Relapse Prevention in Recovery

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Relapse prevention (RP) is a cognitive-behavioral approach to relapse with the goal of identifying and preventing high-risk situations such as substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive behavior, sexual offending, obesity, and depression.[1] It is an important component in the treatment process for alcoholism, or alcohol dependence.[2][3](Wikipedia)

Hi it's Dermot again. If you read my last blog from 8th May, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a "Recovery from Addiction Series", If not read on:
 

Relapse Prevention

LOOK AT WHAT IS RELAPSE & RELAPSE PREVENTION
-Lapse
-Prolapse
-Relapse
-Relapse Prevention
-Relapse Management

LAPSE

-A Brief Slip
-Backslide in Motivation – “loss of interest in recovery, disheartened, complacent”
-One Off Situation, Initially
-Happens at a Subconscious Level on many occasions & is NOT premeditated or planned.

RELAPSE

-A Reinstatement of former unhealthy behaviours: “e.g. Staying in bed all day, poor self care, isolation”
-A collapse in motivation: “e.g. Not wanting to attend aftercare or meetings”
-Return to active addiction: “e.g. drinking, using or gambling again”
-A Premeditated Process: e.g.”Once the negative signs are noticed and action taken, a relapse
can be stopped”

RELAPSE PREVENTION

-A Therapeutic Process for interupting the Behaviours, Beliefs & Negative Self Talk, that lead to a resumption of prior negative patterns.
-Daily maintenance of a Balanced Lifestyle: “e.g. Regular eating pattern, good daily routine, a balance in work, rest & play”
-Open & Honest Talk.

RELAPSE MANAGEMENT

-The actions used to work against the worsening of a Relapse and/or re-establish sobriety: “e.g. relapse groups, 1-1’s, post relapse groups(Aftercare)”.
-Accept Relapse as a part of Recovery – A Learning Experience/ NOT a Failure!!: “e.g. If you learn from it & get through it, it will strengthen your self efficacy”.

RELAPSE CAN HAPPEN AT ANYTIME

-Relapse is part of recovery and most people in recovery will or have had a relapse at least once.
-Although traditionaly talking about relapse is frowned upon, it is NOT Taboo.
-It is a part of the recovery process & needs to be talked about without the fear of it happening again by doing so.

TURN RELAPSE INTO PRO-LAPSE

-Do NOT beat yourself up or Give up.
-Talk about the risks to you of a possible lapse, when you are craving or thinking about a future lapse, with family,AA, support groups e.t.c.
-If at first you don't succeed, Try & Try Again.
-Learn from your mistakes & turn your relapse into a Pro-lapse.

AWARENESS

-Every Lapse & Relapse begins with a choice (Thought).
-That choice may be conscious or subconscious.
-Decisions we make NOW, effect what we do next.
-Relapse is a process, Examine It!
-Focus NOT on the cause & effect, but reason for continuing.
-Every Lapse results in a negative emotional response: (Guilt, Shame e.t.c)
-You can turn it Positive: “I Need To Stop NOW and get Support”
-Or it can stay Negative: “I was stupid to even THINK I could stop in the first place” “This proves that I am useless & cant do anything right, so I might as well continue…”

REFRAMING

-Advance preparation can turn a lapse into a Prolapse.
-By being prepared for the possibity of a lapse and have a "plan of action" as what to do if it happens.
-Although no one consciously wants to relapse, being prepared for the possibility is better than not: “e.g. Fire Drills”

CBT MODEL

-Thoughts, feelings, behaviours, physical sensations & situations, are ALL linked.
-We all have control over our thoughts, thus our awareness.
-If you find you are feelind bad/ sad – Think Happy, Let Go of the bad feeling.
-If you're aware that you have slipped into old behaviours - Change Them.
-If  you have a physical craving- Remind yourself that it will pass.
-If you are in a dangerous situation- Move or get away.

AMBIVALENCE

-Sitting on the fence.
-Every day we are ambivalent on many decisions we make.
-This includes our Addiction and on going recovery.
-It's very important to: "play the tape till the end".
-Write up both Pros & Cons of both lapsing or not, NOW & in the future.

My Next Blog is Self Esteem
 

The articles in "Recovery from Addiction" Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the blue box below.

 
Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me, but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.

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