When patients leave recovery, the challenges of returning to life as usual can be daunting. We can especially let fear take over when we buy into the frightening statistics that put the likelihood of relapse anywhere from 50-90%.
It’s important to realize that recovery is a long process, not a quick-fix solution. However, relapse is also a process, and with the right preventive techniques and mindful monitoring, we can help prevent relapse and further empower our patients on their road to recovery.
Proper Diagnosis of Underlying Issues
As many as half of drug users in the United States have an underlying (and sometimes undiagnosed) mental disorder. When patients learn to depend on substance abuse in order to self-treat mental illness, it’s vital to get control of the mental disorder before addiction recovery is a practical reality.
When patients are able to get a handle on underlying problems like anxiety disorders, trauma, depression, or personality disorders, then they are more able to take charge of their addiction recovery as well and understand that there are options besides substance abuse.
Building Cognitive Tools and Resources
The cognitive behavioral counseling approach has been found to be very effective in treating addiction. This approach is unique in that it focuses specifically on building internal resources for coping with stress or depression, as well as countering fallacious thought patterns. Together, the patient and psychologist set goals and objectives, and then build skills and techniques that will help to achieve that outcome through directing mental resources and finding creative solutions for problematic self-talk.
Often, stress and/or depression are major triggers for relapse. However, by building our patients’ internal resources for dealing with these challenges in a healthy and self-sufficient way, they are able to redirect their path during the initial stages of relapse.
Fortifying Support Networks and Connections
The most important resource of each patient as they leave a recovery center is their network of personal connections that can provide love and support as they work on their road to recovery. One of the most dangerous things for someone recovering from addiction is isolation.
Our focus on family dynamics and intensive family and group counseling seeks to strengthen each patient’s resource network, through building communication skills, troubleshooting harmful relationship patterns, and enabling breakthroughs between family members. Our responsibility to teach coping techniques and effective management doesn’t end with our patients; it’s also important to build up family and friends of our patients so that they are further empowered to aid in the recovery of their loved one.
Something that sets our recovery center apart from others is our incorporation of spiritual principles. While using scientific, modern resources and techniques, we also recognize that for many of our patients, the hope and motivation for addiction recovery has a spiritual aspect. We believe that there is hope for true and lasting healing for every single person who comes through our door.