Relapse Prevention Therapy

Relapse Prevention Therapy in Tennessee

Within the past few years, studies have reported that over 85% of people relapse within the first year after they have completed professional addiction treatment. Additionally, approximately two-thirds of people who enter into recovery relapse within a few weeks to a few months of starting treatment.

Relapse is not a sign of failure, as it is merely just one part of the complex disease of addiction. Countless individuals who have gotten sober have relapsed but have also recovered from that relapse. Unfortunately, there are some people who relapse and stay active in their addiction, ultimately leading to a series of negative consequences and potentially even death.

When participating in our relapse prevention therapy program, those in recovery can spend time learning about what relapse looks like so that they can begin developing skills effective in both keeping them from relapsing and knowing what to do should a relapse occur.

Stages of Relapse

It is a common misconception that someone who is sober relapses out of thin air. While in some cases, that can be true, it is much more common that an individual will go through a few stages of relapse before picking up to use again. These stages are described below.

Emotional Relapse

The first stage of relapse is the emotional relapse, where an individual is not actively thinking about using again but is falling into a pattern of counterproductive behaviors that can slowly trigger a physical relapse.

For example, one of the most common signs that emotional relapse is occurring is when someone in recovery is not expressing him or herself in a healthy manner and is not utilizing his or her support system to do so. Other signs of emotional relapse can include an increase in anxiety, anger, and defensiveness, as well as behaviors such as making poor diet decisions, not getting enough sleep or skipping 12-Step or other types of support group meetings.  

Mental Relapse

Someone who is experiencing the second phase of relapse, which is a mental relapse, is struggling with the desire to use again but also stay sober. At first, a mental relapse might present itself in fleeting thoughts, however, over time, an individual can become overly fixated on the desire to use again.

It is very common for someone who is experiencing a mental relapse to start glamourizing his or her past substance abuse, daydream about using again, developing deceitful behavior, and even thinking about how and when he or she will use again.

Physical Relapse

Now that both the emotional and mental relapses have occurred, it is only a matter of time before an individual takes action and physically uses again. He or she might do things such as reach back out to a former dealer, ask to see old friends, and go back to places where use previously occurred. Unfortunately, by the time that an individual has reached the point of the physical relapse, there is not much that can be done to stop it.

However, no matter where an individual is at in his or her recovery, having the added benefit of relapse prevention can help him or her either avoid this process entirely or get him or herself the help that is needed in an expedient manner.

Relapse Prevention Skills

Those who are in recovery from a substance use disorder are working to rebuild their lives in a manner that supports their continued sobriety. Part of doing that is incorporating a solid set of relapse prevention skills into their treatment so that they can utilize them when feeling triggered to use again. Our relapse prevention therapy in Tennessee works to educate all clients about what relapse is, how it occurs, and how it can be prevented. Common relapse prevention skills include the following:

  • Identify triggers – While in recovery, individuals can work with therapists to identify what their triggers to use are. Simply knowing what makes one want to go back to using is often enough to prevent them from falling back into a pattern of abuse.
  • Avoid tempting situations – Relapse prevention therapy focuses on providing clients with the clarity of mind to avoid tempting situations where they might feel like using again. These situations can include going to places where other people are using or keeping people within one’s life that are actively using, for example. No longer going to places where use might occur or no longer keeping in contact with others who use can help clients avoid situations that might lead to relapse.  
  • Develop a schedule – One of the most important skills taught in our relapse prevention therapy is how to develop a schedule. When addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, individuals are often in the center of chaos. However, it takes structure in order to maintain recovery, which is why it is important to develop a daily, weekly, and/or monthly schedule to help maintain sobriety. This schedule can include to-do lists for each day, goals that need to be accomplished by a certain date, and so on.
  • Have a support system – Staying sober without the support of others is incredibly difficult. Our Tennessee relapse prevention therapy program strongly encourages individuals to connect with the people in their treatment program and the meetings that they attend, as well as work out issues with friends and family members so that they can become a part of his or her support system. When people are supportive of someone in recovery, the individual can achieve significant success in continuing on with his or her recovery.

Our relapse prevention therapy program helps instill several different skills that can keep an individual from going back to use. And, in the event that a relapse does occur, the skills learned can hopefully give an individual the power to get back on track before it is too late.

Contact Us Today About Our Relapse Prevention Therapy in Tennessee

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, do not waste one more second. Reach out and ask for help right now.

If you are sober and are feeling like you are on the road to relapse, let someone in your support system know. Having guidance and support from others can help you get sober again quickly.