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Relapse Is a Part of Recovery

by James Heller 10. September 2009 12:11
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is participating in Recovery Month 2009, in part, with articles about recovery during the month of September.  Most individuals suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction begin their recovery with alcohol and drug treatment.  So it is our pleasure to help bring awareness to the general public about the benefits of recovery to individuals, their families, and everyone with whom they interact.

It may seem contrary to the goal of recovery to say that relapse is normal and a part of life’s journey after alcohol and drug treatment.  On an individual level it is healthy to say that relapse is not an option.  But since alcohol dependence and drug addiction are diseases with a relapse component, it is important for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts to be prepared in the case of relapse.

It is important to first note that this is not a suggestion to drink alcohol or use drugs if you are in recovery.  The point is that relapse is not about losing your sobriety date, or needing to stand up and take another set of Welcome chips at meetings.  Relapse after a period of sobriety can be used as an opportunity to enhance recovery.

Relapse is an indication that help is needed for a recovering individual, and nothing more.  Those who relapse must seek immediate help for drug addiction or alcoholism from other friends in recovery.  Otherwise, the alcoholic or drug addicted brain will lead them back to the hopelessness and despair they once knew.  They need to follow the direction of others in order to return to the healthy path of recovery.

If recovery begins with an admission that there is a problem, then even chronic relapse is a part of recovery.  With new advances in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), including drugs like Vivitrol that reduces alcohol cravings, these long-suffering individuals may find their way over a large roadblock down the path to recovery.  

In any case, relapse is a learning tool for recovering individuals.  Relapse always occurs sometime before taking a drink or drug.  Upon resuming abstinence, individuals should take stock of their actions before drinking or using, and make corrections.  There is no doubt they will enjoy a better life in recovery, and the shame or guilt from relapse will disappear.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles has an alumni association so former patients may stay close to others in recovery.  We also include MAT in alcohol and drug treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  This includes assessment and counseling for the use of Vivitrol during medical detoxification in our alcohol and drug detox units.  For more information, please call 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

The Addiction Technology Transfer Center website has posted an article that details a study on relapse triggers.  A portion is included below, and the link to the full article follows.

-- Begin external content --

Workshop data were gathered from several different studies of alcohol relapse using rodent models. One study introduced prolonged alcohol consumption, followed by repeated periods of alcohol deprivation, to test for an alcohol deprivation effect (ADE). ADE is similar to the binge drinking that can occur after a long period of abstinence. Another study used operant techniques such as lever pressing to examine how hard rodents would work for their alcohol following deprivation. Another assessed the impact of environmental cues and stress on the reinstatement of alcohol response. An additional study tested the effectiveness of acamprosate and naltrexone, two medications currently used to treat alcoholics. Yet one more study used microdialysis and [14C]-2-deoxyglucose techniques to examine neuronal alterations associated with alcohol relapse.

-- Source: http://www.nattc.org/explore/priorityareas/science/tools/asmeDetails.asp?ID=96

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.