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Relapse Prevention

Drug relapse prevention education should be a component in any quality drug rehab program in order to help an individual to maintain long term sobriety. Drug relapse prevention education teaches individuals that are recovering from an addiction how to recognize the stressors and triggers in their environment and how to cope more effectively in these challenging situations. The most important key to relapse prevention is to learn to identify and interrupt the process as quickly as possible. Relapse prevention takes place when an individual consciously prevents a thought of using drugs to develop to the point where they begin to do so; this action will ultimately eliminate the temptation of returning to active addiction. The main key in relapse prevention is awareness of the dangerous circumstances that could be an impetus to an individual's drug use.


  1. One of the biggest hindrances to relapse prevention is when an individual chooses to hang out in places where drugs or alcohol are being used. Being in the presence of former acquaintances that are abusing alcohol and drugs is often a common precursor to a drug relapse.
  2. It can be more challenging to practice relapse prevention in the presence of negative emotions. When an individual is experiencing feelings such as guilt, sadness or anxiety, they may be much more tempted to reach for a chemical substance in order to avoid them. Because these are feelings that are common in everyday life, the best way to handle them is to learn how to manage these emotions.
  3. It is ironic that some of the strongest triggers can be the positive feelings that may be connected to celebrations, such as the holidays. The reason for this is that prior to becoming sober, an individual may have celebrated these special occasions by getting high.
  4. Often times when a former addict is not actively engaged in life, they may experience boredom and become anxious and restless. When an individual is experiencing these emotions, they are more vulnerable to a drug relapse.
  5. When an individual becomes high on any type of chemical substance, which can include the use of over the counter  medications or having a couple of drinks ,it can signal a problem in terms of the possibility a drug relapse.
  6. Probably the most common roadblock in relapse prevention occurs when an individual experiences a legitimate medical condition such as a dental procedure or chronic pain. A drug relapse in these types of unavoidable situations needs to be addressed before the brief relapse escalates into drug addiction.

A drug treatment center with a high success rate in treating addiction will include relapse prevention education as a part of the rehabilitation process. Acquiring these relapse prevention techniques can be the most important key to long term sobriety. Practicing relapse prevention will not always be easy, but being imprisoned once again by addiction would be much more difficult.

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