Will Treatment Recovery Work?


Rehab is only the first step to treatment recovery. The real work begins when you get out. This is concerning for both the alcoholic/addict as well as the entire family.

Family members will have many mixed feelings. They’re exhausted, angry, relieved, worried and afraid that it won’t work. They’ve had some peace for the time that the addict was in rehab and when they've completed the program, everyone is “walking on glass” afraid of relapse.

The addict too is afraid. On the one hand they're glad to be out, but they know that it's going to be a struggle not to go back to their former lives. Relapse is often part of the recovery process.

Many times, after treatment relapses are short and the person pulls out of it and continues to stay straight, because they have the tools.

The slip can be used as a wake-up call. This is a chronic 'disease'. The addict may need additional recovery strategies. They can get this through outpatient programs or private counseling.

Relapse prevention programs should always be addressed before leaving rehab, in an aftercare program or in private counseling with an addiction specialist.

The addict must learn to identify his/her individual triggers and learn how to deal with them – not escape into their addiction. An acronym used in AA is HALT – meaning hungry, angry, lonely, tired. There are many more triggers as well, but HALT provides a good start.

One way the family can help is by not drinking alcohol, using drugs (and yes, pot is a drug) or gamble when the addict is around -even if they say it's OK. These are automatic triggers, and can bring on cravings - if not relapse. You don’t have to do this forever, but do it for the first few months and even for the first year. You be the judge! AA can also be helpful. Same with Narcotics Anonymous if there is an addiction to heroin or other narcotics

Of course with relapse everyone is discouraged, but remember the addict may just need a refresher - go to meetings, get a sponsor, see their addiction counselor of set up get recovery coaching Sometimes they need to go back for more treatment. And that still may not work.

In this case the addict has to do what they will do, because no one can stop them. It may take the police bringing them to the hospital or jail to get them off the street.

Believe it or not, this can be a wake-up call for an alcoholic/addict to turn their life around.

If you have more questions there are pages on this site that can help you and you can also ask a question and others will benefit by the answer as well. Here's how to do it

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