You send a loved one with an addiction problem to treatment. They spend 30-90 days getting clean and sober, talking about their feelings, and getting healthy again. After treatment, they move back home and start to live life again. Shortly thereafter, they relapse. You might repeat this cycle three or four times. What is missing? Relapse prevention.
Treatment is not a cure for addiction. Treatment, meaning attending a clinical recovery program, is an answer comprised of many different answers for living with addiction, without using drugs and alcohol. Relapse prevention is a particular set of tools that helps those in recovery learn how to live in a way that does not trigger them to use drugs and alcohol to cope. Without relapse prevention-specific methods and techniques, treatment is a mere break from a hazardous lifestyle.
Overall, stress management in every form is one of the most important methods for relapse prevention. Stress triggers the brain to seek relief from stress. In the addicted brain, most often that happens through some form of creating pleasure. Due to the way addiction causes learning and memory association, creating pleasure is intimately tied to drugs and alcohol, or other harmful behaviors. Managing stress includes learning what causes stress, how to identify stress, how to cope with stress, and understanding how stress relates to triggers for cravings.
Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction can feel like having to start life over and learn everything new. Too often self-care refers to the luxurious pampering and quality time one spends with themselves to feel good. Self-care also refers to the everyday responsibilities which need to be fulfilled to take care of the self like eating, hygiene, paying bills, managing tasks, and getting enough rest. Often called “life skills” learning how to incorporate essential themes of recovery into everyday life is critical to living a new lifestyle free from dependency on drugs and alcohol.
Being acknowledged, heard, and understood are the core needs of every human being. For addicts and alcoholics in recovery, it couldn’t be more important. Healthy forms of communication help maintain proper boundaries, boost self-esteem, and articulate emotions, wants, and needs.
Relapse prevention is a primary focus at Enlightened Solutions where we show clients how to live along spiritual lines in a new life of recovery. For information on our partial care programs for addiction and dual diagnosis issues, contact us today.
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