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relapse preventionFor many of those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, relapse after a time of sobriety can be a frightening prospect. A relapse involves returning to drug or alcohol use after spending time sober.

Relapses involve more than just one-time uses. They represent a shift in someone’s thought processes and can indicate that other issues are going on beneath the surface. However, a relapse is not a failure. Instead, it is wise to view it as a sign that the individual in recovery simply needs to improve their coping skills and potentially return to treatment. Relapse prevention therapy is one tool that can be used to help those in recovery develop strong coping skills for the future.

At Coalition Recovery, we offer relapse prevention therapy as just one part of our comprehensive evidence-based therapies. Learn more about our addiction treatment therapies by contacting our admissions team today at 888.707.2873.

What Is Relapse Prevention Therapy?

Relapse prevention therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. This approach to treatment helps participants understand their patterns of thought and behavior and make adjustments that promote better long-term outcomes. 

During sessions with a therapist, clients work to anticipate the things that might trigger them to relapse. Some of these warning signs might include:

  • Stressful situations
  • Certain people or places
  • Being in the presence of drugs or alcohol
  • Chronic pain

The specific triggers for relapse will vary from person to person. However, the goal of relapse prevention therapy is to help clients develop coping skills that they can use when faced with these triggers and warning signs.

Creating a Plan to Avoid Relapse

After identifying these triggers for relapse, clients and therapists work together to create a plan. While avoiding relapse triggers is the best way to prevent relapse, having a plan to fall back on when triggers are unavoidable is essential.

The first step in creating a plan is to identify what steps will be taken to avoid or remove the trigger from the situation. If the trigger cannot be completely avoided, clients need to have a backup plan for how they will cope with the trigger.

For example, if a trigger is an argument with a spouse, the plan may involve avoiding any potential arguments, or having a set of coping mechanisms to deal with the stress of an argument. If the trigger is seeing someone who is using drugs, the plan may include avoiding all contact with that person or attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings to avoid exposure to drug use.

People recovering from addiction also need to create a relapse prevention plan for what to do if they find themselves in a situation where they are tempted to use drugs or alcohol. This plan may involve calling a sponsor, attending a meeting, or reaching out to a therapist or counselor for support.

It can take time to develop healthy coping skills. These might include outlets for stress, such as exercise or meditation. Other coping skills might include having a plan for who to call when tempted to relapse. Therapy sessions are an ideal time to work through the positives and negatives of different plans and come up with something that suits each individual.

By having a plan in place, clients can be prepared for any situation that may arise and have the tools they need to avoid relapse.

What to Do After a Relapse

Relapse isn’t a necessary part of the journey to recovery. However, it can happen to as many as 50% of those working to overcome drug or alcohol addiction. While preventing relapse is the primary goal of this type of therapy, it’s important for clients to also understand the role that relapse can play.

Using drugs or alcohol again after a period of sobriety doesn’t need to be seen as a failure. Instead, in relapse prevention therapy, clients will learn how to reframe these lapses as steps on the road to recovery. Lapses can be signs that the individual needs to:

  • Spend more time in treatment
  • Develop different coping skills
  • Receive more support

If you or a loved one has relapsed, contact our treatment center today. We’ll help you get back on track.

Reach Out to Coalition Recovery Today

Learn more about relapse prevention therapy as well as our other addiction treatment therapies by contacting Coalition Recovery today. In our addiction treatment center, we create personalized treatment plans for every individual in our care. Some of our addiction treatment programs include:

  • Alcohol rehab program
  • Detox program
  • Telehealth rehab program
  • Dual diagnosis treatment program
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Intervention program
  • Drug rehab programs

Whether you’re reaching out to our admissions team for yourself or for a loved one, our team can help you access the care you need. Discover how to prevent relapse at Coalition Recovery. You can learn more about relapse prevention and aftercare by taking a look at our blogs:

  • What to Look for in a Sponsor
  • Innovating Aftercare

Call us at 888.707.2873 or reach out online today to begin your journey to recovery.