Relapse prevention is one of the most important aspects of drug addiction treatment. Also known as addiction aftercare, relapse prevention is the strategy of preparing individuals in addiction treatment with tools that help them anticipate and cope with the potential of returning to old habits. For some addicts, stress, repressed emotion, and the sensation of being overwhelmed by being in the former location of their substance abuse can trigger a relapse.
Using relapse prevention techniques, addicts can remain sober for the long-term. For more information on treating drug addiction and maintaining sobriety, contact Alcohol Treatment Centers Seattle at (206) 777-4098.
There are a number of methods are used for recovery aftercare. These methods prepare addicts and their families for the difficulties that come with maintaining a sober lifestyle. Methods to prevent relapse include:
A large part of preventing an addict from relapsing is altering their thinking and behavioral patterns. Talk therapy, both individually and in groups, has been proven to help redirect negative thoughts and actions by teaching addicts healthy ways to express themselves. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can prevent a short-term lapse (one-time drug or alcohol use after a period of sobriety) from becoming a complete relapse by arming an addict with different coping mechanisms and support resources.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is based on the theory that identifying negative patterns related to addiction can help predict and prevent future occurrences. Techniques include:
An addiction specialist counsels the patient to empower themselves through self-esteem building, teaches patients ways to redirect their thoughts and actions about drug abuse, and allows addicts to accept responsibility for their actions. By exploring past mistakes and identifying things, thoughts, or situations that can trigger drug abuse, an addict can prevent future mistakes related to their addiction.
Another aspect of aftercare is support that comes from within the recovery community. Engaging with other recovering addicts and addiction specialists can help. Some examples of community support include: