Relapse Prevention Therapy Essay Sample
Chemical dependency relapse prevention therapy can be explained as a systematic method where the patients who are in the process of recovering are taught on how to recognize and manage the warning signs of relapse. This prevention therapy is applicable to the patients who can not avoid use of alcohol and other drugs regardless of the first treatment. To understand this concept well is good to define the terms recovery and relapse. Recovery in this case is defined as full return to social, psychological and biological function, and abstinence from chemical use. It is from this definition of recovery where we can understand what relapse is. Relapse is therefore a process in which a person turns to be dysfunctional in the process of recovery which is followed by return to the use of drugs or chemicals, emotional or physical collapse or even leading to committing suicide.
Cases of relapse have got a series of warning signs which are observable. A person who suffers from relapse starts by losing biological, social, and psychological stability, within a period in which the person experiences a lot of stress and later leading to emotional or physical collapse. To keep down the symptoms the victims opts for alcohol or other drugs to distress his or her mind. It is for this reason why relapse prevention therapy finds its great application to solve the above problems which are common to many patients and for those people who find life to be difficult on their side (Stockwell, 2004, pp. 70).
Chemical dependence relapse prevention therapy has been found to help those victims who discovered to portray the following behavior. One those having beliefs that are mistaken and making the person start thinking irrationally. Two, those returning to patterns of thinking that are addictive which may lead to painful feelings. Three is those who are involved in self-defeating and compulsive behaviors as a mean of avoiding feelings. Four, looking for situations where one can interact with drunkards. Five is the individuals experiencing a lot of pain, behaving less responsibly, and thinking less rationally. Lastly is finding oneself in a place or situation where alcohol or other drugs are argued out that they can relief you from pain. Relapse prevention therapy can be applied to those people who have the above symptoms to prevent the person from falling back to the use of drugs a solution to the above problems (Ray, 2005, pp. 207).
Counselors can follow the following given principles and procedures of relapse prevention therapy. Each of the given principles acts to a particular relapse prevention therapy procedure. For a well working of this kind of chemical dependency relapse prevention therapy the principles should be applied to come up with the correct treatment plan for relapse-prone patient. First is the principle of self-regulatory. For any victim of relapse will be at a low risk if his or her self-regulatory thinking, memory, judgment, feeling, and behavior increase. Self-regulation is necessary in relapse prevention therapy as it stabilizes the person prone to relapse psychologically, physically and the socially. To know one has gained the stability one has to observe how the victim engages in performing the daily duty activities.
It is vital to assess the level of stability of a patient under low and high stress as the withdrawal symptoms are much stress sensitive. Since the patient is likely to use chemical during the period of highest stabilization, measures should taken to ensure that that no use of drugs or chemicals during this period. The patient should be kept in an environment where he can not access drugs. Any thought from the patient that may not be rational should be identified and discussed thoroughly. The patient should be made to understand and remember the consequences that arose previously as a result of using chemicals and from that come with means to cope with the situation (French, 2004, pp. 170).
Secondly is the principle of integration. Relapse risk will go down as there is increase in the level of conscious acceptance and understanding of events and situations that resulted to previous relapses. To apply the principle of integration, self-assessment procedure needs to be involved. From this procedure involves reconstructing the problem of the patient by assessing what might have made him to look for treatment, and his historical back ground concerning the use of drugs. A careful examination of the presented problem figures out the critical issues that might have caused the problem.
This assists the counselor to come up with an intervention plan which can be used to solve the issue. After the examination of the historical background patients’ problem, the next step that follows is to reconstruct relapse and recovery history of the patient. The counselor need to identify how previously the patient received the recovery treatment, whether he or she completed it or ignored it. In the same situation the counselor should also identify the order in which the warning signs that led to the patient falling back to use of chemical. Such kind of assessment will only work effectively if the counselor does it as an exercise through making a list that indicates the episodes of relapse and what led to it. The assignments should be rechecked as an individual or in a group (Cannon, 1998, pp. 125).
Third is the principle of understanding. This principle will work in relapse prevention therapy by increasing the general factor understanding which leads to decrease in relapse risk. The relapse prevention procedure will be based on the relapse education. Relapsers require clear information concerning the main cause of relapse and what need to be done to solve such problem. Relapse education based procedure will bring in sessions of relapse education which are structured together with reading assignments, which will give specific information concerning the recovery, relapse and the planning methods of relapse prevention. For the better working of the integration principle and relapse education based procedure, it is recommended to test the patient so that you can know his or her understanding and retention of the materials. Replasers have been found to have problems of mind which are associated with the post acute withdrawal that deter them from remembering or comprehending the information of education (Satre, 2003, pp. 90).
Fourth principle is the self-knowledge. Relapse risk in prevention therapy under this principle will decrease as the ability of the patient to recognize the of personal warning signs increase. The application of the principle of self-knowledge will be based on the warning sign identification procedure. Under this procedure the patient is taught how to trace back in a sequence manner what has led him or her to move from a recovery state to that relapse in the past and understand how such steps can lead him or her to fallback into relapse in future. The patient comes up with a warning sign list through unmanageable feelings, thinking thoughts which are not irrational, and through self-defeating behavior. Two types of warning sings have been identified on many warning signs list. One, those which are related to the core issues of psychology, and two those related to core issues of addiction. Related Psychological issues to warning signs create dysfunction and pain but they have no direct effect for an individual falling back to use of drugs (Moxley, 2003, pp. 145).
Fifth principle is the coping skills. Here relapse prevention therapy reduces the risk of the relapse as the patient’s ability to manage the warning signs of relapse increases. Under this principle warning sign management procedure is used. Here the prone-patient to relapse is taught on how to manage the warning signs in case they are observed. If the patient has the ability to cope with the warning signs the better he or she has the ability to be at recovery state. Three levels under the management of the warning signs should be focused. Situational behavior is the first level, where the patient learns the situations which he or she should keep away from to prevent them from triggering him or her back to use of drugs or alcohol. Cognitive feelings and thoughts is the second level where patient is supposed to learn on how to challenge his or her thoughts which are not irrational and how to deal with feelings which are not manageable in case they emerge when the warning signs are activated. The core issue is the third level where the patient learns how to identify the psychological and the core addictive issues that in the first place creates the warning signs (Neely, 1997, pp. 184).
Sixth principle is the change. The application of this principle during the treatment of relapse reduces the risk of the relapse as there is an increase in the relationship between the recommendations of the recovery program and the warning signs. Under this principle the counselor is recommended to use the recovery planning procedure. Here the counselor comes up with a schedule of the recovery activities that will assist the patient to realize and manage the sobriety developing warning signs. To do this the warning signs should be reviewed on the warning sign list and each warning sing be matched with a recovery activity. Seventh principle is awareness. The increase of the techniques made for identifying the warning signs reduces the risk of relapse. Here it requires the use of inventory training procedure. The prone patients to relapse are taught how to complete the daily inventories. To plan for the day a daily plat sheet for recovery is used, where an evening inventory sheet for reviewing the problems and progress that happened during the day is used (Clark, 2004, pp. 201).
Eighth principle is significant others. With the increase of the participation of significant others in relapse prevention and recovery plan the lower that brisk of relapse. Here the procedure followed is the involvement of others. Individuals affected by relapse can not recover alone; they need the help of other people such as the family members. The more the emotionally and psychologically the significant others are healthy, the more the relapse prone-patient is likely to recover through the help of the significant others (Pacione, 2001, pp. 81).
The last and not the least is the principle of maintenance. Regular updating of relapse prevention plan for the first three sobriety years lowers the risk of relapse. The relapse prevention plan updating procedure should be followed here. The plan for the prevention of the relapse here should be updated for every month for the first three months. For the reminder of the first year the updating should be done quarterly. The rest of the two years it should be done twice. The updating of the prevention plan should then be done once a year the patient maintains the updating for the first three years. All the above principle and procedure as used in the chemical dependency relapse prevention therapy show how best the therapy can work. The consistent and care application of these principles in relapse prevention therapy can minimize the rates and case of relapse on patients (Donovan, 2005, pp. 79).
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