South Carolina

If you or a loved one has had an addiction problem in the past, you know that it can be a lifelong struggle.  In South Carolina, one of the areas of attention in rehab programs is relapse prevention.

Almost every person who has struggled with drug or alcohol dependence or addiction has had a period of relapse.  Relapse is when an individual falls back into old behaviors that lead to drug or alcohol use.  The behaviors can be things like spending time with friends who like to drink or hang out at bars or being in places where people tend to use drugs.  For many addicts, even addicts who have been in recovery a very long time, the temptation to use can be difficult to fight.

Other issues that contribute to relapse are triggers for drug or alcohol use.  For example, one of the things that individuals learn in the recovery process is what emotions or feelings are happening when they are most tempted to use.  For many people, common feelings include high levels of stress, being angry or upset, feeling or feeling depressed or alone.  When these feelings arise, they may find themselves drawn to situations where taking that first drink or popping that pill becomes very easy.  As a result, a person who is in recovery needs to pay special attention to their emotions, particularly when they are feeling tempted to use.  In recovery, they are taught alternatives to using that are more healthy.  For example, if the person is feeling depressed, they might call someone who cares for them and talk about their feelings.  Or they might keep a journal where they write about the things that are bothering them.

It is not at all unusual for people with drug and alcohol issues to go through periods of relapse.  Physically, relapse can be a very bad thing, because the body remembers drugs and alcohol.  You might think that a long period of not using alcohol or drugs would allow the body to recover.  However, what actually happens is that the body responds to the drug as if there had been no period of recovery at all.  As a result, health problems that might have been avoided by stopping the drug or alcohol use entirely will become a risk again with relapse.  This is one of the many reasons that relapse can be such a dangerous behavior.

If you or a loved one has an addiction problem or is at risk for relapse, talk to your doctor.  South Carolina has many effective programs and there is help available.

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  • May 26th, 2009