Relapse Prevention

Written by Patty Yu
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Thoroughly detoxifying the body is one of most effective types of relapse prevention when recovering from drug addictions. Many drug addicts attempt to stop all drug use and go through various drug treatments just to wind up back in the same patterns. What many do not know is that you can stop using drugs for years, but still retain traces of the chemicals in the body's fatty tissues.

Even just the smallest traces of powerful drugs remaining in the body's system can cause cravings and depression. Some believe that it is just a matter of time before falling back into old habits, unless the recovering addict goes through a special detoxification process. By removing the residual amounts of drugs in the body, a person is practicing the best relapse prevention methods.

Understanding Chemical Dependencies for Relapse Prevention

In order to fully understand relapse prevention, a person much first understand how chemical dependencies work. When drugs like cocaine, heroine, morphine, and many prescription medications enter the body, chemical reactions occur that inhibit brain receptors, or dopamine receptors. These receptors in our bodies indicate pain and pleasure in our day-to-day lives. Blocking the receptors essentially kills pain and creates euphoria.

Continued drug use reduces our natural levels of dopamine receptors and severely alters our body's natural system of reward. Instead of feeling rewarded by daily activities, the body becomes dependent on the reaction drugs create in the brain. As long as the drugs have hold of one's body, cravings will make the person want to take those drugs uncontrollably. Drug traces remaining in the body, even after stopping immediate drug use, can also cause mild to moderate cravings.

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