Will Inpatient Drug Rehabilitation Help my Loved One Avoid Relapse
One of the biggest fears for a friend or family member of an addict is that even after treatment their loved one will slip back into their previous lifestyle of addiction. Fortunately, much of the time spent in inpatient drug rehabilitation is focused on learning relapse prevention techniques and skills that can help those in recovery to remain sober and stay on the right path. While there are no guarantees that inpatient drug rehabilitation will help your loved one to completely avoid the path of relapse, there is hope that with effective treatment, therapy and care the risks of relapse can be greatly reduced and potentially diminished over time.
Addiction a Chronic Disease
According to Dr.’s William White and Thomas Mclellan, “modern medicine has recognized that chronic diseases cannot and should not be treated and managed like acute disorders.” As such, treatment for a chronic disease like addiction should involve three primary elements or features:
- Symptoms can be removed or reduced but this will not affect the root cause of the disease
- Significant changes in lifestyle and behavior must be made by the patient in order for the treatment to be beneficial
- Regular in-person or telephone monitoring must be made along with encouragement and support for healthy changes long term (this is generally considered aftercare)
Relapse Prevention Therapy
According to the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, a division of SAMHSA, “Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT) is a behavioral self-control program that teaches individuals with substance addiction how to anticipate and cope with the potential for relapse.” This method of treatment can be used as part of an aftercare program to help those in inpatient drug rehabilitation to remain strong and on the right path following treatment. Throughout RPT, patients learn:
- How to recognize that relapse as a process
- How to identify high-risk situations including emotional upset, negative situations, social pressures or conflict
- How to cope with high-risk situations effectively
- Methods of damage control that can be used during relapse to minimize its effects
- How to remain engaged and active in treatment following a relapse
- How to create and be a part of a more balanced lifestyle
According to a collection of colleagues at Yale University, “Relapse Prevention help [s] patients maintain the gains that they have made in treatment after they are out of treatment.” Studies have actually proven that those who continue in follow up care and RPT are more likely to remain sober and less likely to relapse following time spent in an inpatient drug rehabilitation program than those who do not receive such care—so the bottom line is, RPT is an integral and very important part of effectively overcoming addiction and preventing or minimizing the risk of relapse over time.