Addiction to a substance or behavior is complex affecting the addictive person and everyone around them. We help every individual at their unique state of development, motivation, and readiness for treatment and recovery
A relapse is a return to the use of alcohol, substances or behaviors in which you have an obsessive and unhealthy relationship. As part of Dr. Paul Standal’s recovery-focused therapy, he helps you cope with stress to avoid relapsing.
An unplanned relapse is termed an “abstinence violation effect” in which the individual abandons his or her abstinence and falls back into familiar patterns of behavior. In order for you to maintain your recovery, Dr. Standal helps you develop and maintain a recovery plan and skills for overcoming triggers for relapse. The relapse may be brief, temporary, or more long-term when the struggle to change and maintain overrides the commitment to recovery, rehabilitation, and maintenance. Relapse is to be expected and is often considered part of the process. If you have a relapse, it may be an indication that more treatment is necessary.
The dream of every person with an alcohol addiction is to be able to return to normalized drinking. Embarking on this path is a complex and difficult conscious choice that can only be made after a period of recovery, along with personal growth and development. Attempts at normalized drinking require a clear insight into one’s triggers and clear boundaries.
Due to the nature of addiction, lapse or relapse is always a possibility, no matter how long the period of abstinence had been. Because cravings are an indicator and a precursor to lapse, it is important to understand them and to have some tools and a recovery plan in place to overcome them when they occur. This is particularly important in the early stage of recovery when the addict is coping with stress to avoid relapse. Cravings are powerful, automatic, and are usually time-bound. Like a wave breaking on the beach, or a cloud appearing on the horizon, they will weaken and disappear with time. They will fade away and evaporate if not acted upon. Though they can return, cravings do not last forever and, when met with a positive plan to resist and manage them, will lose their power to subvert or unravel a recovery program.
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