Recovering addicts often expect the gains made in detox to last forever. Many are surprised to learn that the improvements of detox are only temporary, and making them last requires committing to intensive treatment that is psychological in nature, rather than physical. It is called relapse prevention addiction treatment, and it is integral to rehab success. At scientifically designed rehab programs such as the ones offered at our center for relapse prevention in Georgetown, patients learn how important following drug detox in Georgetown with relapse prevention is.
A relapse is a reappearance of addictive behavior after a period of sobriety. Relapses are considered a common, but avoidable part of courses of treatment for addiction. The appearance of relapse does not necessarily imply failure of treatment; rather, it implies the necessity of work at programs for relapse prevention.
Addictive substances create changes to the way the brain functions. Often, these changes are characterized as "damage" or as "injuries."
These changes affect the way the mind perceives drugs. The mind begins to lose the ability to see the harm possible in drug use. These changes happen at a primal, instinctual level, making them impossible to escape.
Not only do recovering addicts need to guard against the effortless slide into addictive behavior that these changes produce even years or decades after quitting, they need to guard against various triggers, as well -- common environmental cues, exposure to which tends to cause the mind to be powerfully reminded of drugs.
Addiction relapse prevention requires therapy and behavioral change. Learning about the science of addiction and relapse is one of the most basic steps that one can take. Merely becoming aware of ways in which addiction works can help the addict recognize dangerous behaviors, and tendencies to slide back into addictive behavior, when they occur.
The relapse timeline is an example. Relapses tend to follow a specific event sequence. The mind begins to experience mood instabilities, and, then, to discover a fondness for drug-related daydreams over a period of several days.
Simply learning about these stages can help the addict re-double therapeutic efforts well in time, and stop a slide. Working with a cognitive-behavioral therapist and other forms of therapeutic training and intervention can help, as well.
CBT is one of the treatment programs in Georgetown that helps patients change the way their thoughts and behaviors operate. Such therapy tends to be extremely helpful with a number of difficult issues, including insomnia and anxiety. Addiction is one of the most widely seen applications.
CBT can help in the fight against relapse in a number of ways. In behavioral training, it can help the addict pre-empt relapse by avoiding triggers -- situations that the mind is likely to associate with a desire for drug use. Learning ways to anticipate and avoid situations that may be stressful or emotional, can help prevent 60% of trigger-induced relapses. Through painstaking therapy, cognitive behavioral therapists may also uncover specific situations that may act as triggers in individual patients.
Cognitive training can take a great deal of work, but can help patients not only avoid relapse, but also learn important psychological skills. In cognitive training, patients work to recognize cognitive distortions that they may suffer from, and to correct them. These may be compulsive thought patterns that needlessly cause guilt or poor self-image, among other challenges.
Patients are taught to analyze these thought patterns and to gain control over them. Once these become controllable, they are no longer able to cause excessive emotional pain, and drive patients to addictive behavior.
An important therapeutic approach, motivational interviewing is offered to patients who have trouble finding the motivation necessary to engage in their treatment. Therapists conduct extensive interviews, and find clever ways to help patients channel existing motivation in various areas, to improvement at addiction.
Addiction causes permanent changes to the way the brain works, and it's important to learn new ways to deal with the brain to make sure that it is amenable to control. Successful escape from addiction isn't measured in months; it's measured years or decades. People commonly relapse at one year, or five years.
It's even been known to happen at 15 years. At our center for relapse prevention in Georgetown, the effort is lifelong. It's the reason our patients do as well as they do. Call us today at (512) 521-3895 to learn more.