Sunrise Recovery Ranch provides drug addiction treatment rooted in a science-based, research-supported clinical model to ensure a healthier, more satisfying life, without addiction.
Understanding Drug & Alcohol Addiction Relapse
The importance of preventing relapse from drug & alcohol addiction
Overcoming an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is a tremendous accomplishment that requires courage, strength, and perseverance. When a person develops an addiction to alcohol or another drug, he or she begins to lose control over his or her thoughts, actions, and behavior patterns. Regaining this control, and resuming one’s pursuit of a healthier and more productive life, is a long process that typically involves professional help at a substance abuse treatment center in order to identify and address the many factors that may have contributed to the development of the problem of addiction in the first place, and that can pose ongoing threats to continued healing.
As demonstrated in the previous paragraph, when discussing drug and alcohol addiction recovery, it is virtually impossible to avoid words such as “continued,” “ongoing,” and “process.” Unlike certain other diseases or disorders for which a person can receive care and be cured, addiction does not lend itself to a one-time victory. Instead, people who overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol remain in a state of long-term recovery, a process through which they continually reaffirm their sobriety and manage the symptoms that, if left unaddressed, could cause them to relapse into substance abuse.
The good news is that decades of research and continued advancements in the field of addiction treatment have provided treatment center & rehab professionals, like those at Sunrise Recovery Ranch in Riverside, California, with a wealth of methods and techniques for preparing men and women not only to overcome the immediate urge to engage in substance abuse, but also to avoid relapse and maintain long-term recovery. Of course, it is incumbent upon the men and women who seek treatment for addiction to heed the guidance that they receive while in care and to take the important steps that are necessary to resist relapse and remain in recovery.
Of course, no single action or series of behaviors can guarantee that an individual will remain in recovery. Addiction is an insidious disorder that can, at times, prompt even the most dedicated individual to relapse and resume the self-defeating behavior of substance abuse. But even in the darkest moments, understanding the nature of the challenge and relying on the lessons that one learned in treatment for substance abuse concerns can make the difference between a temporary setback and a long-term descent into addiction.
Why Do People Relapse?
Reasons why people relapse from drug & alcohol addiction
Addictions to drugs and/or alcohol can develop for myriad reasons, often resulting from a combination of internal and external effects. Likewise, relapse can be triggered by a wide range of events and experiences, including the following:
- Being overwhelmed by stress or pressure
- Experiencing powerful cravings for the drug or drugs that one formerly abused
- Suffering a significant setback at work or in school
- Getting divorced, separated, or otherwise ending a relationship
- Feeling overconfident in recovery and mistakenly believing that one can dabble in substance use without experiencing ongoing problems
- Developing a depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, or another mental health disorder that is associated with substance abuse
- Surviving or witnessing an assault, attack, or other traumatic events
- Attending an event at which substance abuse is prevalent, and/or associating with individuals who commonly abuse alcohol or other drugs
The occurrences listed above are but a few examples of the virtually innumerable situations or circumstances that can prompt an otherwise dedicated individual to relapse into substance abuse. Not every relapse is avoidable, but men and women in recovery can take important steps to decrease the likelihood that they will once again fall into self-defeating behavior patterns.
How to Prevent Relapse
How to prevent drug & alcohol relapse at our treatment center in Riverside, CA
As is the case with overcoming addiction in the first place, preventing relapse requires a combination of education, preparation, and dedication, along with a willingness to get help.
First, it is important to remember that the path of recovery from substance abuse is neither short nor straight. All individuals achieve successes and suffer setbacks as they pursue long-term recovery. With an understanding of the many challenges that a person will face, effective addiction treatment programs will place great emphasis on teaching individuals how to recognize, avoid, or address the challenges and obstacles that can trigger a relapse. The following are among the steps that an individual can take to ensure that he or she is prepared to respond in a healthy manner when encountering the inevitable challenges to his or her continued recovery:
- Select a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center that provides thorough discharge planning, and be sure to follow that plan when you have completed treatment and returned home.
- If your drug and alcohol treatment center provides ongoing support services, an alumni program, or other options, participate to the greatest degree that you are able.
- Enlist a small group of close friends and/or trusted family members to serve as your informal support network.
- Get involved with a 12-step group or another program that will keep you connected with the recovery community and ensure that you remain accountable to your recovery goals and avoid relapse.
- Find productive ways to fill the hours that you previously spent acquiring and using alcohol or other drugs. Take up a sport, get a hobby, do volunteer work, or otherwise keep yourself occupied in a non-destructive manner.
- Do not wait for a problem or setback before relying on your coping skills. Put your new healthy skills into practice on a daily basis to ensure long-term recovery.
- Associate with individuals who will not threaten your recovery, and avoid the individuals, events, and situations that may trigger relapse.
- If you feel like you need help, get help. There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling. You have options, and you deserve to live a healthy life.
For more information about preventing or recovering from relapse to drugs and/or alcohol, or for answers to any questions that you may have about any aspect of rehab and treatment at Sunrise Recovery Ranch in Riverside, California, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you determine if our program is the perfect place for you or for your loved one.