Part of treating clients with a substance abuse issue should include addressing the issue of relapse prevention. This is not the same thing as acknowledging that every client who goes through treatment will have a relapse. It acknowledges our clients are “in recovery”, not “recovered” from their addiction. The possibility of a relapse at some point is very real and it would be foolish for the counsellors and staff at Summit Behavioral Help not to prepare out clients by giving them tools to deal with the triggers that will make them want to start drinking or using drugs when they happen.
How a Relapse Can Occur
If you have completed a drug or alcohol treatment program, you can’t afford to let your old lifestyle or way of thinking creep into your life. When you start to become complacent about your recovery, you open the door to relapse.
- You feel that you have control over the problem and that taking a drink or using “just this once” will be fine.
- You aren’t working out stresses in your life as they come up; instead you are allowing them to build up to a breaking point.
- You are not handling negative feelings like anger, loneliness or boredom very well.
- You have let your recovery plan lapse; for example, you have stopped going to your 12-step meetings.
Substance Abuse Prevention Program
The relapse prevention program at Summit Behavioral Health covers this topic and gives our clients skills they need to stop a slip from turning into a slide toward a more serious return to a full-blown problem. Our clients learn that they can recognize the signs that they are vulnerable to a relapse and stop the cycle in its tracks.
It’s not a sign of failure to need extra support in the face of a potential relapse. Recognizing the signs and getting help with it is a sign of strength. Staying on the path of sobriety is a daily task and we know that our clients must re-commit themselves to this lifestyle every time they wake up. It isn’t always easy, but we know our clients can do it.
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