The Importance of Relapse Prevention in Drug Rehab

by | Mar 19, 2013 | health-and-fitness

When drug addicts go through drug rehab, it takes a lot of time, commitment and hard work. Successful recovery depends greatly on the program the addict chooses, as well as the support and commitment the drug addict possesses during and after treatment. When patients get the proper education on relapse prevention, they are more likely to have a successful recovery that is permanent, rather than lasting a short period of time.

Learning the Warning Signs

The largest hurdle in recognizing a patient is about to relapse is to recognize the warning signs. There are many reasons a drug addict could have a lapse in their abstinence. Understanding these signs before ending treatment gives patients the best chance at continually following their sober patterns. One of the largest symptoms of a relapse is any psychiatric issues that come back. Many patients require a dual diagnosis and treatment when they go through drug rehab because most addictions are a result of a psychiatric illness. When the signs point to a relapse in the psychiatric illness, a relapse could closely follow.

Other signs that a potential relapse might occur are patients discontinuing their medication for no reason, spending time with friends who use drugs, hanging out in the places the drugs were used and skipping therapy or doctor appointments. Some of the physical signs that a relapse is imminent include the inability to focus, becoming easily overwhelmed, the inability to eat or sleep and continual boredom.

Continuing Relapse Prevention

In order to continue the prevention of a relapse, it is imperative patients stay on top of their psychiatric health. This is a lifelong process that includes continually visiting the doctor and therapists for checkups and sessions to ensure the patient is on track. Even if a patient thinks he is fine and does not need help, continuing the support, even if infrequent, is important to continual success.

Patients are given tools to use during their recovery period while in drug rehab. Learning to use those tools and depend on them when patients are out of rehab is the key to success. Relapse prevention depends on the patient being able to follow directions and use the tools that were given to him. If times get too tough, learning to lean on the therapists and other support professionals for help once again is the smartest move a drug addict can take.

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