Perhaps the biggest concern behind drug and alcohol addiction and recovery is the matter of an addict’s ability to remain sober, or staying quit, once a level of recovery and sobriety has been achieved. This is perhaps second only to overdose deaths when it comes to the heading of, “Matter of greatest concern in the drug and alcohol addiction field.”
Relapse is the end-all loss that is only surmounted by death when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction. A relapse happens when someone who has achieved a reprieve from drug and alcohol abuse and addiction experiences some degree of falling back to those old habits. The individual was free of addiction for a period and then he or she used drugs or abused alcohol again.
Statistics for relapse in the nation are pretty high, and the issue is a lot more prevalent, and a more likely to occur than many people would like to think:
- Drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation statistics show to us that the overall percentage of people who will relapse after some period of recovery ranges from 50% to 90% depending on different factors. This is a very frightening statistic, to say the least, and it is often used as justification for those who wish to carry on with their addiction, because they feel like, “There’s no hope for me anyway, I’m just going to relapse sometime in the future as it is.”
- On the bright side though, addicts who actually do receive the right treatment that is specifically tailored to their own needs have a much higher success rate at getting and staying quit than others who do not do, and this significantly reduces their mortality rate. Getting clean and staying sober can be a rocky road with many starts and stops along the way. For example, it’s been reported that heroin addicts can relapse between eight and ten times before maintaining sobriety for any length of time.
- Relapse itself is now defined as the return that one makes to abusing a substance regularly and sometimes uncontrollably to a degree. Statistically speaking, on average between about 25 percent and 50 percent of substance abusers will return to using drugs or alcohol within two years of receiving treatment for their addictions.
- Many studies highlight that total abstinence is the only true way of staying quit once and for all. Recovering addicts who remain abstinent for five years or more only have a fifteen percent chance of relapsing while those sober for a year have a little more than a half chance. That first year is most definitely the most challenging and no one should assume that a recovering addict’s sobriety is even close to being reliable until they have been sober for at least a year.
The Staying Quit Approach
We at Serenity understand that staying sober is not the easiest thing to do. Even with the best rehab program possible, if a rehab center does not give their clients tools for staying sober after rehab is completed, then it’s unlikely that they will go through life without relapsing.
We at Serenity have made a conscious effort to help people to stay clean and sober, and we have done this by affecting proper techniques that our clients can use in their time after they complete our rehab program. Some of the techniques we use are:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In this method, we mainly seek to help our patients to recognize, avoid, and necessarily cope with the situations in which they are most likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. We teach them what these circumstances look like, how to avoid them and, if they must be in them, how to cope with drug and alcohol-related situations. Staying quit requires conscious decisions and sound choices.
This uses positive reinforcement and a rewarding and validating system that primarily provides rewards or privileges for remaining and for staying drug and alcohol-free, for attending and participating in counseling sessions after rehab is completed, or for helping others to get sober and stay sober.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
This technique is something that we teach if one is seriously considering relapsing. It is known for being able to use strategies to evoke rapid and internally motivated behavior change too quickly change one’s mindset and actions to more positive ones.
This approach is especially successful with young adults, and it aims to establish powerful and meaningful family interactions and dynamics that may contribute to a helping hand, a support group, or a safety net in the future when things seem bleak.
“Staying Quit” is all about making a point to set a recovering addict up for an active and beneficial life after rehab is completed. We accomplish this with flying colors at Serenity, and we are proud to have seen thousands of client benefit greatly from these approaches.