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Relapse occurs when a person has experienced a period of sobriety, yet returns to drug or alcohol abuse. Relapse is both the time when a person abuses drugs again and is a process by which a person slowly slides back into addictive thinking that can make drug use seem like one of the only available options.
Because relapse is possible for every recovering addict, it is important to engage in relapse prevention techniques. Drug Treatment Centers Ramapo can help addicts seeking support get the help they need. Dial (732) 453-6646 for more information.
Drug addiction is a disease, and it can be characterized by moments of failing to maintain sobriety. The rates for addicts who have at least one lapse in sobriety are between 40 and 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
One of the greatest predictors of long-term sobriety is how long how a person has been sober. For example, if a person has been sober for between one and three years, a person is 60 percent likely to stay sober long-term. If a person has been sober for between three and five years, the likelihood a person will stay sober is 80 percent.
Returning to heavy drug or alcohol abuse does not happen overnight. It is a progression that can — but does not have to — culminate in using drugs or alcohol again. Relapse typically has three stages: emotional, mental and physical. The techniques learned in recovery programs allow a person to recognize these three stages, which can help them recognize the potential for sliding back into old habits.
When a person is in the emotional relapse phase, they may not be contemplating drug abuse. However, a person may feel as if he or she is stalled in the recovery process and may have difficulty taking care of himself or herself in a way that can promote an overall feeling of wellness.
Practicing self-care is very important in the emotional relapse phase. When a person stops taking care of himself or herself and begins to isolate from the outside world, the temptations to use drugs again can be increased.
Mental relapse occurs when a person begins thinking about abusing drugs or alcohol again. A person may start to reminisce about drug use, thinking of it as “the good old days.”
Physical relapse occurs when a person’s “addictive brain” takes over and he or she feels it is okay to once again abuse drugs or alcohol. An addicted person may feel resuming drug and alcohol abuse is the only option to help a person feel better and escape negative thoughts.
Recovery aftercare programs aim to educate a person about the potential for a return to substance abuse and the steps a person can take to stop negative lines of thinking. Participants are encouraged to create their own personal recovery aftercare techniques that identifies behaviors and responses that can keep a person sober when faced with temptations.
A drug treatment center can also help set up a person in an aftercare program that provides for continued support in recovery aftercare. Examples can include 12-step programs, group therapy or even finding sober living opportunities.
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