Treatment for drug and alcohol abuse does not end once a patient leaves our facility. Following recovery, patients are in a very vulnerable and fragile state as they try to reintegrate back into their everyday worlds. We are committed to preventing relapses and have set up several alumni programs to help our patients stay sober. We work to maintain an ongoing post-treatment relationship with our patients so they can learn relapse control and self-management to lead a life of sobriety.
The Importance of Support Systems in Recovery
Addiction recovery is a difficult and life-changing process that calls for both individual commitment and a solid support network. These support systems, which may consist of family, friends, support groups, or professionals, are essential for offering inspiration, direction, and accountability during the recovery process. Not surprisingly, an individual’s chances of reaching and keeping sobriety can be greatly improved by the existence of a supportive network.
Recovery from addiction can be emotionally taxing, with self-doubt, cravings, and even setbacks. It can mean the world to someone when they have people who actually care and comprehend the hardships. These people provide support, empathy, and a listening ear, assisting the person in recovery by helping them navigate challenging emotions and serving as a constant reminder that they are not alone.
Support systems are a source of inspiration and motivation as well. Role models can be peers who have successfully recovered from addiction because they provide encouragement and show that long-term recovery is possible. Seeing other people succeed might inspire some resolve and confidence in one’s own capacity to overcome obstacles. A support system’s encouragement and affirmation can also increase self-esteem and promote a strong belief in personal development.
From the moment a patient leaves our facility and reenters their regular world, we maintain contact with them, making weekly calls for up to a full year. We call former patients to make sure they have not slipped into a relapse and to ascertain how they’re dealing with the transition from rehab to home. We also establish regular communications with two other points of contact for our patients to ensure the patient is being forthright about their substance use.
While the ultimate goal of any drug or alcohol rehab program is for patients to enter treatment only once, there are many cases where patients suffer an unfortunate relapse. The alumni network will make immediate arrangements for patients to be readmitted to treatment in the event of a relapse. The last thing a patient needs is for all of their hard work in treatment to be all for naught. A relapse doesn’t have to mean the end of sobriety. With the help of our alumni network, it can be just a bump in the road.
Other Perks of Our Alumni Program
Part of the reason we’ve experienced such a high rate of success is our continued commitment to our patients, even after they complete residential treatment. Our facility is only the first step on the road to recovery, but the alumni program at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches stays with its patients long after that first step has been completed. We coordinate alumni events, regularly send out newsletters, and share inspirational stories in our alumni program to keep patients going strong.
Patients are encouraged to check in from time to time following rehab and let us know how they’re doing. We also encourage our alumni to remain in contact with each other to provide a source of strength and help in relapse prevention. Remember that recovery is a lifetime journey – don’t forget where your journey began, and be sure to be an active part of the Behavioral Health Alumni Community.
How to Support Alumni in Recovery
Supporting an individual who has completed a treatment program and is now an alumnus in recovery can be instrumental in their ongoing journey towards a healthier and fulfilling life.
Some of the ways families and friends of an addiction treatment alumni include:
- Open communication: Contact the alumni regularly to demonstrate your ongoing support. Connect with them on social media or by phone, text, or email to let them know you care. Be a good listener, providing a free-flowing forum for them to share their thoughts, struggles, and victories.
- Educate yourself: Spend some time learning about addiction and the road to recovery. This will enable you to comprehend the challenges and difficulties better. Additionally, it enables you to provide knowledgeable support and steer clear of preconceptions or stigmas related to addiction.
- Help them stay accountable: By gently reminding the alumni and making them responsible for their behavior, you may help them stay committed to their recovery. Striking a balance between assistance and control is crucial while also respecting the autonomy of the individual.
- Avoid enablement: While giving support is necessary, it’s as critical to refrain from supporting actions that can impede the alumni’s recovery. Making excuses for their behavior, giving them financial support that could be abused, or downplaying the repercussions of their actions are all examples of enabling. Establish sound limits and promote personal accountability.
- Practice empathy: Recovery from addiction is a difficult journey that frequently includes obstacles and disappointments. Recognize that relapses or challenging times are a natural part of the journey and express empathy and compassion to the alumni. During these times, refrain from passing judgment and show support while reassuring them that failures do not determine their value or capacity for recovery.
- Self-care: Being a supporter of a recovering alum can be emotionally taxing. It is crucial to give self-care a first priority and look for assistance for yourself as well. Take part in rejuvenating activities, think about joining support groups, and seek counseling if necessary. You will be better able to assist the alumni in their recovery if you take care of yourself.
Helping Our Patients Prevent Relapse
After a patient has spent weeks away from home, repairing the damage done by chemical dependency and restarting their lives in sobriety, almost nothing can be more painful than a drug or alcohol relapse. It can hinder a recovering addict’s momentum, cause feelings of hopelessness, and can also discourage close friends and family members who had hoped they’d turned a corner. Relapse is a tragic but very real part of the recovery process, and as such, deserves the same amount of consideration as breaking the habits in the first place.
Most frequently, relapse is either the result of incomplete rehabilitation or of a patient failing to apply the things they learned in treatment. Many patients don’t divorce themselves from the negative catalysts in their lives, powered by a false sense of victory over addiction. While it takes just a short time to develop an addiction, it takes a lifetime to defeat one. Relapse prevention education is one of the hallmarks of addiction care at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches and can keep you or a loved one going strong in recovery.
In nearly 20 years as leaders in the industry, we’ve found that it’s much better to be proactive in relapse prevention as opposed to reactive. Our goal is to arm our patients with as much education and as many tools as possible in the fight against relapse. Education begins during the initial stages of rehab, where we use our evaluations to determine the severity of a patient’s addiction.
The next phase of relapse prevention focuses on raising the self-awareness of our patients. We want them to understand what relapse is, what causes it, what behaviors, feelings, or activities are associated with their substance abuse, and how to avoid situations in which they will be vulnerable. We also focus on behavior awareness and modification and coping strategies.
For most addicts, substance abuse was a dominating force in their lives before rehab. This means they will now need to come up with a plan to fill that newly found free time and avoid high-risk situations. In some cases, this may mean a patient will have to plan on making new friends, finding new hangouts, and discovering new hobbies to keep them occupied. Our addiction care specialists work with patients to develop a sound and realistic plan for sobriety, giving patients even more ammunition in their fight against addiction.
Heal At Our Addiction Recovery Center
Don’t assume this is a problem you need to handle on your own. Contact Affordable Addiction Treatment to learn more about the addiction recovery programs offered at our inpatient drug rehab.