In today's world, Chronic Relapse isn't unheard of. Time and time again, some celebrity makes the news as a chronic relapser, or a neighbor that had been into drug abuse.
So what does chronic relapse refer to?
Chronic relapse is actually a repetitive cycle, where an addict overcomes his/her addiction through help and gets clean but ends up as a victim of the same addiction again. Chronic relapse isn't limited to one cycle only, the cycles can be numerous causing the addict to be frustrated to the point they start to believe they will never be able to overcome the addiction successfully. Chronic relapse is a long-term prospect, often leaving the addicts and the people close to them hopeless. Chronic relapse does not indicate that the addiction cannot be cured, rather it points out the possibility that their might have been some underlying root of addiction that has not been effectively addressed. Chronic relapsers have had long time of recovery, they know the drill and have been through the therapies but they cannot seem to stay sober.
What are the signs of a chronic relapse?
Chronic relapse is not a sudden occurrence. In fact, there are warning signs and other factors that can be identified early on and therefore can be prevented.
Signs of chronic relapse: There are a number of triggers and risk factors that increase the danger of relapse. Some of the signs displayed by relapsers are- the person starts returning to unhealthy behavior and environment. Once he/she is sober, they start to entertain the idea they can use drugs again without succumbing to addiction but ends back at where they started from. Healthy habits are usually forgotten and their behavior turns compulsive. They try to deny admitting that they are sliding into old habits and take defensive stance when prodded. They tend to isolate themselves from social interactions and avoid company. Loss of interest in enjoyable activities and hobbies is a big warning sign that their recovery is in jeopardy. Destructive thoughts crowd the victim's mind and they may experience abrupt mood swings. Reoccurrence of depression and anxiety is also a major indication.
What can be done to prevent relapse?
A relapse is not inevitable. By identifying the warning signs and taking appropriate measures, it can be fended off. These steps can be taken to prevent relapse:
- Always remember why you decided to get clean in the first place. Keep in mind those reasons, they might help in strengthening your resolve.
- Participate in activities that help you distract yourself from the cravings. These activities can be cycling, reading, playing sports, watching movies, working out, hanging out with friends or anything specific that you find tempting.
- Keep away from negative environment and other addicts. They may wake in you the urge to slide back into old habits.
- Support from friends and family is an effective element in preventing relapse. Be open to them and let them know of your struggles and do not hesitate to ask for their help when in need.
- Take time out of your schedule to take part in the activities you normally find enjoyable. Practicing them may help you find joy in those particular hobbies again.
- Identify your feelings of depression, anxiety, embarrassment and melancholy. Try to talk your way out of these emotions and when you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long.
What is relapse prevention therapy? What is its basic principle?
RPT or Relapse prevention therapy: Sometimes there are some lingering issues that nullify a person's attempts at staying sober despite their best efforts. The function of relapse prevention therapy is to identify those underlying issues and address them with whatever tactics seem most appropriate. Its main function is to rid the individual of these defeating feelings that jeopardize their recovery process. Therefore, prevention relapse therapy is a cognitive-behavioral approach that identifies and prevents high-risk situations. It is essentially a collection of effective techniques which are intended to enhance self-control by implementing suitable coping strategies.