Addiction is not something that goes away overnight – it is a chronic disease that some people struggle with for many years. Working towards a drug-free, happy, and rewarding life takes time and should not be rushed. Recovery is a process, and our rehab programs are effective in helping patients stick to their treatment and avoid relapse. We also offer long term rehab programs focused on maintaining a healthy drug-free lifestyle.
Located in Berlin, NJ, Liberty Wellness is an outpatient rehab facility dedicated to helping our clients take the time they need to heal and fully recover from addiction. We are committed to keeping our clients on a healthy road to recovery by educating them on the many techniques and skills used to prevent the possibility of a relapse.
What is a Relapse?
When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, relapse occurs when someone starts using drugs or drinking alcohol after a period of abstinence. Like any other chronic disease, those addicted to drugs and alcohol are subject to periods of remission and relapse.
While they do happen often, they can be prevented. If an individual happens to relapse, it’s important to take action immediately and follow relapse prevention steps so that the likelihood of relapsing again is minimized.
What Are the Stages of Relapse?
Relapse doesn’t usually just happen over a single event, and it can likely be a process. This process can be broken down into three phases: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse.
Emotional: This is usually the first sign that a relapse may occur. Individuals in recovery start feeling emotional triggers like anger, depression, anxiety, and fear. They also may be experiencing bad eating or sleeping habits. It’s important to recognize these as early as possible, and an intervention can prevent these feelings from escalating if it’s done quickly.
Mental: The individual may be struggling mentally with addiction, and will start thinking about using again or romanticizing the days when they were. At this stage, the thoughts of using drugs or alcohol again become more intense and progress, and an intervention is needed.
Physical: The physical stage is what most people think of when they hear of a relapse. During the physical stage, the individual has begun using drugs or alcohol after a period of abstinence. They also might have an extremely difficult time controlling how much they are using, which is why getting them back into addiction treatment is critical.
Following a set relapse prevention plan is essential when overcoming addiction, and learning to live a happy life in recovery. Implementing coping skills into a daily routine will help keep the individual from experiencing a relapse.
Recovery requires a lot of personal growth with developmental milestones, and a relapse can happen at any stage during that. It’s important to know the common triggers of relapse, so the client can learn to prevent them. These include:
- Money problems
- Relationship issues
- Certain sights and smells
- Certain people or places
At Liberty Wellness, we are committed to educating our clients on common relapse prevention techniques so that they can achieve successful short term and long term goals. There are a variety of relapse prevention techniques that clients can use in their daily lives. It’s a common misconception that people should only use these techniques when they feel like abusing drugs or alcohol again, but in order to prevent any type of relapse, it’s important for clients to integrate these skills and make them a part of their lifestyle.
Relapse Prevention Skills
Self Care: Fatigue and insomnia are some of the most common post-acute withdrawal symptoms for recovering addicts. It is crucial for patients to get daily physical activity and eat a balanced diet as this can improve sleep. A structured exercise plan and eating schedule can be implemented daily so that they have something to stick to.
HALT: Halt stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Whenever a patient is feeling the urge to use drugs or alcohol again, they must ask themselves if they are feeling any of those symptoms. Hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness are the most common triggers for recovering addicts. By keeping HALT in mind, addicts have a better chance of avoiding relapse.
Joining a Support Group: Support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are both great for providing support and encouragement for those struggling with addiction. It gives individuals the opportunity to become more educated on addiction and learn from others experiences as well. Support groups also give individuals the chance to meet other addicts who are struggling and understand what they are going through.
Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation can be a great way of becoming more self aware, and accepting that cravings and sudden urges may occur. When people are more self aware, they are able to overcome and cope with potential triggers that can cause a relapse. Some meditation concepts include acceptance, letting go of personal control, and the use of prayer and meditation.
Deep Breathing: Deep breathing releases neurotransmitters in your brain that trigger chemicals that result in feelings of happiness and relaxation. This is a great skill to have because it can be used anytime, anywhere without anyone knowing. A useful deep breathing technique is the 4 x 4, which involves taking 4 deep breaths in through your nose and hold, then release that for 4 seconds.
Our New Jersey Relapse Prevention Professionals Can Help You on Your Road to Recovery
At Liberty Wellness in Berlin, Camden County NJ, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the right treatment options to fit their needs. We have dedicated addiction professionals that assess each individual to ensure they are provided with the best medical treatment for them. Don’t wait to take the first steps towards a more fulfilling life, call or contact us now to schedule a confidential, personal tour and consultation. Start your road to recovery today.