Treatment of substance abuse does not end once the patient is out of rehab – it must extend to safeguard him or her against relapse. Relapse is extremely common among drug and alcohol addicts, because once they are out of rehab, they lose many of the supports that helped them become sober in the first place. Preventing relapse requires holistic treatment that not only helps people detox from their addiction but also gain the skills that they need to avoid turning back to drugs later. Without proper post-treatment care, a patient can quickly turn back to the substance they spent so much time to escape from.
Christ-centered Relapse Prevention
Guided by the belief that people need help to prevent relapse, we refer clients to Christian rehabilitation facilities that offer effective relapse prevention programs. They help them identify the things that they need to add to their life – and the things they need to take away – in order to successfully stay off drugs. These Christian centers focus on treating the whole person, including the spiritual aspects that will help them to have the strength they need to stay sober.
Avoiding drugs while going through challenging times requires a strong faith foundation and ideas of other ways to deal with difficult times in life. In these relapse therapies, a patient’s “triggers” are identified, and he or she is given strategies of how to handle them. Often, a person relapses because they spend time with people and in places that tempt them to use drugs or alcohol. Identifying those triggers and finding new, healthier habits to replace them is key to long term sobriety.
Triggers could be emotions, peer groups, or activities. Recognizing them, of course, is only the first step. Overcoming these addiction triggers is essential if a patient is to successfully continue his journey to recovery.
A Model for Relapse Prevention
One relapse prevention therapy we recommend to many of our clients is the Gorski model, developed by leading recovery and relapse authority Terence Gorski. He is well-known for his books and techniques for treating addiction. Gorski distinguishes between programs that only aim to lead patients to a healthy lifestyle and programs that empower patients to identify and manage his or her unique relapse warning signs. This ability makes it possible for a person to notice when they are likely to turn back to drugs and make a different choice.
At the foreground of the model is the development of step-by-step lifestyle plan based on relapse prevention that will enable a recovering patient to develop healthy coping skills. Coping skills are something that most people develop throughout their life, but often drug addicts replace all of their coping skills with the drug. Because of drugs’ strong impact on the brain, they can become a quick solution to any challenges. By developing new coping skills, a person will not need to turn to the addictive substance anymore.
Gorski’s work is the foundation of many relapse prevention programs offered by Christian rehabilitation centers nationwide. These Christian centers also use Bible-based techniques and base all of their treatment on a Christ-centered approach, which we believe is the most effective kind of treatment.
A Long Path
Becoming sober is only the first step, and it is often the easier step along a lifelong path of sobriety. An addict is always at risk of relapse, so learning strategies for coping with that is imperative. When a patient is living in a rehab center, they simply have no access to drugs or alcohol, and, therefore, have no other choice but to get clean. It is only once they leave that the patient is forced to remain sober under their own strength. A good treatment center will prepare them for this so that they know what they need to do to avoid relapse.
We work with Christian treatment centers nationwide and can recommend you to one that will serve your needs. Give us a call today to talk to one of our professional counselors about your needs and a treatment center that can best serve you.
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