The reality of substance use recovery efforts is that many people, especially those without support, experience a relapse. However, a relapse prevention program may keep this from occurring for some clients. At TruHealing Centers, our team believes that teaching techniques to prevent relapse is vital to the long-term health and safety of the individual in recovery. A relapse prevention plan becomes a cornerstone for aftercare and long-term recovery.
3 Benefits of a Relapse Prevention Plan
1. A Relapse Prevention Plan Offers Guidance if Relapse Occurs
After completing addiction recovery, many clients return to their lives. However, if they experience a relapse, they may not know what to do. A relapse prevention plan gives them a tool to know exactly what to do to lessen the chances of relapse, keep slips from turning into full relapse, and offer guidance for how to handle a relapse.
Important aspects of a relapse prevention plan include ways to recognize the signs that a fall back into old behaviors may occur. Warnings of a pending relapse may include:
- Experiencing triggering events and not using healthy coping methods
- Thinking about using drugs or alcohol
- Falling behind on self-care habits
- Refusing to get help when others see addictive behaviors returning
- Distancing from a support group
Individuals who experience the above warning signs but have a relapse plan can recognize the need to return to an addiction treatment program or to seek support through therapy or group discussion groups.
2. A Relapse Prevention Plan Reduces Shame That May Accompany Relapse
Shame is a serious problem for people who may relapse. This emotion may prevent them from getting the support needed. However, having a prevention plan can reduce the likelihood of feeling shame if a relapse occurs.
A reduction in shame may happen because the client discusses relapse and its likelihood during the recovery process. Therefore, they may feel more inclined to seek support if a relapse occurs. By understanding that they should not feel guilty or shameful if they relapse, they can become better empowered for seeking help.
3. A Relapse Prevention Plan Can Help Avoid Overdoses
Overdosing presents a serious danger for those who leave addiction recovery programs. Some people who only complete detox and don’t fully address mental health aspects of addiction may leave the program and return to drug or alcohol use. They still have mental or physical cravings for the substance that they didn’t stop during recovery.
Many people who have addictions develop tolerance to drugs or alcohol. Therefore, in the deepest part of their addiction, they need to take large amounts of the substance to feel the same effects. However, detox resets the body to no longer need as much of the substance to have serious side effects. Therefore, if someone leaves detox and returns to using the amounts of drugs they did before getting help, they could easily overdose. Taking too much of some drugs, especially opioids or alcohol, can lead to severe consequences that may include the need for hospitalization, coma, or death.
At TruHealing Centers, to prevent relapse and possible overdosing, our centers provide customized plans for rehab. These plans may include extended care, spending more time at a specific level of care, or living in community housing during treatment to ensure sobriety and continued support.
Overdoses may happen when clients still desire the substance. However, a well-rounded treatment program that works to prevent relapse should address why the client feels cravings and how to choose healthier alternatives when those yearnings occur. Plus, for individuals who use drugs or alcohol to cope with stress, relapse prevention ensures that they have other ways of handling their problems instead of substance use.
Learn How Our Relapse Prevention Programs Help You to Maintain Recovery
Overcoming addiction is the first step. For life-long recovery, being aware of relapse signs and how to handle them is critical. At TruHealing Centers, we understand that sometimes events may trigger relapse or slips in our clients after they leave our treatment centers. Therefore, we include relapse prevention as part of our substance use treatment programs.
Find out more about us, our rehab offerings, relapse prevention, and much more with a phone call to 833.631.0525 or by completing our online contact form. We want to be the place where addiction ends and recovery can finally begin.