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Relapse Prevention Programs in Seattle WA (206) 777-4098

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.

Methods of Relapse Prevention

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:

  • Understanding that relapsing happens in steps, not all at once
  • Engaging in therapy to learn how to manage emotions and thoughts
  • Damage control in the event of sobriety failure through seeking treatment
  • Continuing to engage with the recovery treatment community and process
  • Altering lifestyle through positive new habits and relationships

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:

  • Exploring the consequences of drug use
  • Learning to self-monitor oneself to recognize cravings and identify high-risk situations for drug use
  • Developing strategies to address cravings and high-risk situations without using drugs

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.

Recovery Community Support

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:

  • Sober hobbyist groups. For example, restorative yoga has been shown to be an effective aspect of treatment because it teaches addicts to respect their bodies, quiet their minds, and vent frustration through healthy physical activity. Attending yoga classes and engaging in other sober activities can help former addicts learn to socialize and enjoy themselves without substance abuse.
  • 12-Step Programs. The original 12 step program was Alcoholics Anonymous, which has since been expanded to cover other types of addiction (Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, etc.). This type of program can be summarized as follows:
    • Admitting one cannot control their addiction.
    • Recognizing a higher power.
    • Examining past errors with a sponsor (a person with at least 90 days sober)
    • Making amends for past errors
    • Learning to live a new life with improved behaviors
    • Helping to support others experiencing addictions
  • Sober living arrangements. Some addicts feel intimidated by the idea of returning to the areas of their former drug use, or by the challenges and stress they face outside of rehab. Sober living houses act as a gradual transition between treatment and being on their own. Sober houses are completely drug and alcohol free, routinely test residents for required sobriety, and offer a more regimented lifestyle for addicts seeking to get back on track.

Learn more about relapse prevention today when you call Alcohol Treatment Centers Seattle at (206) 777-4098.

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