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Relapse Prevention in Concord, NC (704) 490-4263

Addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease characterized by changes in the physiology and function of the brain and the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol even though it’s causing problems. After drug rehab, the addiction is sent into remission. However, using just once – which is known as a lapse – can cause a relapse, or return, of the addiction, and that’s where relapse prevention comes in.

Relapse prevention is a program designed to prevent a return to drugs or alcohol, and it involves comprehensive education about the mechanics of addiction and relapse as well as therapies that help patients learn techniques and skills to prevent a lapse from occurring.

Relapse prevention training is a critical component of the treatment phase of drug rehab, and it’s an essential part of the aftercare plan that’s implemented after treatment is successfully completed. To get more information about this and other recovery programs offered at Drug Treatment Centers Concord NC, call (704) 490-4263.

While a single lapse won’t necessarily cause a relapse of the addiction, it often does, and intervention must be swift in order to get back on the road to successful recovery.

Intervention after a lapse may include a short stay in rehab to address the issues that led the lapse, and changes will be made to the aftercare plan, including an increase in the number of therapy and group counseling sessions and recovery group meetings. Self-destructive relationships may need to be re-evaluated as well, especially those with people who still use.


The need for relapse prevention programs is evident when you consider the statistics concerning relapse rates. Nearly 80 percent of people in recovery from an alcohol addiction relapse in the first year after treatment, but the rate drops to 40 percent for the second through fifth years of recovery, after which it drops even lower.

Meth relapse rates are the highest, with 88 percent of those in recovery after drug treatment relapsing within the first year.

These rates shouldn’t discourage those who need help from seeking addiction treatment. For some, it takes more than one attempt at recovery before the addiction is sent into remission for good.

Three 3 Stages

  • Emotional relapse is the first stage, and while you’re not thinking about using again at this point, your emotions, attitudes, and behaviors are leading you down the path to a lapse. Signs of emotional relapse include skipping meetings, neglecting your health, not asking for help, and experiencing negative emotions like defensiveness or anger.
  • Mental relapse is the second stage. At the beginning of mental relapse, there’s a war going on in your mind: Part of you really wants to use again, but part of you wants to continue with successful recovery. If help isn’t sought by the end of this stage, it ends with planning a lapse around other people’s schedules.
  • Physical relapse is the final stage, and it’s where the lapse occurs. It’s very difficult to stop the lapse at this stage, which starts with heading to the liquor store or to meet a dealer and ends with the actual lapse.

How Prevention Programs Help

Relapse prevention programs address a wide variety of issues concerning lapse and relapse, and they help patients learn to:

  • Identify high-risk situations that could lead to a lapse and develop strategies for avoiding or coping with them.
  • Use research-based techniques and strategies to help cope with stress, triggers, and cravings.
  • Recognize the stages of relapse and the warning signs associated with each stage.
  • Increase self-awareness to quickly identify and address emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that may indicate an increased risk of lapsing.
  • Fill idle time with productive and enjoyable activities.

Techniques for Prevention

A large number of techniques for preventing relapse are available, and while not every technique will work for every patient, the sheer diversity of skills, techniques, and strategies that have been proven effective ensure that everyone will be able to create a personal prevention toolbox to help promote successful long-term recovery.

  • 12-Step programs provide those in recovery with peer support, an added level of accountability, ongoing development of relapse prevention techniques, and the benefits of shared resources.
  • Special lectures and workshops help inspire, motivate, and promote ongoing development of prevention skills.
  • Alternative therapies like meditation and yoga to reduce stress, reduce cravings, improve physical and mental health, and promote mindfulness and a higher level of self-awareness.
  • Exercise burns excess energy, helps relieve stress and cravings, improves overall physical and mental health, and fills time with healthy activities.
  • Hobbies reduce stress, promote developing relationships with other non-users, and fills the time with productive and enjoyable alternatives to drug use.

Call Drug Treatment Centers Concord NC today at (704) 490-4263 for help with your substance abuse and dependence issues.

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