One of the most common questions health care professionals and addiction specialists get asked is how to support someone who has relapsed.
Unfortunately, relapse is quite common, but it does not mean the end of recovery. What many doctors and counselors are encouraging treatment centers to do is incorporate a monitoring program. Just like people who continue “treatment and management [for] other chronic illnesses” get frequent checks by health care professionals, those in addiction recovery would benefit from this level of attention as well (New Paradigm 2).
According to the New Paradigm, “strong engagement…and support of the individual” are key components to helping those in long-term recovery avoid relapse.
It is also important that the family seek out addiction support, either through family therapy or Al-Anon. This will ensure that the support families give their loved ones is genuinely helpful rather than enabling or controlling.
In addition, an aftercare program for the person in recovery is crucial. This may involve continued contact with the treatment center through therapy, mentoring, or alumni support groups. Local recovery support groups, like AA or NA, are also a key part of long-term recovery.
It’s extremely important to remember that relapse does not mean failure.
If your loved one relapses, help them return to treatment as quickly as possible. Relapse is simply a sign that the person needs to reevaluate their recovery program and develop new, more effective tools for managing recovery.
If you or a loved one is searching for a drug addiction rehab, Contact us today at (877) 977-3268.
- The New Paradigm for Recovery: Making Recovery-and Not Relapse-the Expected Outcome of Addiction Treatment. John P. McGovern Symposium: Washington, DC, 2014. Accessed February 11, 2016.
- Psychology Today: psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction