A lapse occurs when someone in recovery uses drugs or alcohol after treatment is complete. A lapse in sobriety can easily lead the individual back to addiction, which is marked by the inability to stop using again or by the presence of withdrawal symptoms as the substance leaves the body.
Relapse prevention is an essential component of any quality, comprehensive addiction treatment program. Because addiction is a relapsing disease, recovering from it is a lifelong commitment, and relapse prevention requires ongoing self-monitoring and mindfulness in the months and years following treatment.
Relapse prevention programs are designed to equip those in recovery with tools and skills for managing their disease through effectively coping with stress, avoiding triggers, and learning to identify high-risk situations and signs of a setback. An aftercare program that includes relapse prevention education can considerably increase the chances of successful long-term recovery.
Recidivism rates are unfortunately fairly high, proving that addiction is a highly complex disease that requires a number of measures to successfully beat. About 80 percent of those in recovery from alcohol addiction relapse within the first year. That number drops to 40 percent for the second, third, and fourth year before dropping again after five years. A full 88 percent of those recovering from meth addiction after treatment will return to drug use in the first year, and that number increases to 95 percent for those who don’t get professional help.
However, these numbers shouldn’t dissuade you from getting help for an addiction. For some, it takes more than one rehab stint to achieve successful long-term recovery.
1. Emotional relapse doesn’t involve consciously thinking about using again, but subtle behaviors and emotions are setting you up for an eventual lapse in the future. Signs of this stage include unresolved anxiety and anger issues, defensiveness, feelings of isolation, needing help but not asking for it, and engaging in poor eating and sleeping habits and other self-destructive behaviors.
2. Mental relapse is characterized by warring emotions. Part of you really wants to use again, but part of you knows the dangers of doing so and wants to remain sober. In the late stages, you’re actively thinking about using again and planning it around other peoples’ schedules. Symptoms include glamorizing and reminiscing about past use, hanging out with old friends who still use, fantasizing about using, and lying about your intentions.
3. Physical relapse is the stage where you actually buy the drugs or alcohol and use again.
An aftercare program will typically include:
• Random drug testing.
• Planned recreational activities and retreats.
• Ongoing group meetings and individual therapy.
• Family therapy to improve the home environment.
• Vocational rehab.
• Anger and stress management education.
• Ongoing education for learning to cope with stress and avoid triggers.
These prevention techniques are essential for helping to prevent relapse.
• Attending special lectures and workshops that teach new coping skills and ways to identify and avoid triggers.
• Participating in a 12-step or similar program for additional peer support and to help forge relationships with other non-users.
• Meditation or yoga to promote self-awareness, reduce stress, and bring about physical and mental strength, balance, and flexibility.
• Sponsorship through a 12-step program, which provides an excellent resource for help when you’re entering the early stages of relapse.
• Exercise, which helps burn off excess energy, improves mood, and reduces stress.
• Hobbies, which provide a healthy and productive way to relieve stress and find enjoyment in sobriety.
Although it’s ultimately up to the individual to choose whether to use again after treatment, receiving comprehensive rehab in a treatment facility can considerably improve your chances of realizing long-term recovery success. From detox to the aftercare program, Syosset Drug Treatment Centers focuses on providing those in recovery with all of the tools and skills needed to stay sober for the long-term. Call us today at 631-729-7250 to begin your recovery journey.