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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Relapse Prevention Study Shows Promise

relapse
Did you relapse during Thanksgiving? If so, we implore you to get back up from your fall immediately. A relapse does not have to be the end of your recovery; it can actually be the beginning of an even stronger commitment to sobriety.

When a relapse occurs, men and women feel a significant amount of shame; they may think that they have let down everyone who was pulling for their success. While shame and guilt are natural reactions to a relapse, it is imperative not to let the incident stand in the way of progress.

Sure, one must admit to their support group that an incident occurred; identifying as a newcomer is, again, a humbling experience that requires tremendous courage. Even though your peers will not judge you for what happened, one can’t help but feel like a failure. Resist such emotions will all your might because you are in good company. Please remember that relapse is a part of the story of many people in recovery.

Use the experience to determine where you let up on your program and then double down in those areas. Maybe you didn’t go to enough meetings, or perhaps you stopped working closely with your sponsor. Continued interaction with one’s support network is a preemptive strike against triggers and cravings, thus preventing a relapse.

At Celebrate Hope, we are hopeful that you were able to abstain from drugs and alcohol during Thanksgiving. If you did, please recognize the accomplishment and then continue your efforts toward achieving lasting recovery. If the opposite is the case, then reinvest yourself into the program with all your energy.

You can emerge from this unfortunate event with unique knowledge about avoiding relapse in the future. You will also be able to advise newcomers on the subject down the road.

The Science of Preventing Relapse


While scientists have yet to find a cure for addiction, researchers continue working tirelessly to help people find long-term recovery. A new study, appearing in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, found that substance use disorder relapse may be preventable, NNR reports. The researchers used animal models and were able to control cells in a brain region called the nucleus accumbens.  

JNeurosci reports that the nucleus accumbens plays a central role in the brain’s reward circuit network, along with the ventral tegmental area and the medial prefrontal cortex. It deals with two essential neurotransmitters that play a role in behavioral health disorders; dopamine, which promotes desire, and serotonin, which deals with satiety and inhibition.

The new study was conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and involved the use of 90 genetic diverse Sprague Dawley rats, according to the article. Susan Ferguson, director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UW’s School of Medicine, says a new process could prevent relapse for any addiction.

“We used a tool called chemogenetic receptors to act as a light switch on the cells,” said Ferguson. “When we changed activity of neurons in the nucleus accumbens, we were able to control relapse behavior.” 

While further research is necessary, Professor Ferguson and her colleagues believe that chemogenetic receptors could lead to the creation of a medication that decreases relapse but still keeps people motivated for other activities.

California Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

At Celebrate Hope, we combine the teachings of Jesus Christ with evidence-based therapies to help clients begin a journey of long-term recovery. We create treatment plans for each client that cater to one’s unique needs. Those who seek our help are taught useful relapse prevention tools, so they handle the stressors of life without resorting to drugs and alcohol. Please contact us today to learn more about our faith-based addiction treatment program.

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