At Cornerstone, one of our main focuses is on Relapse Prevention due to the high rate of relapse following traditional drug treatment.
Within addiction discourse, a relapse is cited as a shift back to addictive behaviors during an attempted period of recover. By explicitly focusing on relapse in recovery, individuals are able to make preparation in the event of a relapse. A relapse will bring with it a number of challenges along with emotions of guilt and blame which can lead to further profoundly negative behavior. Cravings become overpowering and, regrettably, the chance of relapse during this recovery phase is particularly high. It is essential that individuals surrounding a patient are aware of these facts and potential challenging situation which may arise during the process.
Relapse Prevention Therapy, or RPT, is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that seeks to mitigate opportunities for relapse during a phase of treatment. Coping mechanisms to deal with high-risk situations equip patients with the necessary tools to deal with these potential situations arising in the future. By pre-planning for these situations, patients are shown which feelings and emotions are intrinsically linked to relapse. At Cornerstone, we have noticed a recurring patterns of emotion which lead to relapse – and educate our clients on the emotions. The most pertinent emotions we have found that lead to relapse are bored, hungry, angry, lonely and tired – commonly known as BHALT.
RPT teaches participants to be aware of these emotions and employ coping mechanisms they’ve been taught by our experts. A patient surroundings are often the biggest factors in determining whether a patient will relapse. Such environment will bring with them intense cravings, these cravings are often neurologically linked to feelings associated with places or people. This psychological link is very strong and often uncontrollable; blood can initiate cravings for those who have intravenously used drugs, whereas objects that look similar to narcotics can also trigger the same response. RPT arms patients with the ability to identify these cues and implement a coping strategy to deal with these cravings.
Shifting the patient’s perspective of a relapse from a negative one to a positive one is a cornerstone of this form of therapy. Failure, in this sense a relapse, can have devastating effects on a patients ability to recover as if often reinforces the idea that they are unable to recover. This poses a number of challenges during the recovery process, as it fulfills the idea that the patient is unable to complete rehab and, will therefor return to addictive behaviors.
By changing the perspective from which patient view relapse, Cornerstone staff are able to reinterpret relapse as prolapse; providing patients with a priceless opportunity to learn new skills and improve existing coping mechanisms. By shifting perspective RPT is able to rationalize failures as learning curves whilst reducing amount of harm and time the patient spends in this relapse phase. ‘Lapses’ replace replaces and thus alter the patients perspective on future relapses into addictive behavior.
At Cornerstone, we will teach our residents that to live by a new code of rigorous honesty, staying connected to a sponsor and the treatment community and making better choices. Other topics within our Relapse Prevention Program include an explanation of codependency, enabling behaviors, family dynamics, control issues, acceptance and many other topics essential to continued sobriety.
Cornerstone believes chemical dependency is a disease that is chronic, progressive, treatable but not curable. It is a disease that can be placed in remission but is also highly prone to relapse.
We believe both the disease and its relapse are best treated through physical stabilization, psychological education, self-confrontation and social rehabilitation.
We believe those seeking treatment are not guilty for having the disease but are responsible for its management.
We believe abstinence is the beginning of the recovery process. Full recovery is a total lifestyle change.
We believe relapse is a process not an event; a process that can be identified, interrupted and managed.