Relapse Prevention

Giving patients the best chance at recovery

At Castle Craig, our therapists create personalised continuing care plans for all patients which include pathways after treatment designed to help them sustain their recovery. Our individual therapy sessions and specific relapse prevention groups maximise insight into addiction and identify triggers that could cause patients to relapse once they leave rehab. 

Using a range of evidence-based addiction therapies, we aim to target any underlying factors that have contributed to a patient’s addiction, making sure all issues from their past and present are addressed

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Recovery Continues After Rehab

Achieving and maintaining recovery requires continuous effort, during and after treatment. Over time, heavy drinking and substance abuse can change the way in which the brain functions. Eventually, using alcohol or drugs becomes compulsive and involuntary due to the brain re-programming itself.  

This leads to deeply ingrained negative patterns of behaviour and attitudes that can lead to relapse after treatment. With over 30 years of experience in the field of addictions, we seek to change these patterns and break the cycle.

Read tips on how to prevent relapse.

Important Factors for Preventing Relapse

There are many factors that can contribute to relapse. To prepare patients for life after rehab our expert team of doctors, therapists and nurses work to help them: 

  • Accept addiction as a chronic illness, and understand that they cannot control their alcohol or drug use.
  • Be more honest and open. Hiding feelings and making excuses to justify behaviours can prevent recovery.
  • Eliminate denial. Denial is an elaborate mental system that focuses on the immediate positive effects of alcohol or drug use and ignores the long-term negative effects of addiction.
  • Be vigilant for signs of cravings and learn healthy coping mechanisms to deal with these.
  • Overcome negative moods and show them how to deal with feelings of guilt & shame, anger, frustration, self-pity, anxiety and depression. All of which are all-powerful triggers for relapse.
  • Regain self-esteem. Feeling good about themselves without drinking or drugs.
  • Avoid isolation and highlight the importance of attending AA/NA meetings.
  • Avoid risky situations. Patients must be aware of places, people and situations which increase the temptation to drink or take drugs.
  • Learn about cross-addiction. For example, a common trigger is often the use of “safe” or prescribed drugs such as tranquillisers or sleeping tablets.
  • Get through long-term withdrawal. For some patients withdrawal from certain drugs (e.g. benzodiazepines) can be a long process, sometimes as long as a year for the brain to return to normal physiological functioning.

In the below video, recovery coach David Charkham talks about the challenges faced by people coming out of residential addiction treatment.

Recovery is a lifelong process, and we know that the transition from rehab to real life can be challenging. With this in mind, we aim to ensure that when the time comes for patients to leave residential rehab, all the necessary arrangements for their ongoing recovery are in place.

How We Plan for Ongoing Recovery

The Consultant Psychiatrist, focal therapist and Head Nurse devise a detailed discharge plan with the patient. This includes recommendations for further individual and group counselling (if necessary) and emphasises the importance of attending local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) / Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings regularly.

We put patients in contact with a member of their local AA/NA group, often a former patient of Castle Craig who is established in their own recovery and who can act as a ‘sponsor’, to provide guidance and support while the patient gets settled. 

Aftercare at CATCH Recovery

CATCH Recovery is Castle Craig’s central London based clinic, providing exceptional outpatient therapy to those suffering from addiction and other co-occurring disorders. 

CATCH offers a range of aftercare packages designed to provide a seamless transition from inpatient rehab at Castle Craig to life at home. The standard package consists of 24 weeks of continuing care, although this can be extended at any stage during your aftercare programme. 

The intensity of aftercare treatment is down to the patient. Once a patient has completed their inpatient programme, they will sit down with their therapist for a continuing care plan meeting to discuss the level of aftercare they wish to receive. 

Aftercare treatment typically consists of one-to-one therapy sessions, recovery coaching and even group therapy. Individual therapy sessions can be opened up to include partners or family members on occasions – this can be arranged in consultation with your therapist.

We recommend that all patients attend weekly continuing care sessions for at least 2 years after leaving treatment.

Our specialist team liaises with GPs and referring agencies, to make sure that they are updated and involved in this process and that arrangements are in place to support patients’ ongoing care.

Get in touch today

To find out how we can help you please telephone Castle Craig on our 24-Hour Helpline: 01721 728118 or click here to arrange a free addiction assessment or here for more information.

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