Relapse Prevention Program

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Relapse Prevention Program

Any individual who has struggled with addiction has the potential for relapse. The rates of relapse for each kind of addiction vary, but anyone can relapse no matter their substance of choice. This is why addicted individuals and their loved ones should use tools from a relapse prevention program to maintain lasting recovery.

Pacific Palms Recovery in San Diego, California, incorporates a relapse prevention program during treatment. Relapse prevention programs are unique to each individual based on their needs, wants, and diagnoses.

The Four Big Ideas About Relapse

The medical community has some overarching ideas about relapse and how it occurs in people trying to recover from substance use disorders.


Four ideas about relapse can include:

Relapse Has Distinct Stages

There are specific stages of relapse, and those who recognize their issues with relapse in the earliest stages have the highest chance of successfully overcoming their problems with relapse in the future. Potential triggers can set a person down the path of relapsing.

Recovery is a Personal Process

Every person going through the addiction recovery and relapse process is at a different stage and a different journey. Personal milestones and points of recovery are often crucial for the personal growth of any individual going through recovery.

Tools for Relapse Prevention

The main tools used to overcome relapse are cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation techniques. These are both used to help the recovering patient discover healthy outlets that they may use in place of their addictive behaviors. It is also important for people to maintain their mental health if they want to stay sober in the long term.

Most Relapses Can be Explained

It is generally the case that the reasons why an addict has gone back into their addictive behavior boil down to a specific cause or set of reasons. These can be explored in more detail, but it is rarely the case that the addict falls back into addictive behaviors without some reason for having done so.

Relapse Prevention: The Reason Many Seek Treatment

It is typically the case that patients come to an addiction treatment center when they are attempting to handle relapse prevention. This is to say that they come to the addiction center because they want to avoid relapsing yet again. They likely have already attempted to quit independently and may have run into trouble doing so. They seek relapse prevention treatment to give up their addictive behavior for good.

There are many opinions regarding what relapse prevention therapy should include. They say that it is a cognitive-behavioral approach that has patients look at circumstances that may put them at a higher risk of relapse. These situations might include internal thoughts and external cues that cause them to be pulled more towards wanting to potentially relapse yet again.

Identifying all of these potential issues within a person’s life is essential to understand what actions they need to take to keep themselves safe from possible relapse in these circumstances. Developing healthy coping skills and being mindful of negative thoughts can help people from relapsing.

The relapse prevention tools take work from the patients and their treatment providers.. All parties should collaborate to ensure the best possible results emerge from the treatment. Getting someone into relapse prevention therapy is just half the battle. Doing the actual work of trying to prevent a relapse is what truly helps a person get on a better path.

The Stages of Relapse

It is vital to recognize the stages of relapse so that it may hopefully be staved off. When someone identifies the stages of relapse, it may be possible to cut off that relapse before it has time to take hold. People should pay attention to a few warning signs of relapse. These signs can correspond directly with one of the stages of relapse identified below.

Emotional Relapse

This is typically the first stage of relapse, as it is the moment when an addict remembers their last relapse. They are not yet to the point of wanting to relapse, but they begin to recall what it felt like when using drugs and alcohol. Generally, they are uncomfortable with how it felt when they were not sober. However, they may also remember how it felt on a physical level, and that may be somewhat enticing to them as well.

Mental Relapse

When someone hits the point of mental relapse, they are dealing with a war inside of their head about the situation. A part of them wants to relapse, yet they know that it is not for the best.


Someone in this stage may feel like they are on the edge of relapsing. It is one of the most critical moments in the entire process because it is make or break as far as if they will be able to resist their urge and stay on a path that keeps them away from the substance that they are addicted to.

Physical Relapse

This is the point when a person starts using drugs or alcohol again. It is the part of relapse that most people are generally aware of. It is that time when someone has begun to introduce something to their body yet again that they had been trying to stay away from. This can be one of the lowest moments for someone dealing with thoughts of relapsing.


They may feel like they have failed themselves when they hit this point. However, the most important thing to remember is that recovery is still possible.

Professional Help is Necessary

Surviving relapse and not repeating the pattern is the ultimate goal for all addicts. However, this is not something that can be easily done without the help of outside professionals. Thus, getting oneself into a professional treatment center is the way to go about things whenever possible. Treatment programs and support groups can help people build a strong foundation in recovery that helps maintain their recovery.

Pacific Palms Recovery in San Diego, California, utilizes relapse prevention specialists to assist in developing a customized relapse prevention program for each individual in our addiction treatment center. We provide both outpatient treatment in San Diego and sober living homes in Orange County. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, reach out today. Our team can answer any questions you may have and give you a better understanding of our drug rehab.

Your Recovery Starts Here

Pacific Palms Recovery is a certified outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program. Our outpatient drug rehab is located in San Diego County, California. Pacific Palms Recovery implements a comprehensive clinical and holistic approach to treating drug addiction and alcohol abuse.