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Relapse Prevention Programs

Relapse is a genuine threat for many in recovery. The Summit Wellness Group's relapse prevention program can offer significant support. One-on-one planning, coping skills, and groups help clients avoid relapse.

Addiction is a lifelong battle. Many clients will struggle with triggers and relapse, even after years of sobriety. Relapse prevention programs can help lift clients during challenging times.

In this article

What is Relapse Prevention?

Relapse prevention equips clients with healthy habits and coping mechanisms to manage cravings. They use a combination of CBT, mind-body relaxation, community outreach, and 12-step groups. Participating in these groups can keep clients on track. It reminds them of their recovery goals when maintaining sobriety becomes difficult.

Understanding Drug Relapse in Atlanta, GA

Relapse doesn’t stop with going back to abusing substances. Many individuals also end up in the legal system from drug-related crimes or die because of their actions to acquire substances.  

The National Institute for Drug Abuse explains that the state has over 250 substance abuse disorder (SUD) recovery homes. However, drug relapse remains a state public health concern.

In the late 1990s, the state began offering Medicaid reimbursement for individuals who need assistance paying for relapse prevention programs.  

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emory University partnered with Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to create the Addiction Alliance of Georgia. The goal is to get resources and education about addiction relapse prevention to as many residents as possible who need it.

In 2020, Georgia’s healthcare system witnessed an 18% increase in people needing addiction treatment. Many had attempted programs previously that did not lead to long-term recovery. 

The Importance of Relapse Prevention

Treatment only lasts so long, especially when a client’s addiction spans several years before treatment. These groups give clients an extended form of care and support for maintaining the sobriety they gained while in a shorter-term program. 

These continuing treatment plans provide support for individuals experiencing similar stages of recovery. This is important when the threat of relapse is present, and clients are unsure of what to do. When someone struggles due to stress or triggers, having a support system can be one of the most critical factors in determining whether they relapse. These groups are vital in keeping clients on track during the most challenging times.

The Stages of Drug Relapse

Relapse is a gradual process. This means that clients can identify threats of relapse before they drink or use drugs again. 

Relapse can be broken down into three stages: 

  • Emotional Relapse: Though clients are not actively considering using, their behaviors show they may be headed toward relapse. These include isolation, avoiding meetings, poor eating and sleeping habits, and declining self-care. Clients seeking help during this stage have a high chance of preventing relapse. They can then continue on their recovery journey.
  • Mental Relapse: Clients may struggle with wanting to use but not wanting to relapse into the addiction they worked so hard to escape. Mental relapse can include increased cravings, reminiscing, and lying. Clients may look for opportunities to regress and make a plan to do so. It can be difficult, but not impossible, for clients to seek help and avoid relapse during this stage.
  • Physical Relapse: When clients physically relapse, they use drugs or alcohol again.

Relapse prevention techniques help clients identify opportunities before physical relapse. Once identified, clients can use coping skills and other methods to escape these situations and seek help. Recognizing emotional and mental relapses can help clients avoid physical relapses.

Relapse Prevention

Common Relapse Triggers

Some of the most common reasons for relapse are:

  • Stress, increased anxiety, or other negative emotions
  • Boredom
  • Financial stress
  • Conflict with relationships
  • Specific people, places, sights, or smells
  • Anger
  • Old habits
  • Unrealistic expectations of recovery
  • Unresolved mental health conditions
  • Loss of motivation

Benefits of a Relapse Prevention Program

These groups benefit clients, primarily when utilized well after their program has ended. The following benefits work together to give the best possible chance of continued success. 

Often, clients who are struggling with addiction feel isolated and alone. This can feed their addiction and cause a relapse. Forming meaningful connections during these groups can provide a leg up in remaining sober and avoiding relapse.

  • Clients can identify early warning signs of relapse through education and skill development. They can use the coping mechanisms they learned in the group to prevent relapse.
  • Surrounding yourself with people who hold you accountable is vital. They’ll help you see when certain behaviors may be causing you to move toward relapse.
  • Relapse prevention groups offer a means of aftercare to clients. They provide the necessary structure once treatment programs end.
  • Relapse prevention groups are an excellent opportunity for clients to discuss specific struggles they may be facing. The support and ideas offered by other members can help clients develop problem-solving skills.
  • Clients can also use these groups to help build coping skills, healthy habits, and life skills to make remaining sober much more manageable. If someone struggling sees their group members participating in specific activities or habits that are working, they are likely to begin those activities in hopes that they will work for them.

Relapse Prevention Builds Stronger Communities

Relapse prevention programs and strategies are designed to help individuals who have previously struggled with addictive behaviors maintain their recovery and avoid a return to substance abuse or other destructive behaviors. 

The following groups typically benefit from relapse prevention efforts:

  • Individuals in Recovery: First and foremost, individuals in recovery are the immediate group who should be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to prevent a return to substance abuse or addictive behaviors. By learning effective coping strategies, identifying triggers, and developing healthy habits, individuals in recovery can enhance their chances of long-term success and improved quality of life.
  • Families and Loved Ones: Addiction doesn’t stop with the person struggling with substance abuse. It can extend to family and friends. By educating others about relapse prevention, they can be sensitive to the needs of those in recovery. This can include helping to avoid triggers, understanding the warning signs of relapse, and participating in family programs and group therapy.
  • Healthcare Professionals and Drug Rehab Facilities: By implementing evidence-based relapse prevention strategies, professionals can help their patients achieve better treatment outcomes, reduce the frequency and severity of relapses, and minimize the need for repeated treatment episodes.
  • Communities around Georgia: Relapse prevention programs have broader societal benefits. These programs reduce addiction’s social and economic costs by helping individuals maintain their sobriety and avoid relapse. The hindrance to healthcare, criminal justice, and social services decreases. 

When do we Recommend Relapse Prevention?

Relapse prevention groups and plans are critical steps in the recovery process for all clients. But some benefit more than others. 

  • Clients who have relapsed before can benefit from the continued structure that these programs provide.
  • Relapse prevention helps those who need communal support. Clients are surrounded by individuals dealing with similar situations.
  • These groups can be beneficial for clients who struggle with identifying relapse triggers.

Relapse prevention helps clients maintain their hard-earned sobriety. Clients can participate in as many or as few groups as they need. This allows them to continue their treatment in a way that fits their schedule.

Why Choose The Summit Wellness Group for Relapse Prevention

The Summit Wellness Group provides clients with various relapse prevention options at our Roswell and Atlanta rehab centers. These plans are designed to meet specific needs and recovery goals. 

We use relapse prevention groups in our weekly partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. This can prepare our clients for life after treatment and reinforce those coping skills and healthy habits while they are still in our care. 

Relapse prevention is also an essential part of our aftercare planning and treatment. Our clients can continue meeting with their therapist as long as they want. They can also continue to participate in various relapse prevention and aftercare groups. These are helpful for clients who need continued peer support and wish to remain connected with the people they journeyed through recovery with.

Start Your Relapse Prevention Program Now

We’d love the opportunity to help you during this overwhelming and challenging process. Our sincere passion is assisting people to remain in recovery to live whole, meaningful, and healthy lives. Call us 24/7 at 770-299-1677, and a member of our admissions team will contact you.

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We’d love the opportunity to help you during this overwhelming and difficult process. Our sincere passion is helping people recover so that they can live full, meaningful, and healthy lives.

Call us 24/7 at 770-299-1677 or fill out our contact form and a member of our admissions team will contact you shortly.