Addiction Treatment Services
Relapse Prevention Training

At Guardian IOP we offer a variety of effective addiction services to ensure our clients receive a whole-person approach to recovery. One of these services is relapse prevention training, a crucial component of every effective addiction treatment program. Relapse prevention teaches clients how to identify their personal relapse triggers and work through these triggers using a combination of techniques. It is also important for each client to learn what individualized warning signs to look for and how to appropriately handle these warning signs before a relapse occurs. We offer relapse prevention training services in an individual therapeutic setting and in recovery-oriented group workshops. In one-on-one sessions clients dive into their personal triggers and learn what coping mechanisms will serve them best once they transition from treatment back into independent living. In group sessions clients discuss common relapse triggers and offer one another guidance and peer support. To learn more about the relapse prevention training portion of our addiction treatment program, contact us today.

Relapse: Why It Happens & How to Prevent It

A quick look at drug addiction statistics can be disheartening. The relapse rate among addicts after treatment is high. Relapse happens when an addict goes back to drinking or using drugs after a period of sobriety. A scary aspect of addiction is that it is progressive, meaning that a return to using can result in more serious abuse and consequences than the last time.

Why is relapse so common? It is important to understand that, while relapse is not a necessary part of recovery, it is normal — it should not be seen as a failure. Just like any other disease, there can be recurrences. One of the many problems that many addicts face is guilt and shame.  These feelings can keep someone from reaching out and getting help after a relapse.

There are a variety of reasons relapse can happen. Often, people leave treatment with the best of intentions, but, when confronted with old friends or family members who use, they fall back into old patterns of behavior. Uncomfortable feelings of fear, anger, anxiety or depression can also result in relapse if the person has not developed tools to cope with these emotions in a healthy way. Remember, for many addicts, drugs and alcohol are a form of self-medication. If the habit of using is not replaced with other habits, using will continue to feel like the solution to life’s challenges.

Part of recovery is learning how to cope with difficult situations, emotions and conflict without using. Treatment can help by uncovering the issues contributing to addiction, and teaching tools and strategies that can be used in these situations.

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Relapse Prevention Techniques

Because everyone has a different experience with addiction recovery, your personal relapse triggers depend heavily on your unique background and past experiences. At Guardian IOP we work individually with each of our guests, helping them determine which people, places and things might result in uncomfortable emotions and a subsequent return to substance use. During relapse prevention training you work with your individual therapist to identify experiences that could potentially trigger a relapse, and in group sessions, you discuss common relapse triggers with your peers, sharing experiences and offering support and encouragement. One of the main goals of relapse prevention is to reduce the amount of triggers you encounter on a daily basis. This can be achieved by committing to necessary lifestyle changes like avoiding bars and nightclubs, spending time with sober friends and getting enough sleep every night. However, not all triggers can be successfully avoided. This is where the development of coping mechanisms and relapse prevention techniques comes into play.

Relapse Prevention Techniques:

  • Developing healthy coping mechanisms and healthy behavioral patterns – The development of healthy coping mechanisms is essential to avoiding relapse. At Guardian IOP we teach our clients a variety of effective techniques including mindfulness, meditation, reaching out to a member of their support system, distracting themselves from cravings with healthy activities, journaling and more.
  • Building awareness around the potential consequences of a return to substance use – It is not uncommon for people who are about to relapse to minimize the potential consequences of their actions. We teach our clients how to take an honest and critical look at what events will unfold (short and long-term) should they choose to return to substance use.
  • Formulating a plan – It is likely that at one point or another, a person who is in early recovery will find themself in a precarious situation that could potentially threaten their sobriety. We help each of our clients formulate an individualized plan of action should they ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, or should they ever run into a relapse trigger they know they cannot work through without help and support.
  • Building self-esteem and self-confidence – At Guardian IOP we help our clients build self-confidence in a number of ways. Yoga therapy is an excellent way to boost self-esteem, for example; guests learn that they are capable of accomplishing things they never thought they could. By reinforcing positive behavioral choices and empowering guests to make beneficial choices on their own accord, self-esteem develops over time.
  • Honing specific relapse prevention skills like “playing the tape through” – We teach our guests to thoroughly assess the consequences of their actions. If they pick up a drink, they will have to tell everyone in their therapeutic group and begin their sober time over. If they continue drinking, they might very well find themselves exactly where they left off before committing to treatment. This is only one of the time-worn prevention skills we instill.

At The Guardian IOP our main priority is to ensure our clients feel confident in their own abilities to stay sober once they graduate from our intensive outpatient treatment program. To learn more about relapse prevention techniques, contact us today.

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Stages of Relapse

At Guardian IOP we believe relapse can be effectively caught and reversed at any stage of the relapse process, which occurs in three distinct stages — emotional relapse, mental relapse and physical relapse. We provide each of our clients with the tools they need to identify personal relapse warning signs and take appropriate action regardless of how close they actually are to picking up a drink or a drug.

Relapse Prevention training

While relapse may seem like a sudden occurrence that arises without warming, this is rarely the case. There are usually signs that a person is in “relapse mode.” The recovering addict may begin to isolate, and stop doing the activities that helped keep him or her sober. Attitudes and behaviors may begin to change. If a trigger occurs while the addict is in this vulnerable state, relapse may occur. A trigger can be something as simple as a fight with a friend or family member, or it could be running into an old using buddy. In any case, without tools, support and a strategy for these situations, the person is at risk.

The Stages of Relapse:

  • Emotional Relapse – During the initial stage of the relapse process the person is not actually thinking about picking up a drink or a drug. However, their behaviors are uncharacteristic and indicative of a potentially looming relapse. Signs of emotional relapse could look like increased social isolation, skipping out on recovery meetings, sleeping unusual hours, changes to eating patterns, not openly sharing thoughts and feelings with others and focusing more on other people’s problems than on personal problems.
  • Mental Relapse – When a person stays stuck in emotional relapse for a prolonged period of time, they eventually transition into the mental relapse stage. They start to feel uncomfortable in their own skin, they begin lashing out at others and they experience heightened agitation and irritability for no apparent reason. Eventually they begin to think that picking up a drink or a drug might not be such a bad idea. They romanticize their past substance use, minimize past consequences and begin bargaining with themselves. A mental war rages on, and if mental relapse is not successfully caught and reversed in time it will inevitably progress to a physical relapse.
  • Physical Relapse – During this stage of the relapse process the person physically picks up a drink or a drug. Even when a physical relapse occurs the person has the ability to get back on the wagon within several hours (or days) if they employ the relapse prevention techniques they learned in our intensive outpatient treatment program.

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Comprehensive Addiction Recovery

At Guardian IOP we offer a number of evidence-based outpatient treatment services focused on providing our guests with the tools, coping mechanisms and life skills they need to maintain solid and fulfilling sobriety. In addition to relapse prevention training we offer:

Our program of intensive outpatient treatment is multi-faceted and aims to take a whole-person approach to addiction treatment. We combine proven behavioral therapies with a range of evidence-based holistic modalities. To learn more about our integrated recovery program, contact us today.

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    A Simple & Straightforward Admissions Process

    When you or your loved one is ready for help, Guardian IOP is available to help you every step of the way. Our intake process is simple and straightforward and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. During our initial phone call we will provide a complimentary assessment which helps our clinical team determine which treatment options are going to be the most beneficial for your unique case. Once the assessment is complete we provide a free, no obligation insurance benefit check and help coordinate local travel to our facility. All you or your loved one has to do is ask for help. We will take care of the rest. For more information on our relapse prevention training services or to learn more about our recovery program as a whole, contact us today.