Many people who are assessed during short-term rehab will express fear of relapse if they are released from their programs. After all, relapse is a very real threat in the recovery community, and patients themselves often realize this and ask for further treatment. Long-term residential programs provide a community-like atmosphere that gives recovering individuals many paths toward relapse prevention. It’s one of the reasons that patients enter long term drug rehab in the first place. They realize the many programs long term treatment professionals set up solely to deal with the daunting prospect of relapse. How can you avoid relapsing during long term drug rehab? The answer is a long one.
Treatment centers have safety measures put in place specifically to help individuals deal with triggers to relapse. The long term drug rehabs themselves are often the best way to avert relapse in the early days. They do drug screens, provide a drug-free environment to live in and help each client gradually re-enter the community. Group meetings provide peer support. Some are 12 step meetings, but there are other meetings in long term facilities that help clients deal with life on life’s terms.
Individual and Group Sessions
Long term rehab centers structure their programs around the solid principles of addiction counseling and science. They have trained counseling staff on hand that knows how to discuss the triggers that often cause relapse in recovering clients. When you’re in inpatient rehab, you have access to counselors or caring staff 24 hours a day. If there is a true emergency, they can also deal with that.
Group sessions are another excellent way to get support from a counselor who is leading the group, plus peers who might be encouraged to share their own stories during group sessions. You’ll also find group meetings to provide peer support. Some are 12 step meetings, but there are other meetings in long term facilities that help clients deal with life on life’s terms.
Dual Diagnosis Services
Good long term residential centers have dual diagnosis services that help clients with mental illness receive their medications and counseling for those specific issues as well. The result is a well-rounded treatment program that addresses issues that commonly lead to relapse. Those with a co-existing mental illness often face pressure to relapse simply from the symptoms of that particular illness.
Counseling, group meetings, medication management, and peer support all form a solid backbone for recovery in a long term drug rehab. Dual diagnosis will be among the most important services to look for when seeking out treatment. Without support for a mental illness, relapse is likely, and these centers know this and provide the services.
Triggers for Relapse
Among the many things, you’ll learn inside a long term drug rehab is how to cope with the triggers of relapse. Triggers include anything that might stir up feelings that make you want to lose. In the early days, triggers will come often and strongly, but as you learn to live life without drugs or alcohol, you become more resistant to these triggers. Many things that might trigger a relapse include:
- Negative emotions (stress, depression, fear, and other negative emotions)
- Seeing a person that reminds you of addiction (AKA a former using partner)
- Seeing an object that reminds you of using (for example a spoon or a can)
- Positive emotions at times can make you want to “celebrate”
If it seems like you’re surrounded by a world that reminds you of drugs or alcohol in the beginning, you’re not alone. Triggers will be strong in early recovery, and that’s one of the reasons it’s so important to find a long term treatment program that is helpful to you in the early going. You can learn to cope with those triggers by using tools learned in counseling, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Seeking out help from a peer in recovery can also help, as they’re also experiencing these intense emotions. As you go through life drug-free in an inpatient drug rehab, you begin to replace those negative triggers with things that don’t remind you of using at all. Over time, it becomes easier to cope with, and you learn to appreciate life for what it is, without drugs.
If you want to prevent relapse by entering a long term drug rehab, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 800-737-0933 to get started.