Relapse Prevention in McAllen, TX

At our center for relapse prevention in McAllen, we find that most people misunderstand what rehab is all about. When they think of rehab, it is the detoxification process alone that comes to their minds. To them, detoxification seems to be the process that promises all the action — a hopelessly addicted person goes in, accepts treatment, and walks out clean and sober, a couple of weeks later. They simply see no reason to go on with rehab once they're done with our drug center detox in McAllen.

As we try to explain to all our clients, however, rehab doesn't end with detox; it's where it actually begins. Detox is only the process that hits the pause button on the cycle of cravings that addicts experience. The pause lasts long enough for addicts to begin a course of the real addiction treatment that follows detox. The real treatment in question is psychological therapy called relapse prevention.

Withdrawing from treatment after detox can only lead to relapse, or a return to addictive behavior. Relapse prevention is the critical step to take in every effort to attain sobriety. We take this idea very seriously, which why is why our programs for relapse prevention in McAllen are essential.

Why Does Relapse Occur?

When addictive substances are allowed into the brain over an extended period of time, they harm the brain by creating dependence of two kinds: physical dependence and psychological dependence.

In a physically dependent brain, drugs take over key functions such as control over the reward center. When the addict attempts to cease drug use, it can take the brain weeks to attain normalcy, a period during which the addict experiences extreme discomfort and dangerous health effects such as cardiac arrest and seizures. The medical detox process helps suppress these effects, and ensures safe passage out of physical dependency. As useful as medical detox is for physical dependence, it does nothing for psychological dependence.

When addictive substances take over the brain's reward center to produce feelings of euphoria on demand, the brain learns a deep fixation on drugs. Such fixation is permanent, and cannot be cured. During active drug use, it shows up as the cravings that addicts know very well. After detoxification, cravings can turn up without warning, even after years of sobriety.

The typical addict has no defense against these cravings. When they show up, he usually succumbs. This is the mechanism by which relapses occur. Even when the addict is fully aware of the ways in which continuing with addictive behavior can ruin their life, the brain can temporarily lose sight when relapse strikes, and truly believe that one more hit cannot hurt.

How Does Relapse Prevention Work?

At our clinic for relapse prevention in McAllen, our expert therapists work individually with each client to help understand the specific nature of the psychological challenges that they face in their specific circumstance. They then help develop a custom relapse prevention strategy just for them. Custom relapse prevention plans are the only approach mandated by modern addiction science. Just as no two brains are the same, no two addictions are the same, either. One strategy never works for two different people.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT is a widely used therapeutic method. In it, the therapist works to establish rapport with the patient over multiple sessions, talking, interviewing and exchanging ideas. The aim of these sessions is to help the therapist learn about the cognitive distortions that patient experiences.

In some patients, for example, resisting the call of drugs can be especially difficult because the mind has trouble grasping the concept of delayed gratification. For patients who experience such a psychological challenge, the therapist can work out several behavioral exercises to help them analyze the way they think, and learn more productive behavioral patterns.

CBT can also help with trigger management. When the brain's reward center learns a fixation on drugs, it also internalizes various environmental cues to associate drugs with. The locations, people and sensory cues that may have gone along with drug use become permanently associated with drug use in the mind. When the addict experiences any of these cues, they quickly evoke cravings for drug use. In CBT, the therapist can work with the patient to discover the range of cues that come into play, and offer training to let the patient understand how to avoid those cues.

Motivational interviewing: A lack of motivation can be a serious impediment to an attempt to leave addiction behind. For various psychological reasons, many addicts are simply unable to muster the level of motivation needed to invest in treatment. In motivational interviewing, the therapist, over multiple sessions, attempts to discover areas in which the patient does experience a high level of personal motivation. Once various areas of motivation are uncovered, the therapist helps the the patient channel them for an escape from addiction.

Helping Prevent Relapse Through Aftercare

One of the primary aims of relapse prevention treatment is to help patients learn how to avoid addiction relapse triggers. Stress, being one of the primary triggers to many addicts, can be a difficult one to avoid.

The very act of stepping out of rehab to re-enter regular life at the conclusion of programs for addiction treatment in McAllen can be an experience so stressful it can send many addicts into relapse. Aftercare is a gentle re-entry program that many scientifically designed rehabs offer their patients to help ease the process and lessen the stress. Supervised halfway homes are an example of useful aftercare.

The best addiction relapse prevention is done on an inpatient basis, where addicts have only one responsibility to devote themselves to — focusing full-time focus on getting better. Inpatient drug addiction relapse prevention always results in better outcomes. Our programs for relapse prevention in McAllen offer a vast range of relapse prevention programs. If you like to know how we can help you, you only need to call (877) 804-1531.

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