Relapse Prevention in Union City, NJ

Relapse prevention in Union City attempts to provide individuals with the framework and support that they need to maintain long-term sobriety.

Comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment is not complete without a component known as relapse prevention. Relapse prevention refers to a system designed to help recovering addicts identify high risk situations, develop coping skills, and construct appropriate outcome expectancies that they can maintain long-term sobriety. Overcoming addiction in the short term is easy; avoiding relapse into addiction for long periods of time is difficult.

One of the key aspects of relapse prevention in Union City is understanding the abstinence violation effect. An addict in a high-risk situation may cope with that situation effectively and thus feel empowered against addiction. Alternatively, the addict may cope ineffectively and lapse into drug or alcohol use. Whether this use turns into abuse or is used as a learning situation depends on how well-equipped an individual is to deal with the abstinence violation effect.

The abstinence violation effect is a well-supported theory that reveals that a single lapse into use for a recovered addict can have emotional ramifications that lead to significant drug and alcohol abuse if the single lapse is viewed as a failure rather than as a learning experience. Addicts given the appropriate relapse prevention tools can recognize lapses, put them in the proper perspective, and seek the appropriate help from friends, family, sobriety buddies, and professionals.

Relapse Statistics Amongst Addicts and Alcoholics

Rates of relapse for drug and alcohol addiction in Union City are as high as 60%. What is interesting about drug and alcohol relapse rates is that they are similar to relapse rates for other managed chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure. In fact, it is not only the relapse rates that are similar between chronic medical conditions and chronic addiction, but the way that relapse occurs is similar as well. Relapse in all of these chronic conditions features both physiological changes as well as and behavioral components. Treating any chronic condition involves changing deeply embedded behaviors and the way that an individual thinks, which is what relapse prevention in Union City aims to do.

Relapse Warning Signs and Symptoms

Is important to note that relapse is not a single event, but rather is a process that begins long before a recovering addict uses drugs or alcohol again. Recognizing the early warning signs of relapse can help to short-circuit the entire process. Warning signs of relapse can include

  • Romanticizing past drug use
  • Believing it is possible to use again without falling into addiction
  • Reconnecting with friends or going to places associated with past substance abuse
  • Becoming defensive and beginning a pattern of denial consistent with substance abuse
  • Changes in attitude or behavior (particularly a loss of belief in the benefits of addiction recovery and relapse prevention programs)
  • Breakdown of social relationships or family ties
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Withdrawal symptoms

The Stages of Relapse

As was stated above, relapse is a process, not a single event. Doctors and therapists have identified three stages of relapse including emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse. The basic signs and symptoms of these various stages of relapse are described here.

Emotional Relapse

Emotional relapse begins when an individual feels overwhelmed by life events and unable to cope. Common emotions at this stage can include anxiety, anger, and fear. Relapse prevention treatment programs are designed to identify emotional relapse symptoms so the proper intervention at this early stage can provide addicts with the coping mechanisms they require.

Mental Relapse

The second stage of relapse is mental relapse. This stage begins when addicts start to think about using again and start to reminisce about past drug or alcohol abuse. Many addicts begin to think about old friends and old hangouts where substance use occurred and may even begin to make plans for how they can use again without suffering from addiction. At this stage, many individuals rationalize their progressing relapse with thoughts about how it "will not be so bad this time." Relapse prevention programs know that mental relapse is a dangerous time for any addict. Outpatient or inpatient relapse prevention treatment programs in Union City may be required at this stage.

Physical Relapse

The final stage of relapse is called physical relapse. This stage begins when an addict starts seeking drugs or alcohol again. Examples of early behavior in this stage of relapse include driving to the liquor store or frequenting places where they might encounter dealers. Physical relapse is the final stage of relapse and ends when substance abuse begins again. Even at this stage, sobriety can be maintained with the intervention of a proper relapse prevention program.

Relapse prevention in Union City is designed to help addicts learn from relapse and gain confidence in their ability to overcome addiction. Call us now if you want to stay sober for the long term (856) 432-3259.

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