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Relapse Prevention

Maintaining Recovery Skills for Long-Term Sobriety

Relapse Prevention

Addiction is a chronic medical condition. Like other chronic diseases, addiction must be managed over the long-term to keep it in remission. Relapse prevention is especially critical in those first months and years after treatment has ended.

Relapse prevention strategies are woven throughout Atlanta Addiction Recovery Center’s addiction treatment programs – from the start of treatment through Continuing Care/Aftercare and beyond. In treatment, we not only help patients get sober, but develop the skills and healthy habits to sustain their recovery. After treatment, we provide ongoing support for as long as a patient needs.

Along the way, we put our faith in Christ, whose love and mercy offers hope, forgiveness and strength. Guided by Christian principles, we believe God has an abundance of love for each and every one of us. God wants to reveal this love and strengthen us to use tools learned in treatment to live an abundant life without drugs and alcohol.

Our faith-based Relapse Prevention Program provides individuals with the necessary skills and support to stay sober and committed to recovery by:

  • Helping individuals develop effective coping skills to manage relapse triggers and implement relapse prevention strategies in their everyday life.
  • Providing ongoing support, careful management and monitoring during the transition to life outside of treatment.
  • Fostering and encouraging a continued close connection with their recovery team in order to stay aware of progress and possible warning signs of relapse.
  • Nurturing and restoring a deeper connection with God andyour spirituality through ongoing worship groups, fellowship, 12-Step meetings and Celebrate Recovery meetings.

Recovery is a Process, Not a Moment

Recovery from addiction isn’t a moment in time. It’s a process. Physically, it takes time for the brain chemistry of the addicted individual to return to normal, and time for the body to rebuild strength and vitality. Emotionally, patients have a lot of work to do in making amends, rebuilding the trust of those they care about and repairing relationships damaged by drug and alcohol use. Many feel deeply ashamed about their behavior while under the influence.

Through therapy and counseling, individuals in recovery learn to view themselves with more compassion, and eventually accept that the person they are in sobriety is not the same person they were when they were actively in their addiction.

Addiction also hurts an individual’s relationship with God. Spiritually, addiction takes many people into a dark place, leading them to comprise their morals and values. They may feel they have forsaken God, or God has forsaken them. They may not feel worthy of his love. This is an incredibly painful place to be. Emerging from that dark place can feel like a rebirth. Getting reconnected to a personal relationship with God can provide strength throughout the recovery process and is key to relapse prevention.

AARC’s Christian Rehab Program is dedicated to relapse prevention through healing all aspects of an individual – the body, mind and soul. By tending to physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, we not only help individuals develop the skills and tools to both maintain sobriety, but to live a healthy and spiritually fulfilling life with Christ at its center as well.

Enjoying the Fellowship of Others in Recovery

Along with instilling these principles, we provide ongoing support for as long as patients need, helping them meet each challenge or obstacle and build on their progress.

The fellowship and friendship of others who are in recovery and committed to living a Christian life is vital in preventing relapse. In addition to encouraging patients to attend to Alcoholic Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery Groups in the community, AARC also offers a Continuing Care/Aftercare Group.

Continuing Care/Aftercare through relapse prevention helps bridge that transition from treatment to a return to the pressures of family responsibilities, jobs and everyday life. The support and encouragement of others in recovery help keep people motivated and determined to resist any urges to use drugs or alcohol. The friendships made in Continuing Care/Aftercare can be very meaningful relationships, offering both understanding and the opportunity to practice gratitude and service to others. Many people hold these friendships dear throughout their lives.

The Importance of Relapse Prevention




Maintaining sobriety through relapse prevention will require you to stay committed, focused and strong—and you can’t do it alone. You will need to put your faith in God and stay connected to your recovery support network to stay the course.

Relapse can occur when you least expect it, and can be a slow process brought on by a series of events and certain triggers. These triggers will be different for everyone, but here are some common ones to look out for:

  • Feelings of loneliness, worry, stress, anger, fear, despair, anxiety, depression, worthlessness and guilt.
  • Exposure to certain people, places or events associated with past drug or alcohol use.
  • Social events that expose you to drugs and alcohol and make you feel pressured to use.
  • Reminders or exposure to scenarios that remind them of using. For example, drug or alcohol use on television or on social media.

Recognizing the Signs of Relapse

Slipping back into negative patterns is a major red flag for those who may be vulnerable to relapse. It is vitally important for the individual in recovery and relapse prevention, friends and family and the person’s recovery support team to be aware of certain behavioral changes that could lead to relapse.

These Behaviors Include:

  • Not attending meetings that are part of their recovery schedule such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, 12-step meetings, daily readings and time with a sponsor.
  • Temporary issues, such as an illness that keeps them away from recovery activities, but they do not return once well.
  • No longer participating in activities they once enjoyed.
  • Allowing their hygiene to decline.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by personal responsibilities.
  • Difficulty making decisions and an inability to prioritize.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Changes in mood—feeling anxious, depressed, angry and irritable.
  • Becoming emotionally withdrawn.

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