Relapse Prevention Techniques

Because addiction is incurable, you must learn how to manage your symptoms in order to fully recover. Unfortunately, many people struggle throughout recovery with relapses. Relapses occur when you start abusing drugs and alcohol again after achieving a period of abstinence. During substance abuse treatment, you will learn important relapse prevention techniques that will help you navigate recovery during a 12 step program in Crystal Lake IL.

Mental health and substance abuse disorders are progressive, chronic diseases that can cause devastating consequences. Mental health disorders can diminish your quality of life, prevent you from working or going to school and increase your risk of suicide. Addiction is also deadly. In fact, drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.


When you have a substance abuse problem, you compulsively abuse drugs or alcohol despite experiencing negative consequences and having a desire to quit. Drugs and alcohol cause both physical and psychological addictions. Substances that can cause physical addictions to include:

  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine and caffeine
  • Opiates, such as prescription drugs (Vicodin, Oxycontin) and illicit narcotics (heroin)
  • Benzodiazepines, like Xanax and Ativan
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamine

When you become physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, you can experience intense and severe withdrawal symptoms. During addiction, your brain also becomes dependent on your substance of choice in order to release neurotransmitters, causing you to experience a major neurotransmitter imbalance.

Your brain’s pleasure and reward center associate your substance of choice, as well as people, places and things that remind you of your substance of choice, with pleasure. Whenever you use your substance of choice, your brain releases a pleasurable rush of neurotransmitters. Whenever you don’t use, your brain restricts or is completely unable to release certain neurotransmitters. You can also deal with intense cravings, especially when the effects of your substance of choice wear off.


Completing inpatient and outpatient treatment greatly improves your ability to recover before using relapse prevention techniques. You can choose to attend:

Inpatient and outpatient programs both utilize evidence-based addiction treatment and holistic treatments, such as:

A 12 Step program Crystal Lake offers can provide you with additional support during recovery.

Relapse and Relapse Prevention Techniques 

Nearly half of all people in recovery experience at least one relapse. When you relapse, you can return to abusing your substance of choice or begin abusing a different substance. A relapse can lead to a more severe addiction or transitioning to more dangerous substances.

Triggers and cravings are the most common causes of relapses. During treatment, you will learn relapse prevention techniques so you are prepared to cope with cravings and triggers following discharge. Relapse prevention techniques can include coping skills like practicing deep breathing when you become anxious.

Reaching Out for Help Today 

When you struggle with an addiction, reaching out for help is the first step towards recovery. Treatment can help you learn important coping skills and relapse prevention techniques to prepare you for life without drugs and alcohol. Call us today at 855.786.1978 to find out more about our programs.