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Tools You’ll Learn in Relapse Prevention Therapy 28 Mar 2018

Tools You’ll Learn in Relapse Prevention Therapy

It is no secret that the relapse rate throughout people in recovery is pretty high. This doesn’t have to be the way it is, but many people try to go it alone, and never get the help they need.

Holistic Recovery Centers wants to change that by providing a whole body, whole mind, whole life approach to recovery. One of the most important steps on the journey, relapse prevention.

The Statistics

While the rates of addiction and substance abuse continue to rise, there is hope for people to achieve a happy and long lasting sobriety. Over the last few decades, the numbers grew exponentially, and with the introduction of deadly street drugs and addictive prescription medications, relapse prevention is needed now more than ever.

  • According to NSDUH, in 2014, 21.5 million Americans battled a substance abuse disorder.
  • SAMHSA reported that almost 8 million Americans battled a co-occurring disorder (substance abuse and mental health disorder)
  • NIAAA states that close to 1 million youths between 12 and 17 battle an alcohol use disorder
  • According to AARP, heroin addiction has almost doubled among ages 18-25 over the last 10 years

It is no secret that there are a serious addiction and self-medication problem in our society, and many professionals can point to a wide variety of causes as reasons why substance abuse takes place in the first place. If you or your loved one has the opportunity to seek substance abuse treatment, now is the time to go.

  • In 2013, only 10.9 percent of individuals who needed substance abuse treatment actually received it.
  • One-third of all college students who were admitted into substance abuse treatment in 2013 was diagnosed with a co-occurring mental disorder.
  • Relapse rates continue to average between 40% and 60% nationwide.

Despite relapse rates, there are tools available that can help treat this frustrating and confusing disease.

Relapse Prevention Therapy

Substance abuse treatment, and especially those that favor a combination of holistic and traditional approaches, will be able to bring the body and the mind almost completely back to health. But for someone who is a chronic addict or alcoholic, living a life without the use of drugs or alcohol is no easy feat at first. Here are some helpful tips that relapse prevention therapy advice for a long-term recovery.

Coming to Terms with the Addiction

In order for a person to truly be able to overcome their addiction, they must first come to terms with the fact that they will never be able to return to a social “partier”, drinking or drugs. This is usually the most difficult acceptance to make, as many people have lived a large portion of their lives using substances in order to feel better.  However, accepting this fact allows the individual to:

  • Go through a process of discovery as to how their addiction has shaped and destroyed their life
  • See the effects that their behaviors in the past have affected their loved ones, friends, jobs, pets, strangers, etc.
  • Learn coping tools to counteract cravings in the future, and use them to prevent old behaviors from returning.

man journaling

Working through a program of recovery

While not everyone chooses to work a 12 step program, they have been shown to help millions and millions of people, worldwide, since their creation over 80 years ago. The premise for the 12 step program is getting clean and sober, righting the wrongs of the past, and dedicating the future towards helping others. People who chose to work with and stick to a 12 step program often find that their life improves dramatically, their cravings stop, and they become useful and happy members of society.

Identifying Signs Leading to Relapse

Many people who relapse don’t even know that it is coming. This is because the day to day stressors of life can build up quickly, especially if that person doesn’t have a healthy outlet or set of coping tools. Relapse Prevention therapy goes to great lengths to teach individuals about warning signs of relapse, and how to turn it all around before the individual makes a grave mistake. Some of the most common signs are:

  • Stage one: a shift in attitude. This can be stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, irritation, and even boredom. This shift causes many people in early recovery to isolate from their program of recovery and their support network.
  • Stage two: romanticizing. When a person forgets about the destruction that their using caused in the past, and only remembers the times that were fun or when they didn’t get in trouble. This can often lead to different forms of planning ways to use.
  • Stage three: using. This often means that the person has cut off all ties to recovery, has made a plan to use, and has chosen to carry it out. This stage can still be arrested if the person has a last minute change of heart and calls someone for help.

Learning Coping Tools

Relapse Prevention Therapy teaches individuals about the importance of working through “negative” emotional states, without the need to pick up a drink or a drug. For many, this has been the main source of self-medication for a long time, so learning new ways to cope with emotional distress is crucial for a long-lasting recovery. Some of the most important coping tools that the relapse prevention therapy program at Holistic Recovery Centers teaches are:

  • How to Identify Triggers that can lead to using
  • Techniques for dealing with unsafe people or situations
  • How to develop a support group to prevent isolation
  • How to deal with confrontation or high-stress situations
  • Safety plans of action when cravings develop
  • How to manage stress and feelings without turning to substances
  • How to make it through major life crisis without relapsing.
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