Relapse Prevention

Dr Marshall

“In my 35 years of experience, education, and work in the profession of addiction treatment, I have learned that a recovering person needs help in their biological and physical, social and psychological, and spiritual well-being. The abusive use of chemicals and alcohol not only changes and disrupts a person in all the aforementioned domains of life, but it also inhibits their ability to grow and develop in each of those domains”

Dr. Keith Marshall, Psy.D., MHD, LAADC, SUDCC-IV-CS, C.A.TC.V

Damage or disability on this list could have resulted from chemical dependency, or they could be qualities or abilities that were always lacking in the person. Either way, they are weak points that can and will cause upsets and setbacks.

In 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) further defined life skills as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior, that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”. Certainly, this definition applies to those susceptible to substance abuse. When life gets too difficult, a person without these abilities too often seeks relief through the use of chemicals.

Relapse Prevention Plan - Dedicato Treatment Center
Relpase Prevention Center - Dedicato Treatment Center

What Factors Must Be Addressed For Relapse Prevention?

  1. Physical/body factors
  2. Psychological/emotional (e.g., increased low self-worth or lack of effective coping skills)
  3. Environmental triggers
  4. Environmental pressures or influences
  5. Unresolved personal issues and problems
  6. Unresolved damage and harm
  7. Lack of employability
  8. Personal abilities that are lacking or have been harmed
  9. Decreased capacity for spiritual growth and awareness

In some cases, relapse can occur suddenly, and individuals struggling with cravings for chemicals can give in without reaching out for help. The best option for relapse prevention is to understand the warning signs of addiction and the factors that commonly lead to relapse. Factors vary for each person and situation, but relapse causes include emotional triggers, social situations, and physical changes.

Some specific situations that can lead to relapse include:

  • Loss of a loved one.
  • Major financial changes.
  • Change in employment.
  • Social pressures or conflicts.
  • Change in marital status.
  • Boredom with life.
  • Health issues.
Group of silhouttes on beach at sunset
When you or someone you love is in recovery, especially the first year, it is important to continually check for the warning signs of relapse and get help right away if they begin cropping up.
At Dedicato Treatment Center we will help you or your loved one develop a relapse prevention plan that includes healthy coping skills and the identification of your individual relapse warning signs both psychological and environmental. Moreover we will help you develop a plan that includes connection to social support networks and people who will help you maintain your sobriety (e.g., 12 step meetings AA, NA,CA, Sponsorship, or other etc.).