Pathways Wellness

How Relapse Prevention Aids Long-Lasting Recovery

How Relapse Prevention Aids Long-Lasting Recovery
Raul Haro
August 29, 2023
Relapse prevention is an important part of addiction treatment at Pathways Wellness Center. The goal of relapse prevention is to help clients stay in recovery after treatment has been completed. Regardless of the length of treatment or type of addiction being treated, relapse prevention is a vital part of recovery.  It can be tempting to […]
CALL (949) 383-6197
How Relapse Prevention Aids Long-Lasting Recovery

Relapse prevention is an important part of addiction treatment at Pathways Wellness Center. The goal of relapse prevention is to help clients stay in recovery after treatment has been completed. Regardless of the length of treatment or type of addiction being treated, relapse prevention is a vital part of recovery. 

It can be tempting to want to go it alone after treatment. After all the work someone puts into treatment, it's easy to feel confident that you can face any problem head-on without any help. However, that's not how life works; it's challenging and can wear even the strongest of people down. It's especially true when someone has recovered from an addiction. There are triggers everywhere that can cause someone to relapse, no matter how prepared they feel. A relapse prevention program can help lessen the chance of such a situation and allow someone to sustain recovery.

What Exactly Is a Relapse?

A relapse is when someone begins to use a drug or substance again after being treated for addiction. Several things can trigger someone to have a relapse. Stress, problems with work and family, and peer pressure are some of the most common reasons for relapse. Sometimes life can become too much for one person to handle alone. They may also struggle with cravings. Cravings are the urge to use substances again and can be a lifelong struggle for some people.

Relapses can and do happen, and it doesn't make someone a bad person. It also doesn't make someone a bad person for struggling after treatment is completed. We are all human, and we make mistakes, stumble, and have difficulties in life. Knowing what to do next is what's important. A relapse prevention program helps by walking clients through the worst-case scenarios. There, they can practice what to do next in a safe and supportive environment.

What Is Learned in a Relapse Prevention Program?

In Pathways Wellness Center, every client will take a relapse prevention program as part of their addiction treatment. It can be considered a type of therapy to some, as it helps clients build important skills needed to navigate life as a sober person. Think of it as a hybrid between classroom and group therapy. A licensed mental health care professional will lead the group through exercises designed to not only educate but put said exercises into practice.

Much of relapse prevention is teaching the client how to identify and navigate a potentially triggering situation. For example, let's say a client is in treatment for an alcohol addiction. What should they do if friends pressure them to go to a bar and have just one little drink? It's a difficult situation, especially if these friends are pushy and don't want to take no for an answer. In relapse prevention, the client will learn how to say no and remove themselves from the situation. They will learn that these aren't real friends, as a true friend would never pressure someone into a relapse. 

When in relapse prevention, clients will also learn how to navigate hard situations that may happen in their lives. In these situations, many people might be tempted to use substances again to cope. This is done by teaching skills such as practicing preventative mental health care. Preventative mental health care is when someone sees a mental health care professional for regular “checkups.” It's much like someone seeing a doctor for a physical and is just as important.

Another skill learned is how to build a healthy support network of fellow sober peers. Having a group of people who understand what you are going through helps you realize that they are not alone. A sober support network can also give encouragement when times are hard. It can also help someone discover how joyful life can be while sober. It's common for support networks to engage in exciting hobbies and adventures, all while being sober.

How Relapse Prevention Keeps People in Recovery

With relapse prevention, a client can be confident that they can avoid common relapse triggers. By practicing how to navigate these triggers, a client doesn't have to fear a relapse so much. When a client graduates from Pathways Wellness Center, they should have already developed several life skills. One is to create a mental health crisis plan. This helps the client stick to a plan during the worst-case scenario. It's like making a plan in case of a fire or natural disaster. Having a plan ready to go helps clients feel confident in case they are in trouble.

With relapse prevention comes learning how to communicate effectively. This allows clients to express their needs to not only loved ones but to mental health care professionals. They also learn how to tell who is a true friend and build strong support networks as a result. This alone can help people stay in recovery, and it's learned from relapse prevention.

Perhaps the most important skill of all is learning that it's okay to ask for help again. At Pathways Wellness Center, it doesn't matter if someone has just finished their treatment or not. Nobody would ever be judged or belittled for experiencing a relapse. They happen, and it doesn't make someone a bad person because of it. It only means that someone needs extra help. Learning to get help when needed is an essential part of recovery, one that Pathways Wellness Center is happy to encourage. 

When someone finishes addiction treatment, they aren't suddenly left to fend for themselves. On the contrary, support is always available through Pathways Wellness Center in Glendora, California. We set our clients up for success by utilizing a relapse prevention program. This program helps our clients recognize common situations that may threaten their recovery and navigate them in a healthy, safe way. When enrolling in Pathways, clients can expect to have all their bases covered both during and after treatment. That is because everyone, including yourself and those you love, is worthy of compassionate and quality addiction treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don't delay. Call us today at (888) 771-0966.

About the Author

Raul Haro
Raul Haro is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with sixteen years of experience working in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. As an LMFT, He has trained in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR. Raul has furthered his training in the drug and alcohol field by obtaining a Masters in Drug and Alcohol Counseling through CCAPP. Raul has a background in nursing where he has been an LVN for over 25 years. Recently, he has returned to school to complete a degree in Registered Nursing. Future plans are for Raul are to eventually complete a degree as a Nurse Practitioner combining his therapy practice with his nursing skills.

Contact Us

Blog CTA - form