What Is a Relapse Prevention Program?
You’ve just completed residential or outpatient addiction treatment, and you’re feeling confident and strong. Feeling this good, why would you ever be tempted to relapse? Those who are several months or years into the process know that addiction recovery is complex and filled with challenges. In the first few months, you’ll encounter people, places, and emotions that will make you want to use again. If you participate in a relapse prevention program, you’ll have a place to go for help when you start to feel the cravings that you thought you’d never feel again.
What Does Relapse Prevention Teach You?
No one wants to fail, but the reality is that drug and alcohol addiction have high relapse rates. It’s up to you to have a plan in place to help you avoid becoming a statistic. In other words, you don’t want to wait for such a situation to happen to test yourself. You want to be ready with the tools and resources you need now to react properly.
A relapse prevention program gives you those tools and resources. These programs are designed to help people who are facing challenges to gather their strength to fight the temptation to use. Each program is a bit different, but within them, you’ll learn aspects about preventing relapse, including the following.
- Coping Skills
A relapse prevention program provides you with tools to help you cope with cravings. Cravings arise in response to triggers, events that bring back memories or feelings associated with drug or alcohol use. A trigger could be visiting a place you used to drink with friends or encountering a stressful deadline at work. A relapse prevention program helps you learn how to manage cravings and triggering situations as they arise.
- How to Find and Use a Support System
Another aspect of relapse prevention is giving you a support system when there is a risk of relapse. For example, you may recognize that you’ve started to think about drugs again. You may know that this is the time to seek out help. As a result, you go to a 12-step meeting that you know is available to you. You’ll have people to call when you are feeling like you need to use.
- How to Handle a Momentary Slip
You have a sip of alcohol at a friend’s wedding. Perhaps you walked into a room where drugs were present and took a few deep draws someone offered you. These momentary slips are an incredibly risky situation. In that moment, you need to know what to do to prevent yourself from a full-blown relapse into substance abuse.
Why Is Relapse So Bad?
It’s clear that you’ve worked so hard to overcome your addiction and enter a period of recovery. Your body is healing. Your mental health may be improving, too. It may seem that “using a little” isn’t going to be a bad thing for you. You feel far more in control now than ever before.
However, relapse is a challenge and comes with a number of consequences. It can be very difficult for you to recover after an initial relapse. Relapse may also have legal implications for some people. Using drugs or alcohol may impact your ability to retain custody of a child, remain employed, or stay in a probationary program.
There are physical complications as well. During active addiction, the amount of a drug you can handle is much higher than that of the average person. Once you work through detox, though, your ability to handle large amounts of hard substances is much lower than it used to be. A “regular” dose for you, then, can create an overdose risk quickly.
Why Choose Our Relapse Prevention Program?
With relapse prevention programs, you gain insight into what’s happening to you as you experience triggers. You can recognize your warning signs more easily and take action to get back on track. At Victory Addiction Recovery Center, in Lafayette, LA, we offer a relapse program that utilizes TRAC9, a tool that helps you stay on the right path and avoid the most common triggers. It’s a type of automated assessment plan used through an app. It can help you to see when you are facing challenges related to cravings, anxiety, or depression and recognize the need for treatment.
Where are you right now in your recovery? Do you feel you need help now? Turn to our team at Victory Addiction Recovery Center to learn more about the treatment plans we can offer to you.
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