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Relapse Prevention Therapy

relapse prevention therapy

An addiction therapy program is typically an essential part of an effective substance treatment plan. Programs of this type serve a variety of purposes. One primary purpose is to help you avoid a relapse during and after treatment. Relapse prevention therapy enables you to understand what tends to trigger drinking or drug use. It also allows you to learn how to cope with those triggers and maintain your sobriety. One of the main treatment options used to meet these goals is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT.

Substance Relapse and Relapse Triggers

As a rule, a substance relapse doesn’t happen abruptly. Instead, it occurs over time in stages. First, the person experiences an emotional relapse. No conscious thoughts of drinking or taking drugs are present at this stage. However, they unconsciously start behaving in ways that make relapse more probable.

Next comes a mental relapse. At this stage, the person starts actively considering substance use. But their thoughts about drinking or taking drugs do not go uncontested. Sometimes, they see this kind of activity in a positive light. At other times, they continue to view it negatively. Actual drug or alcohol use only occurs in the final, physical stage of relapse.

Certain thoughts, emotional states, places, and situations can increase your chances of relapsing. These things are known collectively as relapse triggers. Everyone in recovery is potentially susceptible to such triggers to one extent or another. However, your specific relapse triggers may differ from someone else’s. The most common examples include:

  • Stressful experiences or situations
  • Negative or down emotional states
  • Going to places where you drank or used drugs in the past
  • Being around people you drank or used drugs with in the past
  • Seeing someone else drink or take drugs

As strange as it may sound, long-term success in recovery can also create a relapse risk. This happens when you consider the work of recovery to be done and start to relax your guard.

Using CBT as a Relapse Prevention Therapy

Relapse prevention therapy can increase the durability of your long-term substance abstinence. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is well-suited for this task. In CBT, you learn how to:

  • Identify your specific relapse triggers
  • Avoid those triggers whenever it’s practical to do so
  • Cope with triggers you cannot avoid
  • Recognize the early indicators of relapse in progress
  • Nurture thoughts, emotional reactions, and behaviors that support your sobriety

A number of different CBT treatment strategies can help you achieve these goals. Your therapist will pick a strategy that fits your particular situation.

Other Forms of Sober Living Support

You may also need other forms of help to support your goal of sober living. For example, many people in substance recovery are affected by additional mental health issues. If this is true for you, you need treatment for these issues, as well as for drug or alcohol addiction. Unless you receive this treatment, your risks for relapse can increase.

Fortunately, CBT can also help you recover from co-occurring mental illness. In addition, your treatment plan may include other forms of therapy. It may also include medication.

Turn to Northpoint Colorado for Relapse Prevention Therapy in Loveland, CO

For high-quality relapse prevention therapy in Loveland, CO, count on the professionals at Northpoint Colorado. We incorporate relapse prevention into every aspect of your recovery plan. We also offer targeted help in the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy and other therapeutic programs. The treatment we provide not only addresses the impact of addiction. It also addresses the effects of any other mental illness.

To learn more about relapse prevention at Northpoint Colorado, call us today at 970.579.4569. You can also contact us through our online information form. We’re standing by to support your long-term recovery efforts.