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Relapse is a very real possibility when people are recovering from drug addiction. The learned behaviors associated with substance abuse and dependence are particularly difficult to break, with drugs contributing to a number of changes in brain neuroplasticity.
Relapse prevention programs are used by most drug treatment centers, with counseling and therapy regimes in place to provide recovering addicts with the skills and support they need to stay clean for life. These programs are a form of recovery aftercare that work alongside medical detox and behavioral therapies, with individual and group programs helping patients to avoid the dangers of physical relapse.
Finding help for a drug or alcohol addiction is easy when you call Drug Treatment Centers Altoona. We are standing by to talk to addicts and their loved ones at (814) 414-4403.
A relapse or recidivism is a recurrence of a past condition. In the context of drug misuse, relapse refers to the resumption of drug use following a period of abstinence. Relapse prevention programs are designed to stop this from occurring, with a wide range of therapies designed especially to help patients make new life choices.
Because both substance abuse and substance dependence are learned behaviors maintained by neuronal adaptations, counselors have to approach addiction aftercare from both a mental and physical perspective. Medication treatment may be a part of relapse prevention programs, especially for long-term opiate addicts who are unable to break free without a substitute.
Relapse rates for drug addicted patients are very high, with about 60 percent of patients relapsing after going through drug treatment. This rate is very similar to other chronic diseases, including Type 1 Diabetes at 50 percent and Asthma at 70 percent. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this is another reason why drug addiction should be treated in a similar manner to other chronic illnesses.
With relapse rates so high, drug and alcohol treatment centers need to put just as much emphasis on prevention as they do on detox and therapy programs.
There are three distinct phases of relapse: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse. The first phase can be recognized by the existence of unhealthy emotions, with the patient generally feeling out of control and unable to cope. While the patient will not be thinking about using drugs at this stage of relapse, their emotional state is fragile and likely to lead to additional triggers down the road.
Unhealthy emotions may lead to feelings of denial and compulsive behaviors, which are the general signs of mental relapse. Mental relapse is a confusing place for recovering addicts, who often go through an experience of interior chaos while they decide what to do with their lives.
Patients may start to fantasize about drug use during this phase of relapse, even though they may still be engaged in the recovery process. It is absolutely critical that patients receive therapy and counseling during this period, before the possibility of physical relapse becomes a reality.
Addictive thinking patterns set up during the mental relapse phase can easily lead the patient towards full physical relapse, with intervention during this phase absolutely necessary.
Once physical relapse has occurred, patients will have to deal with the aftermath of relapse and decide whether they want to re-engage with the recovery process.
Drug rehabilitation facilities can help patients deal with every aspect of relapse, giving them the skills they need to avoid emotional collapse and the support they need when times get tough. Ongoing relapse prevention programs may last for months or even years, with traditional 12-step programs such as AA one form of aftercare support.
If you or anyone you know has a problem with drug and alcohol abuse, it is important to seek the help of a dedicated treatment center. Call Drug Treatment Centers Altoona at (814) 414-4403 to find out how to receive assistance.
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