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7 Relapse Prevention Measures in Drug Rehab

As opposed to the common belief, relapse is not the failure of recovery. Rather, it is one part of recovery and it is more common than one may imagine. However, a relapse necessitates the implementation of a different approach towards addiction treatment. If you are someone who has recently completed their treatment and is experiencing cravings, we will explain some of the strategies that are effective ways of preventing relapse through a drug rehab. 

Why Is Relapse So Common?

There are several reasons that urge a person to relapse. Major reasons include: 

  • Biological or genetic factors: you may have a deep rooted severe urge of consuming addictive substances
  • Mental Illnesses: other mental illnesses can also contribute to relapsing
  • Returning to the same community: if you return to the same triggering and substance-using community, the chance of relapse increases. 
  • Not pursuing aftercare: aftercare is also one of the most crucial times of recovery. It is not to be ignored. 
  • Trauma: relapsing when you have encountered a traumatic event is also possible. 

While relapse can be common, it is not necessarily something that is impossible to prevent. At the very least, ignoring triggering situations, people, places, and things can be very helpful. Moreover, cultivating newer hobbies can help your mind distract from constant urges. But where does a drug rehab help you in all this? Keep on reading.

Preventive Measures Taken Through Rehab

It takes tremendous fortitude to start a drug rehabilitation program. However, finishing a rehabilitation program is not the end of the road to recovery. Preventing recurrence is among the biggest difficulties people encounter following rehab. Relapse can be discouraging, but people can build a strong foundation for long-lasting recovery by putting into place efficient procedures and support networks. This blog post will explore several tactics and assistance programs that are essential for dealing with relapse prevention in drug recovery.

1. Education and Awareness

The foundation of relapse prevention is education. Individuals must learn in-depth information on addiction, its underlying causes, and the process of recovery throughout drug rehab. People are better able to help themselves in the following ways when they are aware of the science underpinning addiction.

  • Identify early warning signs
  • Appreciate their vulnerabilities
  • Make wise decisions about their wellbeing 

Another important step is to increase public awareness of relapse causes and common hazards. To provide people the knowledge and skills needed to recognize and effectively manage triggers, some rehab facilities may offer: 

  • Instructional materials
  • Hold workshops
  • Offer individual counseling sessions
  • Offer group therapy sessions

Depending on the rehab center, there can be innumerable amenities and options that may opt during aftercare.

2. Development of Coping Skills

For the purpose of preventing relapses, appropriate coping mechanisms must be acquired. A proper rehab center will help inculcate healthy coping skills to further help you. The main goal of rehabilitation programs should be to assist patients in creating effective coping skills for:

  • Stress
  • Cravings
  • Emotional difficulties. 

This is because stress and emotional difficulties can primarily be responsible for the relapse of a person. Therefore it is important to address the issues by reaching to their roots. These coping mechanisms may include:

  • Relaxation exercises
  • Breathing techniques
  • Writing
  • Physical activity
  • Taking part in interests that support emotional and relaxation well-being.

3. Evidence-Based Therapies

Evidence-based therapeutic approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can help people recognize unhealthy thought patterns and swap them out for more constructive ones. These treatments support the development of problem-solving abilities, self-esteem, and the management of negative emotions. CBT and DBT are focused on:

  • Accepting things you cannot change
  • Improving behaviors
  • Inculcating healthy habits in life

These therapies have proved to be very effective in treating substance use disorders. You can opt for them even in the aftercare. Your addiction counselor may implement these techniques to sustain recovery. 

4. Building a Supportive Network

Social support is a key element in preventing relapse. A strong support system made up of loved ones, friends, and peers who are aware of their struggle and can offer encouragement and accountability should be encouraged for people in drug rehab. 

There are many options for joining support groups. Some of the famous support groups are: 

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA), 

They intend to promote a sense of community and shared experiences. Some rehab facilities may support them but even if they don’t, you can join them on your own. Most of them are free, nonprofit places.

Rehabilitation programs should emphasize the value of self-care and self-compassion in addition to outside support. People must learn to put their health first, establish appropriate boundaries, and partake in activities that foster personal development.

5. Group Therapy

When it comes to aftercare, group therapy is an essential component for those who have finished drug rehab. It offers a controlled, encouraging environment where people can continue their road to recovery while getting continuing assistance. The following significant factors underline the significance of group treatment in aftercare:

Shared experiences and validation: Group therapy enables patients to relate to others who have struggled with addiction in a similar way. People who share their problems, victories, and experiences feel more understood and validated. When the rest of the world seems aloof, such an environment can offer them support and a sense of belonging. A friendly and nonjudgmental environment is fostered by this sense of community, minimizing feelings of loneliness and fostering emotional recovery.

Sense of Accountability: Group therapy provides a built-in network of peers who are dedicated to recovery, providing peer support and accountability. Participants can offer constructive criticism, insights, and encouragement to one another. Individuals are able to stay dedicated to their sobriety and keep focused on their goals because of the group’s accountability.

Normalization and reinforcement: Individuals who participate in group therapy can benefit from social reinforcement, in which the group recognizes and applauds their good deeds. By boosting self-esteem and self-efficacy, this reinforcement encourages people to keep going on their road to recovery. Additionally, seeing the development and accomplishments of other group members inspires optimism and normality while proving that long-term recovery is possible.

6. Aftercare Planning

For those in recovery, the change from a structured rehabilitation environment to normal life can be difficult. Reintegrating into familiar areas and living without constant supervision can expose people to triggers and dangerous situations that may raise their risk of relapsing. This emphasizes how important it is to have an organized aftercare strategy in place.

Planning for aftercare entails developing a road map that identifies the resources and assistance people will require as they navigate their life following rehab. This strategy is unique to each person and developed to satisfy their distinct needs. A crucial component of an aftercare strategy could be one of the following:

Regular therapy sessions offer on-going support and direction, whether they be individual or group-based. Individuals can discuss their progress during these sessions, address any difficulties they may be having, and get therapeutic interventions to improve their coping mechanisms and general well-being.

Aftercare includes the creation of a relapse prevention strategy as a crucial part of planning. This strategy offers specific tactics and ideas that people can use to handle stressors and dangerous situations. It could entail figuring out one’s own triggers, coming up with other coping mechanisms, putting in place a support network, and adopting healthy lifestyle practices.

7. Ongoing Medical Care

It’s critical to include this information in the aftercare plan for those with co-occurring illnesses or mental health problems. To guarantee comprehensive care and support, this may entail routine check-ups with medical specialists, medication management as needed, and accessibility to specialized mental health services in some rehab centers. 

Individuals who participate in the aftercare plan receive continuing support, direction, and resources that help them continue their recovery and avoid relapse. It highlights the need for ongoing care and attention to handle the complex demands of daily living and acknowledges that the road to maintained sobriety extends beyond the first rehabilitation phase.

Overall, a well-designed aftercare plan is crucial for people returning to their regular lives following treatment because it gives them a road map for continuous support, relapse prevention techniques, and access to the necessary medical and psychiatric care. By taking into account the individual’s particular needs and ensuring they have the resources and support necessary to overcome any obstacles that may arise, it increases the possibility of long-term success in recovery.

Final Thoughts on Relapse Prevention in Drug Rehab

Relapse prevention is a crucial component of drug rehabilitation since it aids people in achieving sustained recovery in a big way. Rehab facilities can help people become more resilient and reduce the chance of relapsing by implementing techniques including education, coping skill development, creating a supportive network, and thorough aftercare planning. People can overcome addiction and create a satisfying, drug-free life with the appropriate techniques and support networks in place. Keep in mind that relapse prevention requires continued dedication to wellbeing and that recovery is a journey. We can aid people in successfully navigating the route of recovery by giving them the essential resources and support. Asking for help from a rehab can be the best thing you can do. 

Jordyn Mastrodomenico LPC, LCADC CTP
Author: Jordyn Mastrodomenico LPC, LCADC CTP

Jordyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) and Certified Trauma Professional (CTP). She holds a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling, from Caldwell University, Jordyn has extensive experience in Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient settings and is skilled at guiding clients through the recovery process in individual and group therapy sessions.

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