Drug and Alcohol Relapse and Recovery

Size Medium Wp Image 2207 AlignrightMany mental health providers and patients see relapse as an unfortunate but unavoidable aspect of addiction treatment. Patients with substance use disorders have a high incidence of relapse events. Being informed and prepared for the possibility of relapse should be part of every recovery or relapse prevention program. Relapse can not only slow a patient’s recovery, but it may also result in an overdose. Fortunately, at Northpoint Seattle, we realize that having a good relapse prevention strategy is necessary for long-term recovery.

How Does Having a Plan Help in Staying Sober?

Relapse doesn’t happen only when using a substance like alcohol or drugs again. A setback like this happens in stages, and its beginning is often overlooked because there’s no substance use yet. Before the point of substance abuse, a relapsing patient will go through three stages:

  • Emotional relapse is the first stage, characterized by a patient no longer following their own recovery rules. Some symptoms to look out for include deprioritizing mental and physical self-care, erratic eating and sleeping, isolating oneself or being distant to support systems, repressing emotions, and showing signs of anxiety and depression.
  • Mental relapse: At this stage, the patient struggles as they may feel the desire to remain sober while also feeling the urge to use a substance. Symptoms of this stage include attempting to bargain with oneself – saying statements like “I’ll do it just one last time, and then I’ll be sober forever!” – minimizing or romanticizing the impact of one’s past substance use, lying to people in one’s support systems, and seeking out a reason to relapse.
  • Physical relapse: This stage is characterized by what people typically think of when they hear “relapse.” If the bargaining in the earlier stage works on the patient, they will use a substance again but with the caveat of it being “just once.” Whether or not this is true, at this point, the patient should go back to an addiction treatment program.

Hopefully, a relapse prevention strategy will help patients and their support networks detect the first two phases before the final one leads back to regular, out-of-control substance use. However, an effective plan will also educate the patient about how relapse can happen and not invalidate their prior recovery efforts. Up to 60% of individuals recovering from addiction undergo a relapse at some point during their recovery process. At Northpoint Seattle, we offer many addiction treatment programs, including:

  • Alcohol addiction treatment
  • Opioid addiction treatment
  • Cocaine addiction treatment
  • Benzo addiction treatment
  • Meth addiction treatment
  • Heroin addiction treatment
  • Fentanyl addiction treatment
  • Prescription drugs addiction treatment
  • OxyContin addiction treatment
  • Vicodin addiction treatment
  • Xanax addiction treatment
  • Stimulants addiction treatment

Therefore, no matter the substance use disorder you come to Northpoint Seattle with, we have a program and treatment method to support you in your healing journey.

What Are the Elements of a Relapse Prevention Plan?

A relapse prevention strategy usually consists of treatments. Patients who undergo this therapy develop self-confidence and the knowledge to prevent relapse in specific circumstances by themselves. In our substance abuse treatment programs, patients will learn about these tools and techniques: 

  • Coping skills
  • Clinical therapy
  • Lifestyle change

These aspects are infused into every therapy program we offer, whether group, family, or individual counseling. Across all our programs, individuals are given the tools necessary to construct a relapse prevention plan that meets their needs and works towards their goals in sobriety.

Learn More About Northpoint Seattle’s Relapse Prevention Program

Northpoint Seattle can help you whether you’re new to detox or have previously struggled with it. Learn about our services by visiting our website or calling 888.483.6031 for more information.