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Relapse Prevention – Lakewood NJ (732) 529-2096

Many people assume that if a person goes through a drug treatment program that they are cured

of their addiction. However, if a treatment program does not include relapse prevention, many

recovering addicts will return to drug use following treatment. Relapse prevention is a set of

treatments, resources, strategies, and coping mechanisms that are designed to help stop and/or

reverse the progression of the relapse process.

At Drug Rehab Centers Lakewood, relapse prevention is taught during the rehabilitation process

and is continued as part of the aftercare program. Call us today at (732) 529-2096 to find out

more about our relapse prevention programs and services.

Stages and Prevention Techniques

There are three distinct stages of relapse. Each has its own unique characteristics and it’s own

prevention techniques that are best suited to each stage. It is also important to note that the

further into the relapse process a person gets, the more difficult prevention becomes. As such, it

is important to deal with the setback as early in the process as possible for the best and easiest


Emotional relapse is a stage that is not a conscious desire or effort to return to drug use. In fact,

in all likelihood, the person who is going through this phase is not even thinking about their

addiction or substance abuse or anything of the like. Some of the most common signs associated

with this stage include:

  •  Mood swings
  • Poor eating habits (unhealthy, skipping meals, loss of appetite, binge eating, etc…)
  • Anger/Aggression
  • Depression
  • Poor sleeping habits (not sleeping enough, sleeping at odd times, waking frequently,etc..)
  • Anxiety

The most important element of prevention for emotional relapse is emotional and behavioral

awareness. This begins in individual and group therapy during treatment. A person learns what

behaviors and emotions they have that contribute and lead up to their substance abuse. Once the

problems have been identified, they are more able to detect those feelings and behaviors as they

arise after treatment. Additionally, art and music therapy are excellent ways to build emotional

awareness and to channel feelings such as depression or anxiety into productive and useful

activities. On top of this awareness and these coping mechanisms and redirections, attending

support group meetings can help to prevent recidivism and reverse the process at the emotional


Mental relapse is a conscious stage because it has to do with a person’s thoughts; it can be far

more difficult to break and reverse. This is because the recovering addict will be fighting against

their own mind, dealing with the mind’s betrayal. Some of the signs = include:

  • Lying to and being secretive with friends and family
  • Obsessive thoughts about drug use
  • Contacting past associates and dealers
  • Planning how to obtain and use drugs
  • Glorification past drug use and experiences

In this stage, the best prevention technique is to know where to turn for outside help. A person

should regularly attend support group meetings and speak up in a group about their struggles to get

the help they need in preventing thoughts from becoming actions. Meeting with a therapist or

counselor, as well as frequent contact and meetings with sponsors, may also be necessary for

prevention at this stage.

Physical relapse is, of course, that moment in which a person uses the addictive substance again.

At this stage there is little to do in the way of prevention, except to prevent one instance of

physical relapse from becoming many. Going to support groups, and asking friends, family,

sponsors and counselors for help as well as admitting to their mistake is the first step in

overcoming a physical setback. A return to detox and treatment may also be necessary at this


Relapse is a very real and worrisome possibility following a drug treatment program. However,

with a treatment program that emphasizes relapse prevention techniques and strategies, it can be

far more manageable, reversible, and preventable. Lakewood Drug Rehab can help you get into

treatment as soon as possible, Call our addiction specialists today at (732) 529-2096.

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