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Relapse Prevention

Inpatient and outpatient rehab centers in Wyoming are excellent at getting people with drug addiction, or problems with alcohol, on the path to recovery. When people with addiction problems sign up for a rehab program, the first ordeal they face is getting clean, which often means going through withdrawal. Once they are clean, they will want to stay that way, so a major focus of addiction treatment in Wyoming is relapse prevention.

Relapse prevention is part of any treatment program and starts early. At the outset, when addicts first quit, they will have to survive the withdrawal process without relapsing. Rehab centers in Wyoming can help people get through this challenging phase by administering medications that will reduce cravings and counteract the symptoms of withdrawal. However, when people refer to relapse prevention, they are most often talking about preventing relapse quite some time after addicts have quit.

Does This Type of Program Really Work?

Addiction is a chronic and essentially incurable condition, which means that addicts are always going to feel the urge to take drugs or drink after they have gotten clean and sober. These urges are unavoidable, and addicts must be prepared to deal with them when they crop up. They tend to be strongest in the immediate aftermath of quitting. Gradually, the frequency of their occurrence and the intensity of the urges will diminish. The longer addicts remain clean and sober, the less likely they are to relapse.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has published figures that show relapse rates can be between 40 and 60 percent. It also reveals that people who have completed rehab therapy are less likely to relapse. Even when they do, they are abstinent for up to 40 percent longer than those who have not taken part in any therapeutic treatment.

What do Relapse Prevention Programs Do?

They are focused on teaching addicts how to cope with cravings. During therapy, addicts will be helped to find out why they took drugs or alcohol, and to understand triggers that may make them want to take drugs or alcohol again.

Stress is a pretty obvious trigger, but there are many others that it may be more difficult to recognize without therapy. These may include certain people, places, objects, and moods. Some of these triggers will be avoidable, while others cannot be avoided. Therefore, behavioral therapy will be offered to try to get addicts to respond differently when they encounter any of the unavoidable triggers.

Due to the nature of addiction, many addicts will have become totally absorbed in feeding their habit to the exclusion of almost anything else. They may have lost their jobs, and have shunned normal social contact. They may have given up partaking in things they once enjoyed. This could include simple pleasures like reading or watching movies.

During therapy, they will be encouraged to rediscover things that stimulated them in the past, or to discover new healthy activities that take their minds off drugs or alcohol. There are many forms of therapy that can help in staving off urges to relapse. These include:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy

Additionally, addicts will be strongly encouraged to seek out and join local recovery groups.

Family Therapy

It is important for recovering addicts to develop a support structure. Joining recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or SMART is very helpful. Ideally, their families should also get involved. Family therapy sessions can help by educating relatives of addicts on the nature of addiction, and giving them a deeper understanding of the addict’s problems. Families can also learn how best to support addicts during times of crisis.

Relapse prevention is crucial to getting on the path to long-term recovery. Contact an addiction specialist today to learn more and find out which course of treatment is right for you.