Drug addiction is a mental disorder that never goes away. People can learn to manage it, but they can never cure it. Since addiction doesn’t go away, learning about relapse prevention is important. In fact, many rehab centers focus on preventing relapse to reduce the risks of overdose and death.

Two happy young women discussing relapse prevention techniques
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Relapse prevention focuses on life after rehab. To prevent relapse, people have to identify triggers and cognitive behaviors that may cause it. Identifying triggers makes it easier for people to avoid situations that might lead to drug use.

For example, stressful situations can trigger a relapse. When you know that stress makes you want to use, you take proactive measures to lower stress. However, it’s not just emotions and feelings that cause a relapse. Sometimes, hanging out with certain people or visiting specific places can spur relapse.

Programs that teach people how to prevent relapse take both short- and long-term sobriety into account. Learning preventative measures can help people avoid problem behavior. Preventing relapsing is a part of sober living.

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Relapse doesn’t usually happen all of a sudden. People often struggle with the thought of using again long before they actually do. Overall, there are three stages of relapse.

Emotional Relapse— During the emotional relapse stage, people don’t necessarily think about using. However, their actions and feelings subconsciously increase the potential for relapse. If they don’t have relapse prevention training, they can easily miss signs such as mood swings, isolation, and defensiveness.

The symptoms of emotional relapse are very similar to post-acute withdrawal. Understanding this condition makes it easier to identify the onset of emotional relapse. Failure to identify emotional relapse makes the phases progress quickly.

Mental Relapse— The next stage is mental relapse. During this stage, people think about using drugs. Mental relapse feels like there’s a war inside their minds. Part of them wants to use, but the other doesn’t.

Even if people lean toward not using drugs, they still think about using. Simply thinking about it puts them in danger of relapse. Some signs of mental relapse include:

  • Hanging out with old friends who use drugs
  • Thinking or fantasizing about using drugs
  • Glamorizing past usage habits
  • Lying to loved ones and friends

Physical Relapse— The most dangerous phase is physical relapse. It doesn’t typically take people long to get to this stage. They physically start to use drugs again and need detox and rehab again, to recover.

During a physical relapse, people usually feel bad about the choices they make. They can enter a deep depression because they feel like they let their families and friends down. The key is to remember that relapse is common. Giving in to depression can make the relapse worse.

Instead, they need to get on their feet and renter rehab. They have to focus on relapse prevention to prevent the same outcome.

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Once people reach the third stage of relapse, they have no choice but to seek help from a rehab center once again. However, some relapse prevention techniques can help them avoid getting to this point. Using these techniques can mean the difference between staying sober and relapse.

Wait 30 Minutes— People need to give themselves 30 minutes before they use drugs again. While this may seem like an odd technique, 30 minutes makes a huge difference. Most drug cravings last about 15 to 20 minutes. If they can get over that hump, they’re less likely to use.

Take Recovery One Day at a Time— Don’t think about staying clean forever. People often feel overwhelmed when they think about staying clean forever. Instead, they should think about staying clean for a day.

They can tell themselves, “I’m not going to use today.” Then they can take their sobriety one day at a time.

Relax and Stay Calm— Staying calm and focusing on relaxation is just as important as not using drugs. Most people admit to relapsing when they feel stressed out. Focus on learning calming techniques that can reduce stress.

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At Santé Center for Healing, we offer several substance abuse treatment programs. We teach our clients about relapse prevention and how to detect triggers. Some of the other programs we offer include:

Santé Center for Healing also offers educational sessions. Our goal is to teach our clients and their families about addiction. Some of the sessions that we offer include “Intro into Addiction” and “Family Assistance.”

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“I am actually a contractor that Sante has hired for multiple services. I can’t speak from a patron/patient stand point, but as an individual with great observation, it is my understanding this is definitely the right home away from home. The staff is always very friendly, and accommodating for myself, and my crews. They have very strict rules, and guidelines that even we had to follow, which for a facility of this caliber, seems very necessary. They also take great care of the facility, and search for improvements constantly. I personally upgraded some of the railing to keep them in code. We also upgraded, and repaired all of the decks, and pathways they have throughout the property. Just feels like a great environment to grow, and heal. Highly recommended!”
– Justin Vess
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Don’t live with the threat of addiction hanging over your head. Learn how to overcome your addiction and keep it from coming back. Reach out to Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154. We’ll guide you through recovery with a gentle hand.

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Relapse Prevention Plan

Aftercare is an important part of any treatment program. Before someone leaves rehab, they create a relapse prevention plan. This plan includes relapse prevention techniques to help clients deal with triggers and stay sober. Through advanced planning, individuals can prevent a relapse from happening.

What Does a Relapse Prevention Plan Involve?

Addiction specialists can adjust the relapse prevention model for different substance abuse problems and individual characteristics. During the planning stage at a relapse prevention center, the client schedules future appointments with mental health professionals. If they need to, they also look for new living arrangements.

The entire point of the relapse prevention model is to help clients through all stages of relapse prevention. This means giving clients options like annual alumni retreats and connections to local 12-step meetings. Clients may sign up for a psychotherapy program in TX, individual counseling, aftercare treatment, or other options.

In the relapse prevention model, the individual has to commit to their recovery. If they are not willing to do whatever it takes to stay clean, sobriety is not possible. One of the best relapse prevention techniques is to learn how to spot potential triggers and cravings.

Each person has unique triggers that make them want to use again. These triggers may be certain locations where the individual drank at or people they used drugs with. Learning how to avoid triggers and handle cravings is important in the relapse prevention model. Relapse prevention techniques may include options like avoidance, managing emotional distress, and dealing with intrusive thoughts.

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Choosing a Healthier Lifestyle

Detox and rehab are just a part of the treatment process. From using mindfulness based relapse prevention to education about the stages of relapse, there are many things a relapse prevention center can do to help clients stay sober. A top treatment center will help individuals become clean and create a relapse prevention plan for remaining clean.

At a rehab and relapse prevention center, clients can find unique programs such as:

  • Trauma therapy
  • Individual, group and family therapy
  • Professional assessment
  • Medical detox
  • Psychotherapy
  • Aftercare services
  • Social activities and alumni work
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What Are the Stages of Relapse?

While people may experience the stages of relapse differently, there are a few common steps that people go through. After leaving a relapse prevention center, people rarely expect a relapse to happen. They have the right relapse prevention techniques in place, so they think that they are safe. In reality, a relapse can happen to anyone.

Most relapses are impulsive and unexpected, but there are some warning signs people should watch out for. In general, the stages of relapse involve emotional, mental, and physical stages. Emotional relapse is when someone starts to have symptoms like mood swings, sleep problems, anger, and anxiety. They may also stop attending meetings regularly.

Mental relapse is when the brain starts to argue for and against using. The individual may start thinking about all of their memories of using and miss that time period. They may even start planning for a relapse.

Finally, a physical relapse is when the person acts on their desire to use. At this point, the individual decides to completely ignore mindfulness based relapse prevention, a relapse prevention plan, and other techniques. Some people may only use once before they realize their mistake and commit to sobriety again. Other individuals may take months to realize that they want to get back on track.

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Does Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Help?

There are many relapse prevention techniques people can use. Some of the techniques work best in the early stages of relapse, and other relapse prevention techniques are more useful before someone even leaves rehab. In our holistic therapy program in TX, individuals can find options like mindfulness-based relapse prevention, 12-step programs, nutrition support, and more.

Mindfulness-based relapse prevention focuses on training the mind to be present at the moment. Instead of focusing on stress or future worries, the individual learns how to live in the present and accept their thoughts. The goal of mindfulness-based relapse prevention is never to ignore thoughts and feelings. Instead, the individual should accept the thoughts that appear and let them float away naturally.

Other than mindfulness, a relapse prevention center will offer additional support during the stages of relapse. An aftercare program may be a part of the individual’s relapse prevention plan. As a part of the relapse prevention model of care, the individual may also take part in an individual or group therapy program in TX.

In keeping with the relapse prevention model of care, the relapse prevention center may offer yoga, recreation therapy, equine therapy, and other health-related options. These programs give clients a way to spend their time instead of using drugs. After treatment, fitness programs, psychotherapy, and a sober social network can help clients remain clean.

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An addiction can completely change your life and make it impossible to enjoy your favorite activities. If you are suffering from the mental, physical, emotional, and financial effects of an addiction, you do not have to live that way forever. With the help of the Santé Center for Healing and a relapse prevention plan, you can take the next step in discovering a healthier lifestyle.