Completing some form of rehab treatment is a critical step in the recovery process. However, the work doesn’t end there. Clients can leave rehab and still go on to relapse. Exploring drug relapse concerns in rehab, and preparing for that risk, is a better way to stay on track and pursue lifelong sobriety.

Understanding the Risks of a Drug Relapsedrug relapse

It’s absolutely, 100 percent possible to complete rehab and stay clean and sober for a lifetime afterward. Unfortunately, that is not the case for all clients who achieve sobriety. In fact, as many as half of all people who try to fight back against drug addiction eventually relapse.

Relapse is more likely among those who only complete a detox program. While that might help you achieve sobriety, it doesn’t teach you how to maintain that sobriety for the years to come. Moreover, relapse is more common among those who don’t enroll in rehab, as well as those with friends and family members that also use addictive substances.

Clearly, relapse is a major risk. Nonetheless, it can be avoided. However, the key is to understand and recognize the risks of relapse. Clients in rehab should have help navigating the risks and preparing for a lifetime of sobriety.

When is Relapse Most Likely to Happen?

A drug relapse can happen at any point in the recovery process and beyond. However, it’s far less likely to happen while clients are enrolled in a complete rehab or recovery program. For many clients, relapse is most likely in the weeks following the completion of a rehab program. Overall, the first 12 months of sobriety are the hardest to navigate.

Using Reality Therapy to Minimize Relapse Risks

Relapse can often happen because clients are used to being supported and supervised in rehab. After rehab, a completely independent life can seem overwhelming. Specifically, there are many more choices to be made, and the changes can be too much. Fortunately, there is a way to prepare for that. Reality therapy is a great way to significantly reduce the risks of relapse.

Reality therapy aims to recreate the schedule and routine of ordinary life within rehab. Furthermore, clients will have gender-specific housing that is more like a home than a hospital room. They will leave each day for several hours of clinical work and rehab therapy. In the evenings, they might participate in group therapy or support group sessions.

Clients will also learn how to navigate the everyday tasks expected out of rehab. That means small things like doing laundry, and it also means sticking to a budget and learning to prepare healthy meals. Therefore, mastering these life skills in rehab makes the transition to independent living in the real world much simpler for clients.

Developing Personal Coping Mechanisms

Another way to address relapse concerns is by helping clients develop personal coping mechanisms. Relapse occurs for all kinds of reasons, and those reasons are often unique to the individual client. One-on-one counseling or therapy is key to finding the specific tactics that work best for everyone.

For some clients, mental health issues are the leading cause of relapse. If depression or anxiety is left untreated, then turning back to drugs is more common. However, by resolving or treating mental health issues in rehab treatment, clients are more likely to remain sober.

Other clients might run the risk of relapse when they aren’t able to manage their stress levels. By learning how to exercise, call a friend or join a support group, these clients can relieve stress in healthier ways and stay on track with their recovery.

Rehab at Crest View Recovery Center

The right rehab can make a big difference when it comes to reducing the risk of drug relapse. At Crest View Recovery Center, clients get the help they need on the journey to lifelong sobriety. For example, some of the many therapies available in our substance abuse treatment programs include:

It’s not wise to ignore drug relapse concerns. In fact, at Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina, clients can expect a focus on relapse prevention. If you’re ready to embrace sobriety for a lifetime, call 866.327.2505.

Article Reviewed by Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCSPatrice has over 30 years experience working in social work and mental health/substance abuse counseling. She received her Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in a variety of settings, including community-based outpatient, hospital and classroom settings. Patrice specializes in substance abuse treatment, trauma and women’s issues.