Relapse Prevention Groups in Treatment

Relapse Prevention Groups in Treatment

How Relapse Prevention Groups in Treatment Can Prepare for Life after Recovery

The decision to get clean and sober was not an easy one. In some ways, severing ties with your drug of choice is akin to breaking up with a lover. Even if that lover is not good for you and your relationship is toxic, it is still hard to walk away. Deep-seated past emotional hurts can lay the foundation for coupling up in a dysfunctional romance, as well as finding oneself seriously addicted to a substance that can actually kill you. For this reason, detangling yourself from the grip of a substance addiction is a difficult endeavor that demands a proactive effort if one is to be successful in recovery.

No matter how pumped you are to start life over clean and sober that dreaded “R” word dangles there like low-hanging fruit….Relapse. While it’s true that 50-90% of recovering addicts will likely relapse within a year, that doesn’t have to be your fate. There are numerous actions one can take to anticipate the triggers and emotional baggage that could lead to a relapse, and a relapse prevention group is a great place to start the offensive planning.

What are Relapse Prevention Groups in Treatment?

Relapse Prevention Therapy falls under the umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that focuses on not only identifying the possible triggers and situations that could trip up your recovery, but also teach new, healthy responses to them through the group exercises. By creating a relapse prevention plan in the early days of recovery—giving voice to the potential culprits that can undermine sobriety and learning techniques to dodge them—the chances of relapse will be dramatically reduced.

In a relapse prevention group a therapist will help each member identify certain thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that you associate with using. Just becoming aware of these triggers that, in the past, were followed by cravings and drug or alcohol use will help the newly recovering individual see them from a sober perspective and make a plan to respond differently to them moving forward.

Making an action plan to implement when the warning signs of impending relapse occur is learned in the relapse prevention group’s warning sign management exercise. Each group member will share their own personal warning signs, and how you plan to manage them. The group assists in helping each other with strategies, and challenge each other with “what if?” types of scenarios to help fellow members create a sound strategy for relapse prevention. All of the techniques taught in the relapse prevention group will help prepare you for life after rehab.

Other Relapse Prevention Tools

Relapses after recovery usually follow a predictable pattern. There is an emotional relapse phase where signs of anxiety and anger along with isolating behavior and skipping meetings can begin the process toward relapse. The mental relapse phase is characterized by fantasizing about using, hanging out with friends who use, lying, and beginning to plan a relapse around people’s schedules. Finally, the physical relapse occurs. It is during the first two phases that an impending relapse can be thwarted.

The acronym BHALT is important to preventing relapse, as it identifies the emotions that may promote relapse. BHALT stands for bored, hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. In relapse prevention group coping techniques are taught to help you pay attention to these emotions and how to cope with them to prevent a relapse.

Other relapse prevention tools are eating a healthy diet, getting quality sleep and establishing regular sleep hours, and getting exercise. In addition, relaxation techniques are taught to help calm the mind and reduce the anxiety associated with the early days of sobriety. Deep breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, journaling, and massage are all excellent relaxation tools.

Ranch Creek Recovery Relapse Prevention Groups in Treatment

Ranch Creek Recovery is a private drug and alcohol rehabilitation program located in the beautiful hills of Temecula, California. Their relapse prevention group is one of the many excellent features offered at this non 12-step recovery facility. With a focus on holistic and experiential healing, the compassionate clinicians at RCR walk the walk with the clients, offering a serene therapeutic approach to addiction recovery. For more information, please call (877) 997-8931 today.

Getting Familiar with the Language of Addiction Treatment

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Seeking drug addiction treatment means confronting a whole new world of terminology. Learning the language of treatment and recovery will help you better understand the process and put you in control. Here are some of the terms you are likely to encounter during addiction treatment:

Addiction
The World Health Organization defines addiction as the repeated use of an intoxicating substance and the subsequent dependence on that substance. People with addictions are called addicts. Addicts will go to great lengths to find their substance of choice and are often unable to stop using on their own.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal occurs when an addict stops using a substance after a long term of regular use. During addiction treatment, a former user experiences intense cravings for the substance. Withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and psychological. Physical withdrawal symptoms typically subside after the body adjusts to not having the drug or alcohol, while psychological withdrawal can linger longer.

Relapse
If an addict returns to drug or alcohol abuse during or after an addiction treatment program, he is said to have relapsed. With the right treatment and support network, a former addict can avoid relapse and stay drug free.

Trigger
Triggers refer to any kind of stimulation that sparks an addict’s desire to use drugs or alcohol. Triggers can cause relapses. Every addict has his own unique set of triggers, though some of the most common include stress, visiting places where drugs and alcohol are available, or being around friends who are addicts.

Recovery
Recovery is the stage that comes after drug addiction treatment. During recovery, treated addicts work to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. Recovery lasts for the rest of the former addict’s life.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we will help you understand all aspects of your drug addiction treatment and recovery. At our residential treatment center, located in San Diego, we rely on holistic treatments and amino acid therapies to help you beat your addiction for good. Are you ready to get help for yourself or a loved one? Call our drug addiction treatment center today at (951) 795-4326.

Drug Abuse, Neurotransmitters, and the Loss of Happiness

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Why is it so difficult to give up drugs, even when using them is destroying your relationships, career, health, and finances? Many people dealing with addiction blame themselves for lacking willpower, but the answer is much more complex than that. Drugs actually alter the way the brain works, making addiction very powerful. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we help battle this problem with amino acid therapy and other elements of drug addiction treatment. Here are the facts about drug abuse and the neurotransmitter alterations that encourage addiction:

What Are Neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitters are chemicals in your brain that transmit messages from your neurons to other cells. Many neurotransmitters are involved in the regulation of mood and behavior. Dopamine is associated with pleasure, rewards, and energy; serotonin regulates mood and impulse behavior; and norepinephrine is involved with excitement and pleasure. There are many other such neurotransmitters that are directly responsible for how you feel and your behavior. Changes in your brain’s delicate balance of neurotransmitters can have far-reaching effects, from depression to impulsive behavior and addiction.

How Are Neurotransmitters and Drugs Linked?
The high associated with most drugs is derived from an alteration of neurotransmitters. Different drugs affect different neurotransmitters, often sparking a feeling of euphoria that the user craves again and again. The relationship becomes more complicated with repeated drug use. Take dopamine for example; using drugs can cause an increase in dopamine levels, which boosts the user’s mood. However, with repeated use, your brain will respond by making less dopamine when the drug isn’t being used, which means sober periods are marked by depression. Eventually, the brain stops making dopamine unless the drug enters the system. The user is now physically dependent on the drug.

These kinds of dependencies can be overcome in drug addiction treatment with the help of amino acid therapy. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we rely on a range of holistic treatments to restore balance for the patients at our residential drug treatment center in San Diego. Break free from your addiction and call our drug treatment facility today at (951) 795-4326.