs or alcohol again during this phase, they are starting to experience negative emotional states. Common signs include mood swings, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, irritability and emotional confusion. In general, people going through this stage are likely to be experiencing emotions they can't handle effectively. If it is not dealt with properly through a formal treatment regime, mental relapse is almost certain to develop.

Mental relapse involves confusing and unhealthy cognitive states, with patients starting to think about the possibility of drug use. This can be a difficult and confusing time for recovering addicts, because they are stuck between worlds and don't know which way to turn. Common signs of mental relapse include lying to yourself and others, romanticizing past drug use, fantasizing future drug use, spending time with drug using friends, actively thinking about the drug, and planning usage scenarios. It is absolutely critical that people receive preventative drug treatment during this phase, with physical relapse likely unless concrete steps are taken. Physical relapse takes place when drug or alcohol use is resumed, with this phase marking a breakdown of the recovery process.

Emotion regulation and mindfulness

Mindfulness strategies and emotion regulation techniques are highly useful in the context of relapse prevention, because they teach patients how to focus on sensations, emotions and thoughts as they arise. The principles used in behavioral therapy are similar to traditional mindfulness strategies, with recovering addicts taught how to reconcile their internal and external worlds. By focusing on their thoughts and feelings, patients learn how to avoid impulsive and compulsive behavioral responses. Mindfulness programs have proved to be useful for a range of substances, including alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription opiates. If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs to access formal drug treatment, make sure to contact a specialized drug treatment center as soon as possible. Call Raleigh Drug Treatment Centers at (919) 424-5711 today to hear more options.

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