The third phase of drug rehab focuses on the maintenance of acquired coping skills to guarantee long-term abstinence. Two major goals are focused upon at this stage: identifying and dealing with underlying causes of drug abuse and relapse prevention. This phase starts approximately after 3 months of early abstinence and lasts the longest of all other phases. Those seeking inpatient residential treatment might be shifted to the outpatient setting at this point since emergency intervention is now completed.
During this phase, the therapist helps a person realize how drug abuse has impacted their life and what negative consequences have come out of their addiction. They might also address the factors that led up to and perpetuated the drug abuse. Eventually, strategies are developed to avoid giving in to these factors and improve upon the quality of life in the long term. Previously learned coping strategies are also continually maintained to prevent relapse.