Addiction is a chronic disease, and it is not uncommon for an addict to experience at least one relapse during his or her recovery. For this reason, relapse prevention is an essential part of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment. A relapse prevention plan can make all the difference for recovering addicts who complete a treatment program.
Studies have shown that the percentage of addicts who will relapse after a recovery period ranges from 50 to 90%. This is a sobering statistic, and indicates that relapse is a serious concern. However, not all addicts will suffer a setback. In many cases, it's the addicts who are most serious about their aftercare and recovery that have the lowest rate of recidivism.
Many relapse prevention programs offer coping techniques for triggers. It's also important to have a support system of people who can recognize your trigger warning signs and help you prevent a relapse. Many addicts learn necessary skills to keep a momentary slip up from turning into a full-blown relapse. Programs typically have many ways to reach out for help, including sponsors, counselors, and healthy people outside of the program. Addicts often find it helpful to join a program that also offers care after the initial treatment is over. This may include having a sober living companion.
One of the most important relapse prevention techniques is to recognize the warning signs and get help before a relapse occurs. Many programs offer addicts several ways to reach out for help if this happens. Aside from counselors and therapists, other options may include attending a recovery meeting, doing yoga or another form of workout, and participating in a social activity.
Most programs teach addicts that one relapse doesn't mean that their previous attempts have failed. Several steps can be taken to reduce the risk of another relapse. This may include addressing addiction triggers, such as anxiety and depression, or an underlying mental illness. Family therapy and counseling sessions are another option. After a relapse, the addict will likely attend regular counseling sessions and relapse prevention meetings. It can help to enhance one's job skills as well to keep the addict focused on his or her life and career after treatment.