Addiction Recovery Services
Relapse Prevention Training

Relapse prevention is a fundamental component of every level of clinical care, from medical detox through aftercare. At CuraSouth we believe relapse prevention training should begin as early on as detox, which is why we provide relapse prevention services as part of our integrated program of care. Unfortunately, many people who enter into medical detox experience a return to substance use soon after the withdrawal process is complete. This could be because relapse prevention techniques are not taught during detox or because a person doesn’t immediately transition into the next appropriate level of care.

At CuraSouth we believe that medical detox should focus on more than a safe and pain-free drug or alcohol withdrawal. We help lay a solid foundation for lasting sobriety while providing each of our individual clients with the tools and resources necessary to continue on in their personal journeys of addiction recovery. To learn more about CuraSouth and the integrated addiction services we provide, contact us today.

The Three Stages of Relapse

Addiction is a chronic and relapsing condition, meaning the associated symptoms can be effectively treated but never entirely cured. In order for a person to stay in remission they must keep up with their personal recovery program while continuously honing relapse prevention techniques. A person who is solid in their sobriety doesn’t simply wake up one morning and think, “You know what? Today is a great day to get loaded.” People who do experience a return to drinking or drug use experience relapse in three distinct stages.

The Stages of Relapse:

  1. Emotional Relapse – During this stage of the relapse process the person in question isn’t considering picking up a drink or a drug. They might start to exhibit changes to behavior and mood, usually characterized by increased restlessness and irritability. The person might start to skip recovery meetings, stop calling sober supports, sleep more than normal or avoid close friends and family members. If emotional relapse is not addressed it will likely progress to mental relapse.
  2. Mental Relapse – When a person enters this stage of the relapse process they start thinking about drinking or drug use. They might glamorize or romanticize past experiences with chemical substances. They might start developing a plan of action, including how and when they will pick up their substance of choice. At this point in the relapse process it is extremely important to reach out for help, whether that means openly sharing in a recovery meeting or calling a sober support.
  3. Physical Relapse – During this stage of the process the person in question physically picks up a drink or a drug. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean all is lost. If a person utilizes the relapse prevention techniques they learned in addiction treatment they can successfully stop a physical relapse before it progresses to a full-blown return to substance addiction.

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Relapse Prevention Steps & Techniques

At CuraSouth, relapse prevention techniques are taught in an individual and group therapy setting. In individual therapy, clients work one-on-one with a licensed therapist and delve deeper into personal relapse triggers. They work on developing unique relapse prevention skills they can employ in a real-life setting. In group therapy sessions, clients have the opportunity to explore common relapse triggers and offer one another peer support and encouragement.

Relapse Prevention

Clients learn a variety of helpful techniques, including:

  • Playing the tape through – This is a widely utilized and effective technique which encourages clients to take an honest look at the potential consequences of their actions. It can be easy for a person who is nearing a relapse to convince themselves they can use “one more time” with no serious repercussions. Clients are encouraged to look honestly at short and long-term consequences.
  • Mindfulness & meditation  Mindfulness involves learning to live in the present moment, and meditation involves slowing down breathing and sitting with self. Both of these techniques are taught in many levels of care provided by Guardian Recovery Network, including detox, PHP, IOP and residential inpatient treatment. Mindfulness and meditation can slow down impulsivity and provide peace, which can divert a relapse.
  • Engaging in self-care – When a person who is in early recovery engages in self-care, it looks like getting enough sleep every night, making at least one recovery meeting every day, communicating with sober supports, continuing with individual therapy, setting personal boundaries whenever necessary, eating nutritious meals and exercising.
  • Continuing on their recovery journey – Medical detox is often an important part of the recovery process, but for many it is only the very first step. A great way to avoid relapse is to immediately transition into a higher level of treatment.
  • Breathing exercises & grounding techniques – At CuraSouth we teach our clients a range of techniques they can utilize at any point in time; techniques that help them slow down and assess the present moment rationally.
  • H.A.L.T. – This useful acronym stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired. All four of these experiences are universal relapse triggers, and they can be easily addressed once they are identified.

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Additional Services We Provide

In addition to relapse prevention training we provide each of our clients with access to:

  • Addiction Assessments – Upon admission we conduct in-depth clinical and medical assessments for each individual client, allowing us the opportunity to thoroughly understand their specific clinical needs and requirements. Our assessment process is extremely involved, and is conducted by our team of licensed medical professionals, therapists and case managers. Once the assessments are completed we set to work developing a personalized treatment plan. The personalized plan will take history of substance abuse in account, as well as family history, existing medical conditions and any existing mental health disorders.
  • Case Management Services – Each client is assigned a case manager who is responsible for addressing their unique needs and individualized clinical requirements. Case managers help clients develop a personalized treatment plan complete with recovery-related goals and check in regularly to make sure these goals are being met in a timely manner. The main role of a case manager is to ensure that clients are staying on track and that they have access to all of the resources they need to make the most of their recovery. Case managers act as client advocates.
  • Individual & Group Therapy – At CuraSouth we offer individual and group therapy sessions facilitated by a licensed therapist with a personal background in substance abuse and mental health. In individual therapy sessions clients further flesh out their personal treatment goals and future plans, and in group therapy sessions focus on a range of recovery-related topics (including relapse prevention training).
  • Medication Assisted Treatment Services – MAT is an important part of medical detox, especially when it comes to opioid and alcohol withdrawal. At CuraSouth we utilize several effective, FDA-approved medications to help alleviate the more severe symptoms of withdrawal while reducing the psychological cravings that often lead to relapse if left untreated. Medications we utilize include naltrexone, buprenorphine (Suboxone), Vivitrol and Antabuse.
  • Personalized Aftercare Planning – For many of our clients, medical detox is the first step on a multi-phased recovery journey. Once a client has been physically stabilized they generally transition into the next appropriate level of care, which could be residential inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment depending on their unique needs. Case managers and the clinical team help develop personalized aftercare plans and provide clients with all of the resources necessary to carry them out.

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At CuraSouth we have developed an admissions process that is simple and can typically be completed over the phone in around 15 minutes. We understand that committing to medical detox can be overwhelming in and of itself, and once you make the decision to get clean and sober you likely want to avoid the trouble of smoothing out the finer details. Fortunately our knowledgeable Treatment Advisors are available to help you and your loved one every single step of the way. The moment you contact us we begin by conducting a brief pre-assessment that helps our clinical team determine which detox methods are going to be the most appropriate for your unique case. Then we work out potential coverage options and arrange local travel to our Tampa Bay, Florida detox facility. Contact us today to learn more about relapse prevention, begin your own personal recovery journey, or help your loved one get started on theirs.