Relapse Prevention

After Care Matters

Adult | Prevention | Recovery | Teen | Uncategorized

Steve Carell's character reacts with outrage in the 2019 movie, Beautiful Boy, when a substance abuse counselor tells him that relapse is "part of recovery."

He replies: "That's like saying that crashing is a part of pilot training."

Both characters are right. Relapse is often a part of addiction recovery. But it can wreak as much havoc on the people it touches as an airplane crash.

Experts refer to drug and alcohol addiction as relapsing diseases because repeat offenses so commonly occur after treatment. Substance use is not only habit forming, but chemically alters the brain, often compromising the addicted person's ability to resist cravings. For this reason, drug and alcohol relapse prevention after rehab are essential components of the recovery process. People often remain at increased risk of returning to old habits for many years after completing treatment programs. That's why former drug addicts and alcoholics usually say they are "in recovery" rather than claiming to be "cured."

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) defines addiction as: chronic, relapsing diseases. What's more, statistics reveal that roughly 40-60 percent of people who have gone through treatment for substance abuse will experience some kind of relapse. But don't let the stats scare you. To make sure the changes you or your loved one make in recovery "take," MFI includes after-care as part of every treatment plan.

MFI Counselor Kari White explains the process: "We continue care beyond inpatient and/or outpatient treatment, making sure to support clients as they transition from treatment ino the real world."

Why People Use
(This list is far from exhaustive. There are myriad reasons people start using drugs or drinking to excess.)

Drugs stimulate the pleasure center in the brain:

  • Initial euphoric effects follow, depending on the Drug of Choice (DOC). 
  • For example, a stimulant, such as cocaine, produces a high followed by what many describe to be feelings of power, self-confidence and energy.
  • On the other hand, opioids produce euphoria followed by relaxation and satisfaction. 

Desire to Numb the Pain
In an effort to try to feel better, people who suffer from stress and depression may start using to suppress anxiety. Stress can trigger drug use as well as relapse because, as anyone who lives on Planet Earth knows, stress is a natural part of life.

Pursuit of Success
Feeling pressure to focus or artificially improve their ability in sports leads some to turn to prescription medication or cocaine.

Peer Pressure
Teenagers can exert pressure on each other to try drugs. Teens, more often than adults, often participate in risky behaviors spurred by their drug use. Adults can cave to this type of pressure, as well. Social drinking can lead to serious problems with alcohol. Since none of the above desires, needs and impressions diminish when clients leave treatment, people in recovery need to develop alternative coping mechanisms to carry into their new way of life. Our Aftercare and Relapse Prevention Plans are crucial elements for maintaining a life free from alcohol or drug addiction, after clients leave the doors of MFI.

MFI's Aftercare Program
A strong system of support, Aftercare is designed to help recovering individuals continue to develop skills to deal with stressors. We also educate and encourage them to avoid triggers that set off cravings. Both relapse prevention and aftercare planning begin before clients are released from residential substance abuse treatment. In fact, we incorporate aftercare into each client's individual recovery plan. Each unique plan is customized to meet their individual needs, concerns and home support system. Relapse prevention therapy, in addition to our regular treatment services, promotes a self-sustaining recovery, based on skills developed through treatment as well as the support from others found in aftercare. Call today for more detailed information about how our treatment and aftercare programs work.

About MFI

Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model, creating a personalized treatment program for each client. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find our more, call (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596. 


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