Relapse Prevention

We create personalised continuing care plans for all patients which include pathways after treatment to sustain their recovery. Our individual therapy sessions and specific relapse prevention groups maximise insight into addiction and identify triggers which could cause patients to relapse. We target any underlying factors that have contributed to a patient’s addiction, making sure all issues from their past and present are addressed.

Recovery Continues After Rehab

Achieving and maintaining recovery requires continuous effort, during and after treatment. Heavy drinking and drug use changes the functioning of the brain. Addicts’ brains become re-programmed and using drink or drugs becomes compulsive and involuntary. This leads to deeply ingrained negative patterns of behaviour and attitudes that can lead to relapse after treatment. With over 30 years of experience in the field of addictions, we seek to change these patterns and break the cycle.

Important Factors for Presenting Relapse

Many factors can lead a person to relapse. To prepare patients for life after rehab our expert team of doctors, therapists and nurses helps patients to:

Accept addiction as a chronic illness – that they cannot control their drink or drug use.

Be honest and open – that hiding feelings and making excuses to justify drinking or taking drugs prevents recovery.

Eliminate denial – Denial is an elaborate mental system which focuses on the immediate positive effects of drink or drug use and ignores the long-term negative effects of addiction.

Be vigilant for signs of cravings – and learn coping skills to deal with these.

Overcome negative moods – we help patients deal with feelings of guilt & shame, anger, frustration, self-pity, anxiety and depression that are all powerful triggers for relapse.

Regain self-esteem – feeling good about yourself without drink or drugs.

Avoid isolation – patients must be aware of the importance of attending AA/NA meetings.

Avoid risky situations – patients must be aware of places, people and situations which increase the temptation to drink or take drugs.

Learn about cross-addiction – An initial trigger to relapse is often the use of a “safe”, prescribed drug which can reactivate the addiction cycle, e.g. prescribed tranquillisers or sleeping tablets.

Get through long-term withdrawal – For some patients withdrawal from certain drugs (e.g. benzodiazepines) can be a long process, sometimes as long as a year for the brain to return to normal physiological functioning.

Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | January 21, 2020