Recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is a lifelong process. After successful detox and participation in a residential or outpatient substance abuse treatment program, you must be prepared to face the challenges of everyday life without resorting to old patterns of behavior that can lead you to use again. Relapse is a return to addictive behaviors following a period of sobriety.
Addiction is a complicated issue, and the potential for relapse is a significant component of the recovery process for which you need to have a plan. Therefore, relapse prevention therapy is an integral part of a comprehensive substance use disorder treatment plan. Reach out to the professionals at Harmony Hills to learn more about relapse prevention by calling 855.494.0357.
Why You Need a Mental Health Relapse Prevention Program
Relapse prevention therapy uses behavioral therapy techniques to enable you to limit or prevent relapse by teaching you how to anticipate situations that can trigger your addictive behaviors. In a relapse prevention therapy program at Harmony Hills, the most important thing you will learn is to recognize the stages of relapse. Like addiction itself, relapse does not occur suddenly but instead happens over time. The distinct stages of relapse are:
- Emotional Relapse. You are not thinking about using drugs or alcohol at this stage, but you are starting to engage in behaviors that might lead you to relapse. For example, you might not be relying on the coping mechanisms you learned in treatment. Instead, you might be starting to isolate, breaking away from your support groups, and struggling to acknowledge or share your feelings.
- Mental Relapse. You start thinking about the “good old days” you had using while ignoring the adverse effects. Having cravings or thoughts about using, you start to reach out to old friends or revisit places you used to use.
- Physical Relapse. You have actively used drugs or alcohol.
Relapse occurs for many reasons and can happen at any time in the journey of recovery. The relapse prevention program at Harmony Hills will give you the skills and tools you need to be prepared for each relapse stage. Statistically, the greatest chance for relapse occurs within the first three months of recovery. Therefore, attending 90 12-step meetings in the first 90 days after you leave drug or alcohol addiction treatment will likely be part of your individualized relapse prevention plan.
What Relapse Prevention Therapy Teaches You
Taking care of your mental health is an essential part of relapse prevention. Part of our relapse prevention therapy focuses on mental health maintenance. Poor mental hygiene can lead to relapse because of the way it negatively impacts your thought processes and emotions.
It’s important to be proactive about your mental health, just as you are about your physical health. If you’re not feeling well mentally, it can be difficult to stick to your relapse prevention plan.
In relapse prevention therapy at Harmony Hills, you will learn not only that stress is the most common trigger for relapse but how to cope with stress to avoid relapse. Additionally, you will work with your therapist to develop a relapse prevention plan that will remind you of the skills you learned, such as:
- Strategies for dealing with stress
- Recognizing your triggers
- Knowing when to ask for help
- Relying upon your support network
- Referring to your plan for dealing with cravings
- Practicing mindfulness strategies
- Having accountability for yourself
At Harmony Hills, we know that your recovery is an ongoing process, so in addition to arming you with a solid relapse prevention plan, we offer aftercare and alumni programs to help keep you connected to your recovery community.
Stay Connected with Harmony Hills for Relapse Prevention
At Harmony Hills, we understand that addiction does not happen overnight, so neither can recovery. During your time here, we will provide you with all of the tools you need to maintain a life of recovery. However, we also know that life is not predictable, and you will encounter times that will challenge your sobriety. At these times, turn to your relapse prevention plan or reach out to us for more support by calling 855.494.0357.