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Relapse Prevention
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Addiction is now understood to be a disease and relapse of the condition is a common occurrence. Effective treatment must include relapse prevention to give alcoholics the tools they need to deal with the cravings that inevitably happen. Relapse prevention in Delaware can prepare the individual for these moments, so that they can apply alternate measures to maintain their sobriety.

Understanding the Problem of Relapse

Detoxification to remove alcohol from the alcoholic’s body is just the beginning of the recovery process. A variety of therapies can help individual’s understand their addiction and find new ways of dealing with stress, depression and anxiety. But the habits, places and people that are associated with drinking alcohol can continue to trigger cravings that can undermine the individual’s recovery. The Journal of the American Medical Association notes that relapse from substance addiction is between 40% and 60%, similar to relapse in other diseases. The lure of alcohol can be overwhelming. Medications, such as Antabuse, which makes individuals sick when they try to drink, can help to reduce the risk of relapse, but the habit of turning to alcohol for relief of stress and emotional upsets is very strong, and it can continue to occur long after treatment.

Conditions That Can Trigger a Relapse

A number of circumstances and events can trigger relapse, such as:

  • The death of a loved one
  • Loss of job
  • Divorce or separation
  • Financial problems
  • Health problems
  • Boredom or lack of purpose
  • Pressure from friends
  • Occasions where the person drank in the past

Stages of Relapse

Relapse tends to occur over a period of time, during which the individual’s emotions and thoughts turn back to drinking. In relapse prevention training in Delaware, individuals are taught to recognize the signs of the stages of relapse, which can be an early warning system to alert to the potential for relapse:

  • Emotional relapse -The first stage involves the individual’s emotions. The individual may begin to experience a buildup of stress from everyday problems and pressures. The person may neglect going to meetings, feeling that they are not helping anymore. Individuals may not take care of themselves as well as they did, eating poorly, not exercising and not using stress management techniques.
  • Mental relapse – The mental part of relapse then begins. The individual may remember past drinking days fondly or may glamorize the alcohol use. He or she may begin seeing old drinking buddies again. The individual may also begin planning the actual relapse occasion.
  • Physical relapse – Physical relapse is the actual act of drinking, after neglecting to go to a meeting, talk to a counselor or other preventive action.

 

How Relapse Prevention Can Help

Relapse prevention in Delaware provides a variety of useful techniques to apply when the potential for using alcohol is imminent. These tools may include review of cognitive behavioral training to change negative thought patterns, review of negative consequences that occurred while under the influence of alcohol, counseling for emotional issues, return to support group meetings to provide social encouragement to continue sobriety, and telling friends and family members so that they can provide the support to help avoid relapse. Spiritual reinforcement through prayer can also be helpful for many individuals.

 

Benefits of Relapse Prevention

The use of relapse prevention techniques and tools has a positive effect on the individual, helping them to continue their recovery efforts. Appropriate social interaction can help to reduce the stress that triggered the risk of relapse. Increased self-esteem from withstanding the temptation helps to reinforce recovery efforts. Going to meeting helps to restore the social connections with other people who are recovering, to draw from their strength of purpose.

Individuals who are overcoming addiction to alcohol need practical help when the urge to drink strikes. Relapse prevention training as a part of a treatment program can provide the right remedies to keep you sober.