The Importance of Relapse Prevention Programs

If you or a loved one struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, choosing to reach out to a professional rehab in Malibu, CA, is a vital step towards overcoming addiction and moving forward healthy and sober. Sadly, of the millions of American’s who could benefit from detox and addiction therapy, very few (less than 10%) will ever get the help they need to get and stay sober. For those who do, the fear of relapse remains a concern for many years to come.


Addiction is considered a chronic, relapsing disease. Addiction is a treatable disease like diabetes or other chronic conditions; however, it is not curable. Although addiction treatment aims to attain and maintain lasting sobriety, it does not happen in all cases. Several studies suggest that as many as 60% of individuals who complete detox and treatment at a rehab program like Rise in Malibu, will experience a relapse at least once. Additional data provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests relapse rates for someone with an alcohol use disorder (alcoholism), maybe as high as 80%.


Why Do People Relapse?


As previously mentioned, relapse is common among those struggling to recover from addiction. Addiction has similar relapse rates to many other chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and others. Even after completing addiction treatment, many people continue to struggle with physical and functional changes to their brains and bodies. Because chronic drug and alcohol use can lead to neurological changes in the brain, an addict in early recovery may continue to struggle to make safe, substance-free decisions and resist triggers after completing treatment.


In addition to changes in the brain, other issues and challenges can lead to relapse as well. Common examples include emotional struggles, mental health issues, inadequate coping skills, and lack of motivation to stay sober. Because these physical and psychological struggles persist after treatment ends, relapse remains a genuine concern. Long-term care and aftercare programs are vital to maintaining lasting sobriety. Fortunately, highly-skilled and professional treatment programs focus on relapse prevention skills and programs.


How to Avoid Relapse


Although relapse is common among newly recovered addicts, it is important to mention that there are several things you can do to avoid relapse. First, do your best to avoid triggers. This means avoiding places, people, and situations that remind you of when you used to drink or used to use. The earliest days of recovery are often the most challenging, and being around drugs or alcohol can trigger overwhelming cravings to use again.


It is also important to keep yourself busy. Statistics show that boredom and isolation are two of the most common reasons people relapse. Often, this is because after treatment ends, and you are no longer drinking or using and no longer socializing with those who do, you struggle to know what to do with your newfound freedom. It is vital to find things to do with the hours that were formerly dedicated to seeking or using substances. Consider finding a new hobby or returning to something you once enjoyed doing. However, keep in mind that the type of hobby or location of the hobby is important to consider. Avoid participating in activities that may be triggering as opposed to helpful.


Developing and nurturing a group of like-minded peers who provide support and camaraderie during the early days of sobriety is also highly beneficial. Often, you will meet and develop relationships with these individuals during therapy or as part of peer support groups in the aftercare environment. Your “sober friends” are there to participate in activities, provide inspiration, and provide support when you need it most. Perhaps most importantly, though, is that these individuals share the same drive to stay sober and healthy. They will be there to help you when times get rough, and you need advice or help getting back into rehab should you relapse.


What is Relapse Prevention?


Relapse prevention or prevention education is the set of skills or tools you learn as part of therapy or aftercare programs that can help you avoid returning to drug and alcohol use. Working with your therapy provider, you will develop and extensively practice strategies and techniques you can use when faced with triggering people or situations. The goal of relapse prevention education is to help you develop the tools necessary to turn to safer and healthier coping strategies when faced with triggering situations that would formerly have encouraged you to use.


How to Find Relapse Prevention Programs in Malibu, CA

The best drug and alcohol rehabs include extensive relapse prevention education as part of a comprehensive therapy program. At Rise in Malibu, you will work with our therapy providers to develop the tools and skills you need to ensure the best opportunities of maintaining lasting sobriety. If you or a loved one have completed addiction treatment and have relapsed or you are concerned about a friend who may be experiencing a relapse, don’t wait to reach out for help. Our admissions team at Rise in Malibu is here to help you learn more about our programs and how to find the best relapse programs in Malibu, CA.

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