How would you approach the topic of relapse prevention with your case study client

Relapse prevention strategies that are truly effective have been created with honesty and specific details and are carried out with dedication and a realistic approach. At Destination Hope, these strategies are created specifically for the client and their lifestyle. Implementing relapse prevention strategies can help continue a stable and strong recovery. Once relapse prevention strategies have been defined, outlining triggers and potential signs of relapse, it’s time to come up with steps to avoid them. It’s important that the steps of the plan are as specific as possible. Further, life never stays the same so strategies should be updated as necessary to keep them relevant. Find support.  Join organizations that will support your sober life. From community recovery meetings to religious organizations to family groups, there are meetings all over the world. Destination Hope also offers a comprehensive aftercare and alumni program meeting several times each week Make New Friends. Your friends from before rehab may no longer be the best people to hang out with – it is important you find a social support group that actively supports your sobriety. Being sober doesn’t mean you can’t be social.Gratitude Lists.  Keep your gratitude list close, in your wallet or in your car. Update the list of positive things in your sober life – whether it is people, animals, feelings or accomplishments.  Look at the list and remind yourself how far you have come. An individual in recovery is in an especially delicate situation during a holiday where alcohol is often present.  Identifying parties and get together may be a temptation situation is the first step to preventing a relapse.

It is crucial to relapse prevention that an individual in recovery to have an exit plan if they feel the temptation is too strong. If the recovering individual finds that he or she is in a situation that is too stressful, then that person needs a safe place to go and a plan in place for how to get there.

It is also advisable to have a supportive friend or sponsor on standby to call when the urge to drink arises. Having a friend who has already been through such stressful situations has proven to be a very successful tactic. Occasionally, the triggers that cause the desire to drink are too great and it is often best to avoid those situations entirely. It may be time to find a new way to celebrate the Fourth of July in a setting where alcohol is not present.

Friends and family members of individuals in recovery should also have a plan in place. They can offer support, love and understanding to a loved one in recovery without becoming overbearing and judgmental. Try not to “babysit” someone in recovery during the party, instead, try to make the situation safe from temptation.


What would he or she need in terms of emotional support, coping skills, and resources?

· Coping is the process of spending mental, conscious energy on dealing with problems in life. Mechanisms used to cope with stress attempt to overcome or diminish the amount of stress experienced.

· Coping mechanisms can be categorized into three broad types: appraisal -focused, which affects thought associated with the stressor; problem-focused, which affects the stressor itself; and emotion -focused, which affects the feelings associated with the stressor.

· Coping strategies can be either positive or negative. Positive or adaptive strategies decrease the amount of stress perceived and experienced, while negative or maladaptive strategies diminish symptoms of stress without addressing the real problem or disorder.

· Coping ability varies to the extent that a person perceives a situation as stressful (primary appraisal) and decides he/she has the necessary resources to deal with what has been labeled stressful (secondary appraisal).

· Coping-strategy selection varies among people and populations based on situational, sexual, personal, and cultural differences.


 What should your client consider if he or she does relapse?

“Understand” the relapse. Find out what the patient was thinking when he or she decided to use drugs or alcohol again. Was the patient in denial about the seriousness of what he or she was doing? Did the patient know what he or she was getting into? What were the circumstances surrounding the event? Asking such questions will help you understand the relapse and identify issues that may not yet have been addressed. Focus on what the patient is feeling now. Talk with the patient about what he or she feels after the relapse, This goes hand-in-hand with “understanding” the relapse. Ask the patient, “What were you thinking before you picked up that drink. What was different about this time as opposed to the other times that you felt like taking a drink, but didn’t?” Offer the patient hope. This comes back to combating the abstinence violation effect. Help the patient recognize that a relapse does not mean the end of sobriety. In fact, once the issues leading to the relapse are identified and confronted, the patient can be even more hopeful about achieving a sustained recovery.


 Does one relapse mean that everything accomplished in recovery is nothing

A relapse (“lapse,” “slip,” “setback”) is one of the most frustrating, humiliating experiences you can face in recovery from any problem habit. It leaves you feeling guilty, ashamed and tempted to throw in the towel and just keep acting out on the addiction. Unfortunately, relapse is also common. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of people who go through addiction treatment programs go on to slip at least once. In fact, many people have multiple setbacks before finally achieving a full recovery.

A slip may feel like the end of the world, but really, it’s an opportunity for growth and reinforcing basic life skills that need more work. Many people emerge from relapse with a fresh scare regarding what they are up against, as well as a deeper commitment to becoming sober. This renewed motivation can help you come back from a relapse even stronger than you were before. Don’t make yourself feel ashamed when some of your old symptoms return, and don’t think that you have to handle them entirely by yourself. It’s not “weak” for you to seek some additional help from others about your renewed problems.

Also, if you backslide, look at your self-defeating behavior as bad and unfortunate, but refuse to put yourself down for engaging in this behavior. It’s behavior you probably practiced for a long time.

Rather than rate yourself or your being, measure your acts, deeds, and traits. You are a person who acts well or badly- and never a good or bad person.

No matter how badly you fall back and bring on your old disturbances again, work at fully accepting yourself with this unfortunate or weak behavior and then try- and keep trying- to change your behavior.