Relapse Prevention

Skills to Prevent Relapse Early

Relapse is a gradual process that begins weeks, sometimes months before an individual picks up a drink or drug.

Relapse is a process and can be interrupted before a return to active addiction. There are three stages to relapse: emotional, mental, and physical. The common denominator is poor self-care. If individuals do not practice sufficient self-care, eventually they will start to feel uncomfortable in their own skin and look for ways to escape, relax, or reward themselves.

Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT)

RPT provides coping skills, cognitive therapy, and lifestyle modification. Coping skills strategies include behavioral and cognitive techniques. Cognitive therapy provides strategies to reframe thoughts to initiate positive change. Lifestyle modifications, such as meditation, exercise, and spiritual practices, strengthen coping skills.

Important Strategies for Recovery:

  • To understand relapse as a process
  • To identify and cope effectively with high-risk situations
  • To cope with urges and cravings
  • To implement ‘damage control’ procedures during a lapse, to minimize negative consequences
  • To stay engaged in treatment, after a relapse
  • To create a balanced lifestyle