Relaps Prevention After Drug Rehab
Relapse Prevention Skills
When someone enrolls in a luxury drug rehab facility, part of the program includes figuring out how to handle high-risk situations that would otherwise leave the patient vulnerable to a relapse. However, as most people can imagine, practicing these situations in a treatment facility, surrounded by staff and in a supportive setting, is quite a bit different from encountering the same situation in the real world. That is why these skills are not only taught while enrolled in the program but also honed during aftercare. During aftercare meetings, the patient can learn from fellow participants, talk about strategies for dealing with real-world problems, and talk about experiences they may have had. As the individual progresses through the stages and becomes keenly aware of problems they may face, they start to learn how to:
- Manage emotions – research published in Alcohol Research & Health demonstrated that emotions could make a person vulnerable to drinking and using illicit substances. This includes negative emotions (something most people would assume) but includes positive emotions as well. Emotions may increase the risk of relapse; it is important to learn how to manage them.
- Handle social situations – Even though many people assume it would be easy enough to avoid alcohol or drugs, it may be more difficult. While no longer hanging out with friends who use drugs seems logical, what happens at a birthday party or when the person goes out to dinner? There is likely to be alcohol. It is important to learn how to deal with social situations where the person may feel pressured or inclined to relapse.
- Find friendships and activities – Many people that struggled with addiction find that they suddenly have a great deal of free time. They may also find that people that they considered friends were merely acquaintances that the patient hung out with because of his or her addiction. It is important to find activities and friendships that support a sober lifestyle.
- Find work and housing – It is important to transition from a program into the real world. Both housing and work can help with that.
- Prevent further problems – Sometimes, a person has a moment of weakness and has a single drink. It is important that these small problems do not backslide into larger incidents. A single drink can be a mistake, but it may also be the trigger for long-term relapse. The patient needs to understand the difference. When a person builds a support system, it can help them recover from a temporary slip if they do have one.
The Transition to the Real World
Once the person is free from alcohol or drugs, they feel as though they have an entirely different outlook on life and are equipped with a new set of life skills; they may feel more "in control" than they have in years. The person may feel more confident, healthier, and stronger. However, the reason that aftercare matters is because once the real world sets in, and social activity, relationships and work put pressure on the person, they may find that old triggers are still present. Many things may lead to someone turning to their old coping mechanisms, depression, stress, happiness, boredom, or anger. While self-discipline is one thing, sometimes people need a little more help to prevent themselves from making a mistake.
It is important to view this type of program as a safety net. Even though it is ultimately up to the patient, the moment their motivation wavers, there is a sense of security. While there are many variables when it comes to dealing with addiction, aftercare services will increase the chance of avoiding relapse significantly. Of course, like everything else, it depends on how active the individual is. If the patient is active in going to medical appointments, group meetings, and ongoing classes, the chances of meeting the previously set recovery goals increase even further.
It does not genuinely matter if the person stays in touch once a week, or almost daily, it may be a vital component to sobriety. Many of the programs that luxury drug rehabs can recommend offer multi-faceted support for the recovering individual.