Addiction is a disease. In fact, it is defined as a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain and related circuitry. While addiction is not a curable disease, it can be treated and individuals can learn how to maintain their sobriety rather than continuing to use. However, living in recovery from an addiction often brings several different challenges, one of which is the potential for relapse.
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People in recovery typically do not relapse for no reason, nor do they relapse overnight. A physical relapse tends to occur after a person has suffered both an emotional and mental relapse.
An emotional relapse happens when someone begins ignoring his or her emotional needs. For example, a person might stop talking about his or her feelings to others, such as a therapist, friends, or other members of a support group. He or she might also ignore the need for good self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, or exercising. At this time, a person is usually not thinking about relapsing.
A mental relapse occurs when a person is thinking about using again but is battling with the idea of doing so. He or she might fantasize about past use, glamorize the places he or she used to use or the people he or she used to use with, and even start planning when to relapse. Once a mental relapse occurs, it is critical for a person to reach out and get help or else the physical relapse is bound to happen.
Thankfully, relapse is something that can be prevented. Outside of staying educated on what to do to support healthy recovery, such as maintaining a good diet, staying active, and getting enough rest, there are several other things that a person can do to prevent relapse, including the following:
- Cutting ties with friends who continue to abuse drugs and/or alcohol
- Avoiding places where use previously occurred
- Identifying triggers to use
- Maintaining contact with a therapist and taking medication as directed
- Having a support system to lean on, such as a group of friends, family members, or other loved ones
- Developing positive outlets for stressful emotions like anger, stress, and frustration
One of the most effective ways to remain sober is to continue to attend meetings, such as AA or NA. Doing so can help keep recovery on the forefront of one’s mind, thus helping to reduce the risk of relapse.
Relapse Prevention in Elizabethtown, KY
All of our patients can benefit from participating in relapse prevention in Elizabethtown, KY. Through these sessions, patients can develop a strong understanding of what a relapse is as well as how to prevent it. They will also learn how relapse can impact their lives and what they can do if they relapse.
Our relapse prevention in Elizabethtown teaches several skills to patients, including the following:
- Learning the difference between a lapse (using one time) and a relapse (using more than once after the initial lapse)
- Recognizing what one’s triggers are and developing skills on how to prevent them
- Developing exit strategies when caught in a situation that could lead to use
- Establishing boundaries
- Improving upon communication skills in order to be able to share emotions, thoughts, and feelings in a meaningful way
- Learning how to swap negative behaviors for positive ones
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Being addicted to drugs and/or alcohol is no way to live, as continuing to abuse these substances only puts users at an increased risk for several negative consequences, including overdosing. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder then you know that even if you feel like you do not want to quit, that your use has altered the course of your life for the worse. If you are ready to regain control in your life, do not waste one more second. Call us right now to learn more about our programs and how relapse prevention in Elizabethtown, KY can help you stay sober for the long haul.