The term relapse in addiction treatment means a return to the use and abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, or the return to self-destructive behaviors such as overeating or gambling after a period of abstinence. As addiction itself is marked a “relapsing disease,” ultimately, the prevention of relapse is one of the main goals in addiction treatment.
Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT), based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, is an addiction treatment therapy approach that helps individuals develop self-control strategies in order to specifically address the problem of relapse in addiction. Although relapse prevention is a core element of nearly every addiction treatment approach, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse prevention therapy is “a collection of interdependent techniques which are intended to enhance self-control.” The goal of this treatment is to identify high risk relapse situations and help the individual develop coping skills and strategies to effectively deal with these distressing situations.
Relapse Prevention Therapy is delivered through group and private therapy, where the private setting is part of the individualized treatment plan that is designed to cater to the client’s unique needs. During individual sessions, clients have the opportunity to discuss personal issues with their therapist, and clarify any questions they may have regarding the strategies and techniques learned in the relapse prevention group therapy. This interaction allows our clinicians to oversee client’s involvement and progress in the overall treatment program and identify any additional relapse prevention technique that needs to be developed to address newly found deficiencies.
The idea of Relapse Prevention Therapy is that when the individual learns how to prevent relapse from occurring then the he or she is equipped to overcome not only the addiction but to address the possible underlying factors of the addiction such as anxiety and stress. Research studies have found that relapse prevention therapy helps individuals maintain the gains they made while in addiction treatment long after discharge, allowing for self-control and lifelong lasting recovery.
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