Relapse Prevention

Giving patients the best chance at recovery

We create personalised continuing care plans for all patients which include pathways after treatment to 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. We target any underlying factors that have contributed to a patient’s addiction, making sure all issues from their past and present are addressed.

Recovery Continues After Rehab

Achieving and maintaining recovery requires continuous effort, during and after treatment. Heavy drinking and drug use changes the functioning of the brain. Addicts’ brains become re-programmed and using drink or drugs becomes compulsive and involuntary. 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.

Important Factors for Preventing Relapse

Many factors can lead a person to relapse. To prepare patients for life after rehab our expert team of doctors, therapists and nurses helps patients to:

Accept addiction as a chronic illness – that they cannot control their drink or drug use.

Be honest and open – that hiding feelings and making excuses to justify drinking or taking drugs prevents recovery.

Eliminate denial – Denial is an elaborate mental system that focuses on the immediate positive effects of drink or drug use and ignores the long-term negative effects of addiction.

Be vigilant for signs of cravings – and learn coping skills to deal with these.

Overcome negative moods – we help patients deal with feelings of guilt & shame, anger, frustration, self-pity, anxiety and depression that are all-powerful triggers for relapse.

Regain self-esteem – feeling good about yourself without drinking or drugs.

Avoid isolation – patients must be aware of 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 – An initial trigger to relapse is often the use of a “safe”, prescribed drug that can reactivate the addiction cycle, e.g. prescribed 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 above video, recovery coach David Charkham talks about the challenges faced by people coming out of residential addiction treatment.

Recovery is a lifelong process. We 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. 

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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    Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | November 10, 2021