Many people believe that relapse prevention is only about being able to say no to a certain addictive substance. The reality is that saying “no” is incredibly difficult, particularly if you have been an addict in the past. This is why relapse prevention needs to be in place before a recovering addict is exposed to any kind of temptation. This is why a good relapse prevention plan should always be created. “A vital component of relapse prevention is to learn how to detect the warning signs that often lead to a lapse in abstinence.”
Indeed, the elements that should always be included are: emotional triggers, social interactions and positive coping mechanisms. We know from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that certain factors are of influence in relapses, “Men experience relapses more frequently than women do after completing treatment programs for drug addiction. The main reason for this difference seems to be that women are more likely to seek outside assistance in the form of group counseling.”
At New Directions for Women, we ensure group counseling is available to provide strong support networks. We also have an array of alumnae activities. We make sure that no woman feels isolated during any part of her recovery process.
The Importance of Support Networks in Relapse Prevention
By being part of a support network, women are able to get practical help in the development of their own relapse prevention plan. Furthermore, the social interactions in these groups help to reduce stress and alleviate signs of depression. Developing true friendships with people who understand the difficulties an addict goes through is very important. It is through these methods that women can become empowered and control themselves.
Relapse Warning Signs
Relapse can be very sudden, but with the power of hindsight, there were always some red flags and triggers. It is very important to be aware of these relapse signals so that a woman can seek help (be that for herself or a loved one) before it is too late.
“Most drug addiction treatment and recovery programs focus on making positive changes in a person’s life, to get that person out of their old habits and away from their old friends, and into a new happy and healthy outlook on life. However, when a person stops focusing so intently on these things, relapses do occur.”
Some common warning signs include major financial changes, bereavement, social conflicts, employment changes, boredom, health problems and divorce. When a person is getting very close to relapse, they will usually start associating with people who abuse substances again. They will start to miss important appointments and often become obsessive about certain parts of their life. Some even start to exhibit anger and stop caring about their personal hygiene. Any of these signs are warnings and must be addressed.
At New Directions for Women, we create individual relapse prevention plans, as we understand every woman is different and unique. Through our work, women will be given the tools they need to stop themselves from returning to their substance of choice. This includes support networks and the ability to speak to their peers whenever they feel they are having a difficult time. It is one of the reasons why we include spirituality in our treatment.
New Directions for Women is a treatment facility located in California that offers help to women of all ages, pregnant women in any trimester, and women with children. Founded in 1977, our courageous and visionary founders asked for the help of Newport Beach Junior League members to fulfill their vision of a tranquil home-like facility that would treat women with dignity and respect. Our caring admissions counselors are available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have on getting help. Reach us by phone at 800-93-WOMEN. We can help. Stay in the loop with New Directions for Women by connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.