Relapse Prevention Therapy Options in Chapel Hill (877) 804-1531

Addiction is a chronic disease that a person may struggle with for the rest of his or her life. That's why drug treatment centers focus not only on helping a person get sober, but also on prevention techniques. Relapse occurs when a person begins to think about or even use drugs again. While this can occur after sobriety, it doesn't have to. Through prevention techniques, a person can utilize principles such as distraction and reaching out to others to share these thoughts.

Prevention is one of the most important parts of an addiction treatment because it prepares the addict for the future. To learn more about this addiction therapy, and for help finding drug treatment centers call Drug Treatment Centers Chapel Hill at (877) 804-1531.


After a person completes drug or alcohol rehabilitation and achieves sobriety, he or she is statistically 50 percent likely to relapse. This statistics is not meant to be discouraging. Instead, it means that half of all those who achieve sobriety can maintain it through 365 days.

Prevention is another means of ensuring one does not fall back into the patterns of drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction and beating addiction is a day-by-day process, but one that people succeed at every day.

What Are the Stages of Relapse?

Addiction specialists have identified three chief stages in the following order: emotional, mental and physical. Note that relapse is not typically a quick and fast-acting period. Upon reflection, a person can often identify signs of relapse that occurred months earlier.

  • Emotional Relapse: It does not involve a person thinking about drugs or alcohol. However, he or she is engaging in behaviors that could lead to relapse down the road. A person in emotional relapse may feel withdrawn from the rest of the world. He or she may stop attending group meetings or participating in these meetings. A person may stop taking good care of himself or herself, getting less sleep and eating unhealthy foods that can increase a person's anxiety and stress levels.
  • Mental Relapse: This occurs when a person begins to think about using again. While almost all recovering addicts reflect on their drug use and thinking about using drugs again, those in mental relapse start to think about using drugs more frequently. A person may start hanging out with old friends he or she used to do drugs with while withdrawing more and more from those who wish to help a person stay sober. A person may even start planning his or her relapse.
  • Physical Relapse: This occurs when a person begins abusing drugs or alcohol again. While weeks or months can occur between emotional and mental relapse, the time period between mental and physical is often much shorter.

What Do Relapse Prevention Programs Aim To Do in A Treatment Center?

The goals of prevention programs at an alcohol and drug treatment center are to help a person never get to the mental or physical relapse stages. Pevention includes educating a person on the stages and helping him or her identify as early as possible that he or she may be at risk for relapse.

Another aspect of prevention addiction specialists focus on is coping skills and teaching a person positive methods of coping with thoughts of relapse. These could include distractions, such as taking a walk or calling a loved one or engaging in physical activity, such as yoga or meditation.


If a person does relapse after a period of sobriety, he or she should not give up. The road to extended sobriety is one that's approached a day at a time.

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