One of the biggest risks to recovery is a relapse. As many as half of all individuals who get sober will eventually relapse. Fortunately, the unique two-phase treatment plan at Steps to Recovery helps prevent relapse. Through coping skills education, patients can better understand how to cope with cravings and stay on track to lifelong recovery.
Addressing Mental Health Issues
Relapse can happen for a long list of reasons. One of the most common reasons is that patients addressed their physical dependence on drugs or alcohol, but not their emotional and psychological dependence. There is a staggering overlap between mental illness and addiction. To prevent relapse, dual diagnosis treatment has to be available.
At Steps to Recovery, each patient is treated as a unique individual. Mental health is a big part of treatment during both phases of care. There are several ways to address mental health, and each is important. Some of the treatment methods that can be used include the following:
- Individual talk therapy
- Pharmacological therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Family therapy
- Behavioral therapy
By addressing mental health during rehab, patients will have fewer stressors later on in recovery. If people aren’t battling depression and anxiety along with cravings, it will be much easier to stay sober. That’s why mental health has to be a big part of coping skills education.
Learning to Resist Social Pressure with Coping Skills
One of the least appreciated coping skills is the ability to resist social pressure. Peer pressure is definitely not something that disappears after adolescence. Patients of all ages falter in their recovery simply because they feel pressure from outside influences. In relapse prevention training, individuals can learn how to identify and resist this pressure. Preparation is often the best way to resist social pressure. All too often, individuals in recovery are caught off guard and don’t know how to respond.
In coping skills training, patients at Steps to Recovery can learn how to say no. This can be a simple excuse, or it could be a witty remark. Either way, it ends the conversation and creates a way to maintain sobriety.
Coping skills education can include more serious issues like mental health, but it can also get back to basics. When it comes to relapse prevention, the most important word to remember is H.A.L.T. This acronym stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired.
In many relapse cases, one of these feelings is the cause. Being hungry or thirsty can cause physical cravings for addictive substances. Being tired reduces the ability to make logical, rational decisions. Anger and loneliness are strong emotions that can spark the desire for substance abuse.
Learning to identify hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness can be a critical part of recovery. Since addiction can make it hard to recognize anything beyond substance abuse, relearning this important piece of information is vital.
Identifying Cravings, Stress and Temptations
During coping skills education and training, patients will have the opportunity to discuss their most common cravings and temptations. Often, talking about this openly will reveal that many cravings are tied directly to stressful situations.
For example, it is common to want to return to drugs or alcohol when stuck in traffic, when feeling depressed or when fighting with a loved one. Simply by identifying this connection, it becomes easier to resist temptation.
Understanding the Myth of Moderation
In addiction counseling, patients will also learn about the dangers of moderation. Addiction is not a choice or a flaw, but a disease. No one would recommend that a person with lung cancer have one or two cigarettes to take the edge off. In the same way, no alcoholic should ever feel as if they can have just one drink.
Coping skills are necessary for all patients who are serious about lasting, lifelong recovery. At Steps to Recovery in Levittown, Pennsylvania, we can help you on your path to sober living. Call 866-488-8684 to begin planning your route to a new life of health, happiness, and recovery.