Drug & Alcohol Relapse Prevention

Addiction can be challenging to manage – and with anything that’s difficult to do, sometimes there are setbacks. While addiction may not be entirely curable, it is certainly a treatable disorder. Having a plan and receiving regular, ongoing treatment can make the condition much more manageable to the point where affected individuals can once again live a normal and active life. As much as staying sober is important to the healing process, relapse is very much a natural part of recovery. Relapse prevention is all about introspection into one’s relationship with their substance of choice, understanding personal triggers, and identifying behaviors that precede instances of using.

Relapse Definition

There’s actually some disagreement amongst the addiction treatment community as to what is considered a relapse. Because recovery journeys are so intensely personal and unique, what one person considers a relapse might be considered a “slip” to others. 

In some of the more stringent definitions, relapse is defined as the use of a substance from a past addiction after a period of abstinence. In other definitions, a relapse is determined by repeat or prolonged drug use after a period of abstinence. For some, it is as much a return to a drug as it is the person’s intent, and it is not until someone has shown complete abandonment of the treatment program that a relapse is believed to have occurred.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of relapse is as follows:

1) The act or an instance of backsliding, worsening, or subsiding.  2) Recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement.  

One of the key words to keep in mind in this technical definition is the word “improvement”. A very well-known saying to keep in mind during moments of weakness is that things often get worse before they get better. Relapse is not is a sign of failure and does not mean that an individual is doomed to struggle with addiction their entire life.

How Common is Relapse?

Using drugs for a prolonged period of time takes a significant toll on the neurochemical makeup of the brain. Once a physical dependency has been established (and addiction follows shortly after) it’s no longer a matter of your willpower or discipline versus a drug. Instead, it is an ongoing journey of modifying deeply rooted behaviors that closely wired to our psychological triggers.

As such, relapse is a fairly common occurrence during the recovery process. It is estimated that 40-60% of individuals with a substance disorder relapse at some point – that’s nearly 1 out of every 2 people! The types all treatment used for substance abuse can also play a role in the likelihood of relapse occurring. Typically, addiction treatment first involves some sort of medical intervention and is then followed by ongoing behavioral therapy or counseling. however, someone who only undergoes through detox, medically aided detoxification, is not likely to experience the same type of long-term success in achieving abstinence.

Recovery happens in stages. The first steps include:

  • Establishing and maintaining abstinence.
  • Identifying and learning to solve personal problems.
  • Understanding the importance of developing interpersonal and community relationships.
  • Private and group counseling works towards resolution of the three parts of addiction:
    mental, physical, and spiritual. The intensive deep healing allows the patient to complete treatment, free of the need for drugs and from the issues that led to their use. Call us today at 1-877-219-2888 to find the freedom you’ve been seeking.


The addict may request admittance or be ordered into a rehabilitation program. The person may have accepted that drugs are now controlling his or her life. Unfortunately, he or she is no longer at a point where drug use is enjoyable. The urge to use is overwhelming. Rehab centers often have regular drug testing, particularly when patients reside outside of the facility, to reinforce the importance of abstinence and relapse prevention.


Why is it that some addicts successfully complete rehabilitation, yet suffer a relapse at some point? A personalized plan of treatment must address all phases of the patient’s addiction, both physical and mental. A well-organized, supportive recovery plan reinforces the path for each person. Differences in personalities, emotional stability, living conditions, and physical status add stress and challenges that lead to using.

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Look For Relapse Support

For effective and long-term recovery, Level Up Recovery Center incorporates relapse prevention into all aspects of our addiction treatment programs. Our goal is to restore a sense of normalcy to our patients and help them regain control over their lives once more.  

If you have a loved one suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, you will definitely want to know how you can help them overcome this addiction and even improve relapse prevention. There is no magic bullet to overcoming addiction as the road to recovery is bumpy and has pitfalls and setbacks. Deciding to make a change is necessary to overcome addiction, and you need to constantly remind yourself you want to change. Tell friends and family you are quitting, and ask for their support.

How residential drug rehab helps

Next, you need to explore your treatment options. There are many places to turn to for help, but a drug and alcohol rehab center is your best option. These centers have doctors, psychologists, social workers and counselors offering addiction treatment services. While it’s possible to opt for outpatient addiction treatment, residential drug rehab is a better option as you have people to turn to for support and guidance whenever you feel cravings come on.

These centers will teach you how to cope with stress and other problems that led you to your addiction in the first place. You need to overcome these triggers to overcome an addiction. When in drug rehab, you will also be taught other ways to relieve stress like meditation, exercise, how to relax and how to challenge and overcome self-defeating thoughts.

The main benefit of admitting to a residential drug rehab program is that you can keep away from the people, places and things which used to keep you using. Instead, you can surround yourself with people who support your sobriety.

Prevent relapse by coping with stress

For many, relapse is common while recovering from drug addiction. Relapse prevention requires self education on the condition of alcoholism or addiction. You must also know your triggers, like negative emotional states, physical discomfort, social pressure and conflict with others.

You will learn healthy ways of coping with stress and anxiety as it can fuel an addiction if untreated. Healthy coping mechanisms will help prevent a relapse in the future. Even creating a schedule helps reduce a relapse as it keeps your mind occupied with your responsibilities.

Last, but not least, to overcome addiction and prevent a relapse, make sure to never skip your treatment programs, 12 step groups, post-rehab therapy, and other aftercare services. Never let your guard down thinking you are fully recovered as it’s easy to return to old habits and patterns.

If you or a loved one is dealing addiction to drugs or alcohol,
contact Level Up Lake Worth to find the best treatment options for you.

Hotline (855) 459-2880