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    Meth Relapse Prevention

    Meth Relapse Prevention

    Methamphetamine is sometimes thought to be one of the worst addictions to suffer from. Not only does the drug destroy your body but can destroy your mind as well. It is highly addictive and very difficult to stop using.

    This is why relapse prevention is so important. Many treatment centers now have specialized programs that are specifically suited for methamphetamine relapse prevention. When choosing a treatment center relapse prevention is something that you need to understand.

    Relapse Defined

    According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse is defined as returning to the use of a substance of abuse after attempting to stop. Essentially, this means that after you begin recovering from your methamphetamine addiction, you fall into old habits and begin using it again.

    This can be very dangerous, especially when you consider that the majority of deaths due to overdose occur when a person relapses. This is because the detoxification process that you go through at the beginning of substance abuse treatment eliminates your tolerance.

    Then, when you use again, you use the dose that you used prior to treatment, resulting in overdose. This creates a need for a way to prevent relapse from occurring. The answer is relapse prevention as part of a comprehensive recovery plan.

    What is Methamphetamine Relapse Prevention?

    To really understand what methamphetamine relapse prevention is, you need to know the guiding principles behind it. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there are 9 principles that are essential to relapse prevention.

    Self-Regulation - This essentially means that a recovering addict that is physically, mentally, and emotionally stable is more likely to control themselves and avoid relapse.

    Integration - The second principle refers to the patient melding the skills and knowledge they learn in meth addiction treatment in order to feel more confident in their ability to overcome adversity.

    Understanding - The focus of this principle is educating the patient on the general causes and warning signs of relapse.

    Self-Knowledge - This focuses on helping patients learn their own individual warning signs and ways to recognize them as early as possible in order to take corrective action.

    Coping Skills - Once warning signs are able to be recognized, this principle is applied and various skills and mechanisms are learned by the patient that can keep them from relapsing.

    Change - This involves scheduling treatment sessions and other support activities at the times that warning signs and the desire for meth are likely to occur. By changing these activities regularly, the patient remains engaged and has an easier time applying learned coping skills.

    Awareness - This involves teaching self-assessment techniques that can aid the addict in recognizing warning signs even more quickly by doing a daily inventory of themselves and their life.

    Significant Others - This principle involves including other people in the meth abuser's relapse prevention training. This way the addict is not solely responsible for identifying and coping with warning signs and triggers. This also helps ensure that they have an adequately trained support network for when they need it.

    Maintenance - This final principle is all about retraining in the other principles, reassessing the patient regularly, and making any changes that need to be made to the relapse prevention plan to ensure that the recovering addict remains drug free.

    When all of these principles are properly applied, the risk of relapse is significantly decreased. However, it is important to point out that there is no way to guarantee that relapse does not occur. Ultimately, the long term outcome of your treatment and recovery is up to you.

    What Does Relapse Prevention for Methamphetamine Addiction Do?

    The purpose of the relapse prevention portion of a methamphetamine addiction program is exactly what you would expect. It is intended to prevent you from returning to meth abuse after you have stopped. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland, the consequences of continued or resumed abuse of methamphetamine can be very dire. They may include:

    • Damage to Brain Circuitry
    • Severe Anxiety
    • Insomnia
    • Psychosis
    • Suicide
    • Crippling Depression
    • Cognitive Dysfunction

    These consequences of long term methamphetamine abuse show exactly why you need meth addiction treatment that includes relapse prevention. Sometimes when a person relapses, the relapse is worse than the original addiction. Going through withdrawal a second time can be very difficult.

    Relapse Prevention Methods and Strategies

    Understanding the principles of relapse prevention and the reasons for using it only help so much in actually preventing relapse. In order to achieve this goal, you must put this knowledge into practice. To do so there are numerous methods and strategies that you can employ.

    • Staying away from meth users.
    • Avoiding stressful situations.
    • Learning relaxation techniques.
    • Distracting yourself with a hobby.
    • Exercising

    While all of these strategies have been proven successful, they do not work for everyone. Ultimately, you must find whatever methods or strategies best fit your individual needs and use them as effectively as possible to prevent relapse. This is why you need training in relapse prevention for methamphetamine addiction.

    Aftercare and Relapse Prevention

    According to Harvard Medical School, you will rarely progress through change in a straight line. Relapses are common any time real change is attempted. When the consequences are as dire as those associated with meth abuse, the need for relapse prevention becomes even more important.

    The primary purpose of aftercare is relapse prevention, making it one of the most important parts of your recovery from methamphetamine addiction. If you take this part seriously and do everything in your power to remain abstinent, you will be able to live a life free from the ravages of meth.

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