There isn’t one relapse prevention tool that’ll take cravings away and eliminate all temptations. Instead, it’s a combination of things. Good-quality detox and rehab prepare you to handle triggers and stressors. What makes a difference, however, is excellent aftercare.

How Relapse Factors into Healing from Drug or Alcohol Abuse

two women discuss relapse preventionDid you know that addiction’s a chronic disease? This means that it doesn’t have a cure. Therefore, you may have to deal with sudden urges to start using again. You don’t want to give in.

But what causes some people to return to a drug habit even after they successfully overcome it? For some, it’s boredom. They don’t know how to structure their days to avoid falling into the substance abuse trap again. Others feel overconfident and believe that they can handle using “just this once.”

Relapse prevention takes into account these normal human tendencies. It also recognizes that social isolation, a co-occurring mental health condition, or a sudden stressor can lead to drug abuse. That’s why rehab facilities begin implementing prevention strategies as early as detox.

What Does Relapse Prevention Look Like?

While you’re in detox, the facility provides one-on-one counseling. This program reinforces your decision to quit using drugs. You shift your focus from drug use to living sober. As you move on to the clinical portion of healing, you expand on your goal of lifelong sobriety.

Examples of rehab programs include:

  • Residential treatment that lets you live at the facility with around-the-clock supervision and care
  • Positive staff interactions during counseling sessions that emphasize the advantages of getting and staying clean
  • Group therapy sessions that provide positive peer feedback and support as well as learning opportunities
  • Experiential care that includes adventure therapy to help with peer relationship building, which ends isolation
  • Aftercare, which assists those at the discharge point of treatment

What is Aftercare?

A good-quality aftercare program is a vital relapse prevention tool. Rehab doesn’t end just because your stay at the facility is over. In fact, living independently opens the door to a new type of rehab. This one allows for complete self-direction.

Aftercare helps prepare you for this part of your life. It helps shift your focus to long-term sobriety and lifelong abstinence. Before discharge, you work with your therapists to put together a care protocol. It emphasizes follow-up visits to stay on track.

It also includes the commitment to continue with psychiatric care if you presented with a co-occurring mental health disorder. It’s important to understand that aftercare – just like rehab – has to undergo complete customization. Your long-term plans differ from those someone else in the program may have. As a result, you’ll have different needs.

Examples include support group attendance such as 12 Step meetings. You’ll also know how to employ coping mechanisms when stressors get too severe. If you find that you’re losing the battle, you have ways of reaching out for help at that moment. Just as vital as outside help is the creation of a personal support network.

How Do You Know That Your Aftercare is Working Well?

You recognize that there are temptations to use, but you don’t fall into the trap again. When someone offers you a drink or a drug, you decline. You have confidence in your coping skills and use them frequently. If a situation gets too tough, you know how to get help.

Learn more about overcoming addiction and relapse prevention today. You don’t have to keep abusing drugs or alcohol. Caring staff members at Morningside Recovery want to help you from detox all the way through clinical care. Call 855-631-2135 today.