After leaving a rehabilitation program, it is considered essential for former addicts to participate in relapse prevention to ensure long-term, successful recovery. There are several methods of relapse prevention, including coping skills training, cognitive behavioral therapy and lifestyle modification.
Coping skills training involves teaching people how to cope with everyday stressors (that can lead to relapse) in healthy ways. For example, instead of turning to drugs or alcohol, he or she could relieve stress by engaging in activities such as reading, gardening or running.
Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to treat the individual through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure that focuses on the present instead of rooting through the past. This type of therapy aims to help individuals “unlearn” negative thoughts and habits.
Lifestyle modification involves replacing old habits with activities that are designed to help an individual’s overall coping capacity. These may include meditation and exercise.