The difference between obtaining sobriety and maintaining sobriety.
I can’t understand why he/she relapsed! They were doing so well. What happened??
The struggle with addiction is difficult. Determination and effort are required to take the necessary steps to break free. Some people do it on their own, but most people can’t. They need effective interventions and professional care to make that important first step and follow through with the process to become substance free.
When someone finally reaches the point where they are willing to seek professional treatment, they are then faced with choosing the program that fits best for them. They have lots of choices—so many, in fact, that it can become overwhelming. Between the in-patient programs, out-patient programs, 12-step programs, non-12-step programs, peer-based recovery groups and holistic treatment programs, it can be hard to make a clear and informed decision.
Many of these programs help people become substance free, but the rate of relapse is alarming. Why is it so difficult to stay sober?
The difficulty arises because people relapse in their thinking before they turn to their substance of choice. Their relapse in thinking will tell them that, once they have maintained sobriety for a little while, they can drink or use “like normal people do”. They may rationalize that they understand that they can’t do as much as they used to, so they won’t – that’s the plan. Too bad it doesn’t work.
Their relapse in thinking might occur when something stressful happens in their life, and they know that their old friend, the substance, will give them relief. It could be when they become angry at someone they love. “I quit because you wanted me to! To heck with it all! I know what will make me feel better.”
Relapse in thinking leads to relapse with substances.
Gulf Breeze Recovery makes relapse prevention a central part of their recovery program. The entire time guests are in treatment they are learning how to best prevent relapse. Guests are taught where relapse first occurs, with their thinking. They learn how to recognize their thinking relapse before they follow the subversive thought and take that first drink or drug.
Guests learn how to change their relationship with their thinking. Many of us go through life believing that our thoughts are informing us about reality. What we don’t realize is that our thoughts are actually shaping our reality. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, guests learn to question their own thinking. They see the power of stepping back from a thought.
Resources after graduation from residential treatment continue to help graduates be aware of the way their thinking is informing the way they see their sobriety and the world. One-on-one follow-up after treatment is completed with a trained educator to work through concerns as they arise, professionally led weekly support groups both in-person and remotely online, as well as a graduate’s only, Facebook page are all available. These options offer graduates an opportunity to recognize and address relapses in thinking before they become actual relapses.
Understanding relapse prevention is important. Recognizing relapse thinking and how to address it decreases the likelihood of relapse. Gulf Breeze Recovery understands relapse and strives to provide the finest services to promote long-term recovery for all our guests.
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