Are you in recovery for an addiction but find yourself frequently relapsing? If you answered, “yes” you’re not alone. Many people have a hard time staying in recovery unless they take preventive measures from relapsing, like going to holistic rehab center. To help understand what often causes someone with an addiction to relapse back into his or her addiction and for relapse prevention tips for addiction, I have interviewed psychotherapist Rita Preller LCSW.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My family struggled with alcoholism and I began to learn about the disease in my late 20’s. I became passionate about understanding the disease of alcoholism, family of origin issues, the impact on family members and recovery. I volunteered at a local alcoholism treatment center, which launched my career specializing in Alcoholism/ Substance Abuse Addiction treatment. I obtained a masters degree from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve expanded my therapeutic approach to address the many vast needs of individual struggling with addictions including eating disorders, sex addiction and love addictions to name a few. Several of the therapeutic approaches are cognitive/ behavioral, psychodrama, EFT, Somatic Experiencing , meditation and community support.
What often causes someone with an addiction to relapse back into his or her addiction?
Relapses occur for a variety of reasons. Most often it’s when a person doesn’t change the people, places and things that were associated to their addiction. For example, a woman married to a husband who drinks and entire social environment is connected to activities involving alcohol. This is not impossible but dramatic changes will need to be made. Taking direction from a sponsor or therapist to help support reducing the cravings, changing attitudes about drinking (from glamorizing the relaxing, playing and fun time to focusing on the devastation alcohol caused) can help prevent someone from relapsing back to their addiction.
What are some relapse prevention tips for addiction?
Recommendations for recovery follows: 90 AA meetings in 90 days, obtain a sponsor and AA home group, working the 12 steps, meeting with you sponsor once a week and calling him/her several times a week (Asking for help is a significant challenge for alcoholics)). Psychotherapy and group therapy weekly for at least 2 years offers “insurance” for long term recovery.
What type of professional help is available for someone that has a difficult time preventing relapse?
Professional help is best supported by an addictions specialist with masters in counseling.
If the individual is a chronically relapsing it’s suggested that they complete an intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment facility or / and live in an IOP community that offers long term treatment.
What last words would you like to leave for someone that is in recovery for their addiction?
One day at a time. No matter how long someone has abstained from alcohol they have a lifelong disease and it’s the daily treatment of the disease that prevents someone from relapsing back to their addiction.
Thank you Rita for doing the interview on relapse prevention tips for addiction. For more information on Rita Preller or her work you can check out her website on http://ritapreller.com/.
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