Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that impacts your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is also a disease that doesn’t discriminate, as anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background, can develop a substance abuse disorder. Because addiction is chronic, you must learn how to cope with your symptoms throughout your lifetime to protect your sobriety.
It is also important to receive timely treatment because addiction continues to get worse until you recover. Struggling with an addiction can negatively impact your personal life and health, as your substance of choice becomes the most important part of your life. To learn more, contact our adolescent addiction treatment center today at 866.300.5275.
What is Addiction?
With as many as 60% of people recovering from addiction relapsing, understanding the importance of relapse prevention techniques is essential to your recovery.
Addiction occurs when you compulsively use your substance of choice despite having a strong desire to quit using and experiencing negative consequences because of your use. Addiction impairs your judgment, which can make it difficult to acknowledge you have a substance abuse problem. When you use your substance of choice, intoxication occurs because your brain releases more neurotransmitters than it should. Addiction causes severe neurotransmitter imbalances because your brain can become dependent on your substance of choice to release neurotransmitters. When you use your substance of choice, your brain releases a rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters. When you don’t use, you experience a depletion of neurotransmitters.
Some substances, like alcohol, can also cause physical addiction. When you develop a physical addiction and suddenly stop using, you experience withdrawal symptoms, which can include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Mood changes, such as anxiety and depression
- Chills, sweats, and insomnia
- Seizures and dehydration
- Aches and pains
During early recovery, your brain must relearn how to properly release neurotransmitters while your body adjusts to functioning without your substance of choice. If you have a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, you can experience magnified mood changes during recovery, which makes it important to complete a dual diagnosis treatment program.
Relapse Prevention Techniques
With relapsing common during recovery, learning relapse prevention techniques is a central element of your recovery. A relapse occurs when you abuse drugs and/or alcohol following a period of complete abstinence. A relapse can involve your substance of choice or a different substance, which is why it is essential to avoid all psychoactive substances during recovery.
Relapse prevention techniques can involve both evidence-based and holistic approaches. Some evidence-based therapies allow you to learn how to identify and change negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If emotions like anxiety are a trigger, relapse prevention techniques teach you how to handle anxiety without using drugs or alcohol. Group and individual counseling help you develop healthy relapse prevention techniques. Relapse prevention techniques can involve taking part in therapies such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Equine therapy
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
Relapse prevention techniques focus on identifying your triggers and creating healthy ways to cope with them. During addiction, it’s common to resort to using drugs and alcohol to deal with things like fights with friends or major life changes. During recovery, it’s essential to find ways to cope with negative thoughts and feelings, which often are powerful triggers. Learning how to develop a healthy network of people who support your recovery is another way to protect your sobriety.
Substance Abuse Treatment at Foothills at Red Oak
When you struggle with an addiction, you can feel isolated, alone, and helpless. While addiction is a chronic condition, treatment provides you with the tools, support, and guidance necessary to develop healthy relapse prevention techniques and positive coping strategies. Negative emotions, like stress, can place your sobriety at risk. Learning how to manage your sobriety requires understanding how to combat potential obstacles, which include triggers and cravings. Contact us today at 866.300.5275 to discuss our substance abuse treatment programs.