Relapse Prevention Techniques

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Many individuals who make it into recovery will relapse at least once within the first few months. This is why in many treatment centers there is so much emphasis put on providing relapse prevention techniques to those who are new in recovery and those who have also relapsed already. Returning to addiction can mean many more years of additional suffering for the addict. And some people who relapse will never have another opportunity to quit and could even die due to their drug use. This is why focusing of relapse prevention techniques is so helpful; it literally can reduce the risk of relapse and death.

Relapse prevention techniques include any tool that an addict can use to avoid a return back into drug use and drinking. The causes of relapse are usually broken down into three categories. Relapse prevention techniques have been developed to combat all of them. The three categories of relapse usually are:

  • Emotional causes: This is when the addict usually goes back to using drugs because they can’t cope with their thoughts and emotions.
  • Developing unhealthy patterns of behavior, and this makes them more prone to relapse.
  • External situation can also increase the chance of a relapse. Perfect example of this would be an individual who has halfway house roommates that are all using drugs and drinking.

Another part of relapse prevention techniques is identifying different triggers which can be precursors for relapse. By identifying relapse triggers a person can find different coping mechanisms they can use to combat them all. Here are some examples of relapse triggers:

  • Feeling sad
  • Feeling happy
  • Looking at veins
  • Going to football games
  • Driving down certain streets
  • The car or wherever the individual used
  • Certain T.V shows and music

Recognizing also what precedes the relapse is also an important relapse prevention technique. These things are kind of behaviors, thoughts or ideas an addict would have before they relapsed and there is usually a pattern with these:

  • The individual can experience overconfidence . This can mean that they are not prepared when things get hard.
  • Life in recovery can take a bit of getting used and some people may experience periods of self-pity. This is a dangerous emotion because it can sap motivation.
  • Those people who have unrealistic expectations can become disappointed.
  • If the individual_ behaves dishonestly_, it can lead them right back to addiction.
  • Occasionally, people in recovery will experience periods of depression. This can take a lot of the satisfaction out of sobriety.
  • Those who continue other types of substance abuse will be increasing their chances of relapse.
  • Taking recovery for granted leads to complacency. This then means that the individual is no longer doing those things they need to do in order to remain sober.

Also knowing the different stages of a relapse because a relapse is not merely the use of drugs and alcohol again it is also everything leading up to, is another great relapse prevention technique. Here are the stages of a relapse:

  • During the emotional stage the individual will be struggling with recovery, but not actually thinking about a return to substance abuse. The most appropriate relapse prevention tools here would be those that can restore emotional equilibrium.
  • During the mental stage of relapse, the person is thinking about drinking or using drugs again. The urge to return to addiction can be strong. Various techniques are needed to combat this before it is too late.
  • All is not lost at the relapse stage. If the individual has the right resources, they may be able to return to the recovery path right away.

How to Become a Sober Companion

How to Become a Sober Companion

Sober companions are probably best known by their work with celebrities as almost “glorified babysitters” but of course there is much more to it than that. Also, not all sober companions are watch dogs for celebrities. Sober companions work with slews of addicts and alcoholics sometimes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help them remain abstinent.

What is a sober companion?

A sober companion or sober coach provides one-on-one assistance to newly recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The goal is to help the client maintain total abstinence from alcohol and drugs, and to establish healthy routines outside of a residential treatment facility. Controversy exists between sober companions, not only in their name (sober companion vs. sober coach vs. recovery coach), but over the use of any situation placing them in contact with other enablers. Also, some sober companions strongly agree with 12 step programs; other sober companions do not support the 12 step process and use alternative methods.

So how can you become a sober companion if you want to be one?

In keeping with several other forms of drug rehabilitation, some sober companions have no formal training or qualification. Most (but not all) companions are recovering addicts who have themselves been able to maintain multiple years of sobriety. While some companions will have some training in psychology, sociology, or medicine, in addition to a strong personal program of recovery, some may have taken the Recovery Coaching certifications offered by Recovery Coaching International (recoverycoaches.org) or the very inexpensive (sometimes free) training offered by the Connecticut Center for Addiction Recovery (CCAR.org) training in a model for peer recovery support specialist roles and responsibilities. A few independent providers, such as Sober Champion require literature study and in-person training by an experienced professional.

There are growing recovery associations (Sober.com, crossroadscoaching.com, RCI.org, ICF.org, OASAS.org) and boards established to set standards or monitor the state of the field recovery coaching, that overlap some of the roles of a sober companion. There is no formal sober companion oversight and accountability as yet. Since early in 2011, Faces and Voices in Recovery has been working on developing standards, credentialing and more clearly defined roles of a recovery coach, peer support specialist, and a sober companion. One can see why there is a concern according to the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, as it is a process that is just underway.

The Sociotherapy Association certifies and trains Support Companions, Recovery/Sober Companions, Elderly Companions, and Adolescent Companions. The Sociotherapy Association in America created the Support Companions program to offer real support and relationship to those in need.

If you really want to be a sober companion the best place to start is with someone who already is. So go out and find people who are already doing what you want to do. If you can’t find anyone who is a sober companion go ahead and get on your computer. You can be sure to find ways to become a sober companion online.

How to Become a Life Coach in 5 Easy Steps

How to Become a Life Coach in 5 Easy Steps

Life coaches are professionals who work with people to help them build on past successes and make desired changes in their lives. U.S. News and World Report have cited life coaching as the second biggest consulting business in the recent years. Being a life coach is all about helping others. If you want to help others by becoming a life coach, here are the steps you need to take.

  1. Be a caring, empathetic individual. Much of the work a life coach does is helping people set goals and encouraging them to achieve them. This requires being someone who likes being in touch with people in a friendly manner.
  2. Decide on what area of life coaching you wish to specialize in. Some life coaches specialize in coaching people on defining visions for their lives and seeking ways to improve them. Some coaches focus on helping clients choose and train for careers, while others coach executives in how to run their businesses, and still others coach clients in managing their interpersonal relationships. There are even coaches who specialize in working with recovering addicts and alcoholics. Deciding what fields of life coaching you want to be in is paramount in the steps to becoming a life coach.
  3. You don’t need to have a background as a therapist or counselor. Some life coaches have backgrounds as successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, educators or human resource administrator’s psychiatrists, psychologists or counselors. Many turn to life coaching because of the opportunity to work with people who are already functioning well to help them function better.
  4. Get training in life coaching. Most life coaches are trained in private institutes, although the classes are structured like college classes, with a mixture of required courses and electives. Often, classes are delivered online or by telephone. Be mentored by an established life coach. Just as therapists receive hours of counseling during their training, new life coaches are mentored by experienced coaches to supplement their training. Mentoring may occur in group sessions or with individual coaches over the phone.
  5. Receive accreditation from a recognized organization. Organizations such as the International Coach Federation or the International Association of Coaching set standards and a code of ethics for life coaches and certify those life coaches who conform to those standards. There is no requirement for any life coach to take part in a credentialing program; however, doing so will make you part of the credentialing organization’s life coaching network and can direct clients to you. Continue to improve your life coaching skills. Many of the life coach accrediting organizations offer continuing education classes to further develop your life coaching skills, as well as conferences where you can meet with and seek advice from other life coaches.

Being a life coach can be really rewarding if you choose to enter into the field. Helping people make their lives better is the ultimate goal of life coaching regardless of what field it is in. If you are wondering how to become a life coach your best bet is to follow these steps and find a life coach you can get some advice from.

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Life-Coach

How Can I Become a Recovery Coach?

How Can I Become a Recovery Coach?

 

What is recovery coaching?

Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for anyone who has an addiction or is in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches work with anyone who has active addictions as well as people who are already in recovery. Recovery coaches are helpful for making decisions about what to do with your life and the part your addiction or recovery plays within your life. Recovery coaches usually try to help clients find ways to stop addiction by maintaining abstinence, or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches can help a client find resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, local or online support groups; or help a client create a change plan to recover on their own as well as make goals and plans to achieve those goals.

How can I become a recovery coach?

There are multiple programs that offer recovery coach training such as the recovery coach institute or RCI. RCI has a website that you can utilize regardless if you already have recovery coach training or have no experience at all. RCI supports Recovery Coach training programs that are approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Basic coach training is available through any of the ICF schools listed on the International Coaching Federation (ICF) website. www.recoverycoaching.org

If you:

•are a certified coach, you can get Recovery Coaching training through a specialized Recovery Coaching school.

•have no coach training, you can get it through any of the ICF schools listed on the ICF website.

•are a chemical dependency professional, you can take advanced training to learn about coaching so you can integrate a coaching style into your current work. Or you can become a certified coach by training at an ICF-approved school. A list of approved training programs is available on the ICF website.

•are a psychotherapist specializing in addiction recovery, you can consider basic coach training through an ICF-approved program.

Many treatment centers also offer Recovery Coach Academies or RCA.  A general overview of a recovery coach academy looks something like this:

Recovery Coach Academy is designed to help individuals, professional and non-professional, working in the Human Service Field. A Recovery Coach is anyone interested in promoting recovery by:

• Removing barriers and obstacles to recovery by serving as a personal guide

• Education

• Motivational Interviewing

• Personal Boundaries

• Ethics and Case Management

Recovery coach training also involves:

Training Objectives

• A guide and ethical standard for non-professionals and case managers

• A training guide for professionals to teach volunteer staff

• Motivational and Interviewing skills

• Defining the Recovery Coach role

If you search for recovery coach training or utilize the ICF or RCI websites you can find multiple ways to become a recovery coach wherever you are located. Each state has different resources as well as different institutes, academies, and training programs for you to become a recovery coach. If you feel like recovery coaching might be for you then go ahead and see what your state has to offer. While you don’t need recovery coaching certification to become a recovery coach it can definitely help in all facets of your addiction and recovery career.

 

 

 

Practice the principles: Step one

Practice the Principles: Step One

Most people think that step one merely consist of the principle we know as honesty. For me step one contains so much more than that. Step one of the 12 steps of AA is the foundation upon which we work the other 12 steps. Step one encompasses the principles of humility, honesty, and surrender.

Step one of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous states “We admitted we were powerless of alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.” The admission of powerlessness is where the true healing and the discovery of power in a higher power comes from. The humility we feel when admitting defeat and that we are powerlessness is a humility we must carry with us through our entire journey in sobriety. This humility and remembrance of being totally defeated by alcohol is what will keep us willing and willingness is indispensable when it comes to getting and staying sober. When you totally surrender and are honest with yourself about being alcoholic you are then capable of realizing that you need the steps in order to stay sober. Not only that but you need another power other than yourself and alcohol in order to stay sober. This is what is going to allow you to be earnest, humble, willing, and desparate enough to do whatever it takes and whatever is suggested to continue on with your sobriety. Without the admission of defeat and the honesty with yourself about your lack of power you will never be able to in effect have a spiritual experience because you will be unable to accept a new power such as God or whatever your higher power is neither will you be capable of being honest throughout the rest of the steps. The first step of AA is really not a hard one if you find that you have been incapable of stopping regardless of consequences or that you knew the consequences and drank or used drugs anyways than you probably are powerless.

Letting go of power is a fundamental principle of AA because we come to rely on a higher power. If we are still holding onto the idea that we have some kind of control or power over our lives than a higher power cannot come in and do what is necessary for us to live happy, joyous, and free as well as sober. Many times newcomers don’t realize that surrendering and being honest about your condition is one of the most freeing experience. They think the honest admission of powerlessness is a flaw, a sign they are weak, or the ones who don’t want to take responsibility. They also are afraid of admitting they have no control. The truth is step one is freeing. There is something miraculous about saying I don’t know what I am doing someone else show me the way, guide me in my life and in my recovery. Why? Because this means that entire weight of the world and all its people don’t rest on your shoulders. It is good to go back to step one and remember this admission of powerlessness no matter where you are in sobriety because a lot of the times with more clean time we tend to begin to take power back or want control again and we must always remember that we have no control; as it says in step one our unmanageable lives and inability to control our drinking showed us this time and time again.

The principles in step one that need to be continually practiced are humility (realizing that you don’t know everything and are just that newcomer whose life is totally unmanageable when you try to control it), honesty (being honest about the fact that you really don’t have a clue what you are doing), and surrender (giving it up and saying I need help).

Q&A: What credentials do I need to be a recovery coach?

Q&A: What credentials do I need to be a recovery coach?

In most states, you don’t need any credentials in order to be a recovery coach yet. Although, if you want you can get your recovery coach certification by taking recovery coaching classes through some kind of recovery coaching program. Many states do offer courses in order to become a Recovery Support Specialist. This is not necessary for you to be a recovery coach though. You may find it easier to get a job as a recovery coach with some credentials though and the programs and classes to become a recovery coach are fairly inexpensive for what you are getting. There may come a time when recovery coaches are asked to have credentials before working with clients but it has not come yet. Part of this may be because a lot of what recovery coaches do is based on experience and not so much what they learn in a class. Either way the credentials won’t hurt if you want to be a recovery coach but not having them will not and should not hold you back from becoming what you want: a recovery coach.

12 Steps to a Relapse

12 steps to a relapse

12 Steps to a Relapse   

The 12 step model for addiction recovery have long been accepted by the addiction treatment community as a way to stay clean and sober in the long term. Another commonly held idea in addiction treatment is that relapse starts long before you ever pick up a drink or a drug. These two ideas come together in the 12 steps to a relapse.

The Alcoholics Anonymous: Big Book says, “What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” (pg.85) This means that even if we have worked all 12 steps, we can still relapse if we do not maintain our spiritual condition. If we become comfortable in our recovery and “rest on our laurels” we run the risk of relapse.

Sometimes old patterns of behavior begin to come back. This is where we may start to see a relapse begin. We may start working the 12 steps in reverse. This is what is known as the 12 steps to a relapse.

It begins when we get too busy to carry the message. Maybe we have replaced recovery with work, gym or a relationship. We get overconfident. We have less contact with other recovering alcoholics and meeting attendance starts to decline. This is the first step in the 12 steps to a relapse.

Next we may stop praying or meditating. We no longer seek conscious contact with a higher power. It may be subtle at first. But over time, we no longer pray or meditate at all.

The next step in the 12 steps to a relapse is the unworking of steps 10-4.  We stop taking inventory and we stop making amends. Our character defects come back, and we are unwilling to have a higher power remove them. We lose sight of the moral inventory we once made and begin to repeat the same behavior we exhibited during addiction.

The 12 steps to a relapse continue when we take our will back. Not just a little, as we may have done in the past, but the whole thing. We start to try to run the show.  The power we once believed  could restore us to sanity is now out the window. We begin believe we can do it ourselves. We believe we now have the power, and we can manage our own lives. These are unworking steps three, two, and one in the 12 steps to a relapse. At this point, we are likely to pick up a drug or drink. We likely feel irritable, restless, and discontent. The “hole in the soul” has come back, and we seek other things to fill it.

The 12 steps to a relapse can be avoided if we are constantly moving forward and growing in our program. This is why it is especially important to have a home group and get to know the people in it. Others can sometimes recognize when we have become lacking in our program or when we have begun to work the 12 steps to a relapse. They may be able to catch it before it is too late.

Recovery Options for a Chronic Relapser

Recovery Options for a Chronic Relapser

The recovery options for a chronic relapser have to be a little different than for those who have no history of relapses what so ever. A chronic relapser struggles to stay sober. Each time they manage to get any time in recovery they end up using or drinking again. And unfortunately most addicts and alcoholics are chronic relapsers. This does not mean that chronic relapsers cannot stay sober because they can, if they are willing to pick themselves up and try again.

What is a chronic relapser?

Chronic relapsers often get caught in a kind of negative cycle or revolving door syndrome. This means they get caught in a negative pattern of going to rehab, getting sober, leaving rehab and then relapsing again. Chronic relapsers will do this for years and may even just decided that the recovery options out there for them such as rehab just don’t work. There are so many reasons that chronic relapsers get caught in a revolving door syndrome but the realities are they haven’t adequately received recovery options to prepare them for the transition into life again.

So what are the recovery options for chronic relapsers?

A recovery option for chronic relapsers that is effective is a rehab program that combines medication with therapy and counseling. Rehab programs for chronic relapsers should be inpatient and long term programs that begin with detox. A proper recovery option for chronic relapsers is a rehab program that designs the program for each individual case to suit each person’s specific needs and addresses all of their specific emotional, mental and physical issues. A recovery option for chronic relapsers is also a rehab program that offers follow-up options which is imperative for chronic relapsers staying sober in the long run.

Another recovery option for chronic relapsers is a part of drug rehab; it is known as relapse prevention. A great recovery option for chronic relapsers is for them to attend relapse prevention classes. Relapse prevention classes teach a chronic relapser all about the reasons they relapse so they can avoid it happening again. Relapse prevention classes teach how relapse is a process not a single event and is individualized to each person so they recognize their own unique triggers and relapse warning signs. This is paramount to a chronic relapser being able to avoid slipping up again. Once a chronic relapser is aware they can begin to take action to avoid using drugs or drinking again.

Aftercare is an absolute paramount recovery option for chronic relapsers. Aftercare is also a part of follow-ups with drug treatment. Aftercare offers groups, alumni meetings, coaching, and so much more depending on what the chronic relapser needs. Aftercare is way for the chronic relapser to check in with people who will keep them accountable and motivated in their recovery. One of the biggest ways to avoid relapse is to keep accountability and motivation in recovery. Aftercare offers this through the community that is also sober meeting up once a week or so.

The recovery options for chronic relapsers are specifically designed to take the addict and alcoholic out their revolving door syndrome so they never have to use or drink again. While some people say relapse is a part of recovery it does not have to be a part of recovery if the addict or alcoholic takes the right action.

Morality and Addiction

Morality and Addiction

Morality and Addiction

Morality and addiction has long been a cause for discussion. Despite the fact that the AMA has acknowledged that alcohol and drug dependency are diseases over a half a century ago, many still view addiction as a moral failing. This stigma has created barriers for those who may otherwise seek treatment.

Morality and Addiction: Changing Explanations

As human beings, we strive to explain the world around us and our place in it. It is part of human nature and it makes us feel more in control of our circumstances. We do it individually, as well as on a larger scale. Explaining and classifying situations, behaviors, and other people can be beneficial. It can help us identify other people and it provides a framework for understanding complicated issues. But sometimes our classifications are too rigid and our explanations just aren’t right.

In recent years, the biological and genetic model of addiction has taken precedence. Most experts now agree that addiction is a disease, and that it requires treatment like any other day. But one of the first models for addiction, and one that set the tone for the stigma that still persists today. This was known as the moral model.

Morality and Addiction: The Moral Model

The moral model considers addiction to be a result of human weakness. It is considered a defect of character. It doesn’t recognize biological or genetic components to addiction. As a result, it offers very little sympathy to those who suffer from addiction, since it is considered a problem of their own making. The implication is that addiction is the result of poor choices, and that addicts have a lack of willpower or moral strength needed to make better choices.

Morality and Addiction: Impact

The accepted relationship between morality and addiction led alcoholics and other drug addicts to be grouped with others who had demonstrated “moral failings.” This includes other socially undesirable behaviors and situations like crime, poverty, sin, domestic violence, and laziness. Naturally, treatment for addiction was aimed at punishment rather than healing. This idea still persists today in the infamous “War on Drugs,” which advocates punitive punishments for those involved with drugs rather than rehabilitative methods.

The old view of morality and addiction began to lose influence when religion and theology began to fade and science and medicine became more refined. Obviously, this view hasn’t completely faded, as the war on drugs still rages today. Also, doctors began to realize that  people with “good” morals are just as likely to use drugs and alcohol. This is when the “disease” model of addiction was born.

Morality and Addiction: The Disease Model

The disease model goes in the complete opposite direction in terms of morality and addiction. It views addiction as a chronic, relapsing disease, and not a moral failing. Thus, addicts do not deserve to be blamed for their disease any more than a cancer patient would. Critics of the disease model believes that it takes responsibility away from the addicts and instead characterizes them as victims.

There may never be a universal consensus on the idea of morality and addiction, but the disease model has proven far more effective in eradicating drug-related problems. Rehabilitation, not punishment, seems to be the answer,

http://www.sfu.ca/~palys/321OralHistory-Ngo-AddictionAccordingToThreeModels.pdf

What is recovery capital?

Recovery Capital

What is recovery capital?

Recovery capital is the sum amount of resources that are necessary to begin and stay in recovery from addiction and alcoholism.

What is recovery?

Recovery has many definitions depending on who you talk to. In the United States, the Betty Ford Institute Consensus Panel defined recovery as a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health and citizenship. The most important part of the definition of recovery is the fact that it means having a sense of wellbeing, a high quality of life, and some sort of community engagement or sense of citizenship and some kind of sobriety. Whatever your definition for recovery is the point is that recovery is an experience and an improved life not a goal. Recovery is living a life based on principles such as hope, choice, freedom and aspirations. Recovery is a process not a state of being or end goal. Recovery is an ongoing journey to improve the state of your life.

So recovery capital is the sum of resources that help to start the journey or process of recovery. Resources that are a part of recovery capital can include parents, families, partners, friends, and neighbors. It also can refer to the person’s willingness to be sober, their commitment to their community, and the amount they engage and participate in value systems.

There are four parts of recovery capital; social capital, physical capital, human capital and cultural capital.

  • Social recovery capital is the sum of resources a person has due to their relationships with other people. This could mean support from and commitments to groups of people. Family membership, friendships, commitments and obligations to 12 step meetings etc.
  • Physical recovery capital is the resources that are tangible. For instance, physical recovery capital would be property or money that increases the options in recovery for this person. An example would be being able to afford to move to a different location or afford a better treatment center.
  • Human recovery capital is resources such as skills, health, aspirations, hopes and personal resources that can help someone prosper. Things such as the amount of an education a person has and how intelligent they are. The reason this is a part of recovery capital is because these things can help with some of the solution based parts of recovery.
  • Cultural recovery capital includes a person’s beliefs, attitudes, and values that tie them to social conformity and their ability to fit into dominant social behaviors.

In order to assess or see how much recovery capital a person has the focus is on the enmeshment of social, human and cultural recovery capital.

How much recovery capital a person has can determine how easy or how hard of a time they may have getting going on the journey into recovery. This does not mean that someone who has less recovery capital can’t get sober it just means they will have to build more recovery capital for themselves over time. Everyone through their journey in recovery builds more and more recovery capital whether they begin with none at all or only a little. It is possible for everyone to have enough recovery capital to begin recovering and stay recovered.