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Addiction is a primary disease with the associated factorial relationships: genetic, bio-physiological and environmental.
Individuals who struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism did not start out with that as a goal. It all started with a desire to relax, escape, emotional stress, the need to belong, or engage in experimentation.
Some theories of addiction may suggest a hereditary predisposition to the disease of substance dependency, referred to as disease concept.
One of the factors inherent in disease concept is the acknowledgement that addiction is a disease of relapse.
An individual may have accepted and entered addiction treatment, been working with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) whilst making the appropriate changes, and been practicing abstinence when he/she experiences a relapse.
For those that subscribe to the disease concept, relapse is always a possibility with any chronic disease and is a confirmation of the need for total abstinence.
Others believe that relapse is associated with addiction recovery ambivalence or is part of the learning process of change.
Just as drug addiction is a developmental progression, the process of addiction recovery is also a progression.
Recovery is about learning, change, and living an improved quality of life.
Once abstinence has been well established, change must continue to occur if the gains acquired are to be sustained.
It is imperative that coping strategies are developed or strengthened to replace the prior substance use management of life stressors.
Addiction recovery is not an uneventful linear path. Instead, it is generally fraught with many struggles as an individual regains control over his or her life and works through issues created or aggravated by addiction.
Therefore, an integral part of treatment is relapse prevention, which attempts to consider all of the difficulties that someone may experience that could jeopardise his/her addiction recovery process.
Addiction recovery aftercare is a decrease in program intensity and is a necessary phase of treatment in which there is a continuity and reinforcement of skill development.
Marlatt and Gordon (1985) assert that the addiction relapse process begins with a lifestyle imbalance, which manifests itself as overwhelming stress in an individual’s life. The most vulnerable to stress are those lacking in adequate coping skills, self-efficacy, and social support.
In order to prevent relapse, an individual also needs to be able to identify the possible causes of relapse, typical relapse warning signs, ways to cope with relapse and thoughts of using, cues that trigger craving to use, social pressure to use, social interactions network, lifestyle issues, and how to deal with setbacks and actual relapse.
Our holistic approach to addiction enables us to address each influencing factor, helping you seek relief and recovery by improving the health of your mind, body and spirit.
For more information please contact us.
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