When an individual has a problem with drug or alcohol, there is a tendency for the person to change their beliefs, thoughts pattern, habits and behaviors.
This is done because, they want to solve the problem. Hence, when they abstain from using these substances, they have made a decision to be sober, and it is safe to say that they are in recovery.
The recovery from drug and alcohol problems, is a period and phase of change, whereby the individual abstains substance use totally, and the health and wellness of the person improves positively.
Looking at what causes relapse, when a relationship or a situation makes a person in recovery, to take up their problematic conduct, then such situation is called a trigger. For each person, there are different triggers. They might be the same, but they affect us in varying degrees.
In addition, stress, inability to sleep properly, poor diet and the likes, can also serve as triggers which would make it necessary for people to seek ways to relax and take care of themselves.
Counselors have an important role to play in relapse prevention. To start with, they help the individual know themselves and triggers. This is possible by conducting an in-depth assessment of the entire case of the individual. The person must be aware of sensations and feelings which have the capacity to induce a relapse.
Furthermore, counselors are individuals who serve as a profound support system to people in recovery. They are also the bridge between the individual and the loved ones.
Some family members and friends might not want to associate themselves with their addicted loved one. This could further aggravate the addiction of the person, and cause a relapse in the process.
To wrap it up, it is the responsibility of the counselor to structure a specific plan which would be useful in avoiding triggers, even when it seems impossible. Counselors are an integral feature in the entire addiction treatment plan, and when it comes to relapse prevention, they are skilled in ensuring it.