Many people believe that recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction is a simple as just saying no. Although “saying no” is a reasonable form of preventing new users from trying drugs, actual recovery for an addict is much more complicated. One of the key components of recovery is relapse prevention. Relapse prevention education is crucial to assist the addict on the road to staying clean.
According to the National Institutes of Health, most recovering addicts will relapse within the first few months of recovery. A return to drug use is not a failure, but rather a stepping stone during recovery for most people. In fact, it may provide significant lessons for the addict in regard to how to manage his or her relapse prevention plan. The lessons learned from relapse can help the individual work to avoid further slips.
Few recovering addicts simply wake up one day and decide to use drugs or alcohol. The awareness that individuals in recovery have that prevents them from using right away. The process may be lengthy or short, but there are signs that the addict may use again. These are the three stages that may signify that the addict is in danger of using.
The first stage of a return to drug is emotional. An addict may begin to think fondly of the days when he or she used to get high. The individual may recall how good it felt to get high, think about his or her addict friends, or long for the “good old days” when he or she used to get high.
Before the addict returns to drug use, he or she typically plans the return. Planning is the second stage. The addict may plan to get in touch with his or her friends that are still using. The addict may also plan when and how to use drugs – maybe just one hit or one drink. Either way, this planning signifies that the addict has convinced him/herself that using is possible.
The third stage is physical. During this stage, the addict actually uses drugs or alcohol. Once the addict reaches this stage, there is no preventing relapse, but further use can be prevented by reinstating drug treatment. This stage can be used to get back on track.
The goal of prevention is to keep the addict from reaching the third stage. Ideally, the addict will reach out for help during the first, emotional, stage if he or she can recognize that is happening. This is where a relapse prevention plan is crucial for recovery.
A sound therapeutic intervention for drug and/or alcohol use includes a solid plan designed to keep the user from reaching stage three. Personal strategies are used to combat stages one and two to help the user remain drug free. The fact is that anyone recovering from addiction is likely to reach the first, emotional, stage. Keeping the individual from progressing along the road to drug use is key to his or her success.
Preventing a return to drug use involves a host of strategies that are personal and meaningful to the individual. For instance, asking someone who is not religious to attend church every Sunday to stay off drugs is not likely to be of any help. However, teaching that same individual to contact a sponsor whenever addictive behavior may be a possibility may be more feasible. Whatever the strategy, it is important that is it designed with the individual’s needs in mind.
To find out more about the relapse prevention programs offered for Denver, Colorado, call Denver Drug Treatment Centers now at (303) 225-2945.