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Relapse Prevention in Arizona
drug abuse therapy

Many addiction specialists consider relapse to be an inevitable part of drug and alcohol treatment that all addicts will encounter once they re-enter their normal lives. According to various sources, relapse rates are between 40 and 50 percent for addicts that have recently completed inpatient treatment, and the relapse rate for alcoholics is estimated to be as high as 90 percent in some cases. An eight-year study carried out by Chestnut Health Systems found that the relapse rate falls significantly for those that maintain their sobriety for at least one year after treatment. People that manage to stay sober for five years cut their relapse rate to just 15 percent. The study highlights the importance of relapse prevention in Arizona that provides ongoing support to those in recovery to help them avoid relapse and improve their chances of staying sober for life.

What Is Relapse Prevention?

Relapse prevention in Arizona can take many different forms, and what works for one person may not be as effective for the next. The most popular form of relapse prevention in Arizona is ongoing counseling to help addicts talk through any challenges they are facing in their recovery such as strong cravings, emotional stress or even boredom that is causing them to think about using. Recovering addicts may choose to attend local support groups such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous or attend therapy sessions at a drug rehabilitation center. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga and meditation have also been found to reduce drug cravings and help addicts find healthy outlets for any stress or anxiety they may experience.

Potential Relapse Triggers

A stressful event or ongoing problem can sometimes trigger a relapse, so it is important for addicts to be aware of potential triggers they may come across in their everyday lives.

  • Bereavement – The death of a friend or family member is an emotionally distressing time that can easily lead to relapse. Addicts may try to block out the pain of losing someone through heavy drinking or drug use.
  • Loss of employment – Losing a job can quickly lead to financial difficulties which puts a large amount of pressure on those that have dependents such as young children. Unemployment can also lead to boredom which is a well-known trigger for relapse.
  • Peer pressure – Friends or family members who use alcohol or drugs are also potential triggers that can be hard to resist for someone in recovery. Hanging around places associated with alcohol or drug use can also be extremely tempting.
  • Health Problems – Those living with health problems such as chronic pain or reduced mobility often turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of escape. Mental illness such as schizophrenia and depression can also be potential triggers for drug use.

The Three Stages of Relapse

Relapse can be broken down into three distinct stages:

  • Emotional – Emotional relapse occurs before the person even thinks about using addictive substances. The person may feel overwhelmed by stress, become emotional and have a negative outlook on life in general. He or she may also neglect personal hygiene and proper eating habits.
  • Mental – Mental relapse starts when the person begins fantasizing about using drugs or alcohol. They may seek out old friends that still use or visit bars and old hang outs.
  • Physical – Physical relapse happens when the person gives into temptation and begins abusing addictive substances.

It is important to note that a full relapse is defined by a person resuming heavy use of addictive substances and not just an isolated incident.

If you have recently completed a drug or alcohol treatment program and wish to learn more about relapse prevention in Arizona, contact an addiction specialist for more information. Local support groups are also a good source of information and are happy to offer support and guidance to those in recovery.