Preventing relapse should be the goal for anyone in treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction. This is because a high number of treatment patients end up relapsing in just the first few years following treatment. According to the National Institutes of Health, individuals who receive treatment for addiction are 20-50% at risk for a relapse in the first three years of recovery. While the rate of relapse is certainly higher for individuals who attempt to detox on their own without the support of treatment, it’s still a good idea for those serious about their recovery to focus on relapse prevention efforts. Fortunately, there are a number of therapies proven effective in helping individuals develop relapse prevention skills. This way, they can work to reduce their own, individual chances of relapsing once treatment concludes. And, can hope for a long lasting life of healing through recovery.
Sadly, most overdose deaths occur because individuals relapse. Once the body no longer has a tolerance for a person’s drug of choice due to detox and living sober for a few weeks or months during treatment, overdose is more likely. This is because individuals will often use just as much of an addictive substance during the physical relapse stage than they were used to before treatment. And, this often results in overdose which can likely lead to unresponsiveness, unconsciousness, convulsions, seizures, and even death. Because of this fact alone, it’s vital for individuals to focus on relapse prevention during treatment.
There are a number of therapies which can help individuals identify relapse triggers in their own life. Additionally, therapies which can help individuals to develop the needed coping mechanisms to address relapse triggers. This way, individuals can actively work on keeping their sobriety alive. And, reduce the risk for deadly overdose. Some of the therapies which work to help individuals develop relapse prevention methods include:
Behavioral therapies, like dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), pinpoint certain negative behaviors so they may be addressed, confronted, and corrected. Since individuals in treatment for addiction may display a number of these negative behaviors, DBT is effective in helping to address them all. First and foremost, this type of therapy is meant to address and prevent any life-threatening behaviors a person may portray like self-harm and other suicidal tendencies. Next, the goal of this type of therapy is to identify aspects which may lead to these negative behaviors whether they may be failing relationships, legal issues, or concurring mental health conditions. Finally, once behavioral patterns and causes are identified, individuals can use DBT to learn and practice ways to replace these negative behaviors and thought patterns with relapse prevention techniques.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another type of behavioral therapy aimed toward helping clients to curb unwanted behaviors. Specifically, CBT works on identifying specific negative thought patterns which may result in negative behaviors which stimulate the cycle of addiction. This is done by identifying emotions directly related to thought patterns which inevitably end up in specific behaviors. When a person recognizes emotions and thoughts which can promote addictive behaviors, they can better prepare themselves to change their mindset. This can result in the prevention of negative behaviors, and, in turn, the process of relapse altogether.
This type of therapy, also known as ACT, is meant to help individuals navigate the many emotions that occur during recovery so they don’t end up leading to relapse. When individuals can identify emotional occurrences and accept them as they come, they can better commit to a lifetime of sobriety. While behavioral therapies like DBT and CBT help to identify and change thought patterns and behaviors, ACT acts to help individuals not only identify these thoughts and behaviors but to accept them as well. Basically, it helps individuals to feel more comfortable processing life during recovery so the many challenges which come into existence do not put recovery efforts on hold.
Motivational enhancement therapy, or motivational interviewing, is a type of therapy that utilizes talk therapy to identify specifics of a person’s addiction experience which may come to play during treatment. The goal of doing this is to combat anything which may get in the way of a person’s treatment success. And, to make a person believe they are capable of overcoming these specific aspects of their addiction experience. This way, individuals in treatment may be more willing to address these specifics so they don’t become a reason to lose motivation for sobriety.
If you’re looking for a treatment facility that applies relapse prevention methods into treatment so that you or a loved one has a better chance of obtaining long-lasting recovery, we can help! We understand the importance of relapse prevention and strive to prepare women in our care with the needed skills to prevent relapse at every stage of their recovery journey. To learn more about our relapse prevention methods utilized during treatment at our facility, contact us today.