Jed, a 38 – year old welder, enrolled in the treatment center after his arrest resulting from drunken driving (DUI/DWI) (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, n.d.). His lawyer has advised him to stop drinking and get treatment until his trial date, which is in approximate two months. Jed does not believe that he will serve any jail time, but feels that treatment could help strengthen his court case (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, n.d.). In this paper, I will create a relapse prevention plan that will aid Jed as he enters into his treatment program. This paper will also show ways to identify the warning signs of relapse.
A relapse begins long before the person actually picks up a drink or drug (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-Department of Health and Human Services, 2007). Most proficient gradual warning signs that revive denial and result into intense pain calls for self-medication with alcohol or other drugs or both which is basically a noble idea. It is not a conscious task. The warning signs in this case are known to develop spontaneously and instinctively. Owing to that fact that not many recovering people are always taught on the best ways to recognize and mange relapse warning signs, they are not able to identify them up to the point when they start feeling unbearable pain.
Step 1: Stabilization
Relapse prevention planning will most probably not work if the relapser is not sober and in control of himself (Addiction in women, 2010). Detoxification and sobriety are very vital for the relapse prevention plan to work successfully. Having in mind that most people who relapse are toxic, even if they are sober, it will still be very difficult for them to think clearly remember things and manage their emotions. The symptoms would worsen
in any case the person gets isolated from the society or when he undergoes stress. It is advisable to move slowly and focus on the basics and in this case, the question here should be “What is it that you need to do to avoid drinking today?”
Step 2: Assessment
This step aims at identifying the progressive pattern of problems that did result into the past relapses and then find solutions to the pain resulting from such problems. This would be accompanied by the reconstruction of the current problems, the alcohol and substance use history, life history and retrieval relapse history. Through the reconstruction and presentation of problems, the now and here issues that stand to cause immediate threat to sobriety can be pinpointed and crisis plans developed to resolve such issues.
Step 3: Relapse Education
Relapsers have to be familiar with the relapse process and the best ways to manage it. Involving the family and other sponsors is a great idea. The education should strive to emphasize four main messages: First, relapse is an ordinary and a natural process in the recovery out of the chemical dependence. One should not be ashamed of it like in the case of Jed who “gets jumpy” when he tries to stay away from drinking, feeling “closed in or like he is suffocating”. He also cannot imagine how to explain to his buddies why he is not joining them in the bars. Secondly, people are not all of a sudden taken drunk.
There are gradual warning sign patterns that indicate they are slowly cropping in again. Such signs can only be recognized when one is sober. Thirdly, after they are identified, the recovering individuals can get to learn how to manage such relapse warning signs when sober. And the last one is that hope is real. Jed once attended a few AA meetings, but did not feel that AA was helpful: “It was listening to a lot of guys whining….” This should and will most likely change if he attends a lecture that describes the typical warning signs that precede relapse to chemical use.
Step 4: Warning Sign Identification
Relapsers should be able to determine the problems that resulted into relapse. The main objective here is to list personal warning signs that made them move from a state of stable recovery all the way back to chemical use. There is hardly ever just a single warning sign. Ordinarily a series of warning signs develop one after the other to create relapse. The cumulative effect is what wears them down. The ultimate warning sign is basically last blow. Regrettably most relapsers think it is the last warning sign that caused it all. For this reason, they tend to assume the early and more delicate warning signs that leads to the final disaster.
Step 5: Follow-up
The warning signs are unbound to change with progress in recovery (Field, Caetano, Harris, Frankowski & Roudsari, 2009). Each of the stages involved in the recovery process has distinctive warning signs. The ability to deal with the warning signs of one stage of recovery does not warranty that one will know how to manage the warning signs of the next stage. The relapse prevention plan therefore has to be updated more often which should be; monthly for the first three months, quarterly for the first two years, and annually thereafter. Call now for immediate relapse prevention help.
Addiction in women., (2010). Harvard Mental Health Letter, 26(7), 1–3. Field, C. A., Caetano, R., Harris, T. R., Frankowski, R., and Roudsari, B., (2009). Ethnic differences in drinking outcomes following a brief alcohol intervention in the trauma care setting. Society for the Study of Addiction, 105, 62–73. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Case examples. Retrieved March 28, 2010, from http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Social/Teaching%20Case%20Examples/Case%20Examples.html Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-Department of Health and Human Services, (2007). Retrieved October 31, 2010 from http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh/2k7nsduh/2k7results.cfm#2.7 Category: Essay
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