Relapse prevention is a critical component of recovery and treatment. Relapse prevention focuses on warning signs, coping techniques and identification of patterns and triggers related to use and abuse. Focus is on working a solid program of recovery with a sponsor—continually working the steps and monitoring the communication with the recovery community, treatment staff and family/significant others. Global strategies comprise balancing the client’s lifestyle and helping him or her develop positive behaviors replacing the destructive behaviors of the past.
High-risk situations and behaviors frequently serve as the immediate precipitators of a client picking-up, however, our approach with our clients is to be cognizant that relapse is a process, not an event. We focus on the clients being aware of their ineffective coping, decline in their self-efficacy and their holding on to old expectations that use of substances i.e. such as alcohol or other drugs will have positive outcomes. Giving them tools to examine their negative emotional states, such as loneliness, anger, anxiety, depression, frustration and boredom. By being in touch with their behaviors and situations i.e. family matters, work issues and financial circumstances keeps them prepared to face their realities. Counselors also assist in developing strategies to manage positive emotions states, such as promotions, celebrating life successes and/or “living-the-dream”; knowing how not to be blindsided and always keep a vivid vision of “people, places and things.
Relapse Prevention strategies are complex, as there is no one prescription that meets everyone’s needs. Our counseling staff customize and individualize each client’s RP and process it within the group and in individual sessions. Clients often distance themselves from the recovery program and make choices, these choices are referred to as “apparently irrelevant decisions” and are frequently done without being conscious of the outcome.
It is recognized that urges and cravings—the desire for immediate gratification dictate relapse. As research and science develop new and innovative strategies, Medical Assisted Therapy (MAT) can, for some play an important role. The primary prevention strategy is to sustain regular and predictable meeting attendance in Self-Help and continual and regular contact with the Sponsor and counselor.