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Relapse Prevention Therapy Steps

Relapse prevention therapy is a type of therapy that aims at helping the recovering addict to cope with stressors that could potentially cause them to relapse. While relapse is a common occurrence for many addicts, relapse prevention therapy )RPT) can greatly reduce the chances of a relapse occurring because the recovering addict is already armed with the tools necessary to recognize the warning signs of relapse and overcome the stressful situation without using drugs or alcohol.

Relapse prevention therapy (RPT) is a process that takes part in 9 steps. Each step focuses on cognitive therapy, coping skills and various lifestyle changes that will help the individual to learn how to recognize the potential for relapse and prevent such situations from occurring. Here’s a look at the 9 steps of RPT and how they work to help a recovering addict and prevent relapse from occurring.

Stabilization

Stabilization is also known as detox. It’s a process in which the recovering addict must be completely free from drugs or alcohol, have overcome the physical withdrawal symptoms and remained sober for at least 72 hours following the detoxification period.

Assessment

Assessment is the first step of an intake process at a drug treatment center and is the second step of relapse prevention therapy. During assessment, the individual meets with a counselor who will assess their drug addiction, the reasons for the addiction and also the potential stressors or triggers that cause the addiction. During assessment, the recovering addict will get a glimpse into the stressors that they will later need to look out for in order to prevent relapse.

Education

During the treatment program, the recovering addict will become educated about their addiction learning everything they can about their addiction and the reasons for the drug or alcohol use. The educated addict will know the process of addiction, what causes it, why he uses and how he can recognize the causes in advance to prevent such occurrences.

Recognizing the Signs

During relapse prevention therapy the recovering addict will make a list of the various warning signs that lead up to and trigger their drug abuse. The therapist will help the recovering addict to recognize the warning signs and make a list of all the potential warning signs that lead up to their using. In the future, when the addict feels stressed he can review the list of warning signs and consider ways to prevent or stop the stress from causing a relapse.

Managing the Signs

The recovering addict will work with the therapist to create a plan that will help them to manage the warning signs that are recognized. This part of the relapse prevention therapy process allows the recovering addict to be proactive and take control of the situations that occur in their life.

Planning for Recovery

During the planning phase, the recovering addict will work with a counselor who can help them to continue on with their recovery goals. The recovery planning may include the individual seeing a therapist on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis to assess their situation, provide therapy and counseling and further help to prevent future relapse from occurring.

Inventory

Taking inventory is a process of assessing the upcoming events and making a determination as to whether or not the upcoming day or event will be stressful and carry the potential for causing relapse. If the individual feels that the upcoming events may be a potential trigger for relapse then they will mentally prepare for the stress in advance. At the end of the day, an inventory will be assessed to determine how the individual dealt with the warning signs and potential triggers, whether relapse did occur and how effective the morning planning was on preventing relapse from occurring.

Support

A strong support system is necessary for any recovery program. In relapse prevention therapy, the individual is taught to depend on the social support system and to ask for help when it comes to dealing with stressful situations. The network of family and friends that surround the recovering addict can help them to stay on track and maintain their successful recovery without relapse.

Evaluation

Over time, the recovering addict realizes that they can deal with the stress that once caused them to drink or use drugs without actually abusing these substances. After the recovering addict has used the relapse prevention therapy techniques a few times on their own they will evaluate the progress with their counselor or therapist. This allows the addict and the counselor to review areas of potential concern and prepare the recovering addict for such occurrences to prevent future relapse from occurring.

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