How treatment programs deal with relapses

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    So I have been thinking about this issue lately. My son has been in many rehabs and has been through this process several times. He has done residential treatment, done well, gone to sober living... relapses and gets kicked out. He has gone to IOPs, relapsed and been kicked out. I know some will say he hasnt hit bottom or he just isnt ready etc etc. Fact is he has hit it pretty low..... he has been homeless, been on the street been in jail. And he has gotten to the point where he really wants help and asks for it because he knows he is an addict. (Hasnt always known it but knows it now).

    So now he is invovled in the outpatient program of a different model... he went through their residential program and then they want their residents to get an apartment on their own, not sober living.... they recognize that often in a group setting someone will relapse and that affects everyone else. But the program does not kick you out or stop working with you if you relapse.. They continue to work with you. They do have clear boundaries.... so you cant go to groups if you are high or intoxicated, and they wont drive you anywhere if you are high or intoxicated. Makes a lot of sense. But they will still talk with you, stay in touch, support you.

    So my son just had a 2nd relapse. The thing is the relapse did not last long... a couple of days of drinking. Worrisome and serious but he told them about it, talked to them about it and is getting back on track. I think he is slowly realizing that no he really cant drink anything without spiraling into a full blown relapse.

    I am so thankful this program is there and is still working with them. I went up the other day and had a meeting with them and him. Other programs would have kicked him out and he would be on the street and still using... and probably back to heroin rather than alcohol.

    Their view is relapse is part of recovery.... and to keep working with people where they are,. It makes a lot of sense.

    I dont know if my son will every stop relapsing and fully be in recovery...... but I have come to the conclusion that for my son that his only real chance at survivial is support as he goes through this process and to know that we love him. I really dont think my walking away would help him in his recovery. I know that is enough for some but I really dont think it would work for him. He does seem to be getting closer every time to really doing this for himself.... but I dont think he is totally there yet. He did say recently that the reasons for being sober are still external (ie probation, no money etc.). I think to fully get there the reasons need to be internal.....but hopefully he is getting closer.

    Anyway I just wanted to offer this point of view.

    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  2. EarthIsHard

    EarthIsHard Member

    tough, that outpatient program model sounds very realistic. They sound like they are dealing with real life. When they are kicked out for relapses and sent on the streets or jail, nothing really gets better. I hope this is the answer for your son. Are you able to share this program? If not, please pm me if you would. Certainly would like to keep it on the burner when our son is ready.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Treating addicts and the mentally ill in our jails is a real blight on our society. Something is very wrong here.

    Kicking an addict out of rehab on the streets for a relapse seems cold and cruel to me. Especially when they want to get back on track.
  4. OTE

    OTE Guest

    Thanks for the upbeat post! Wish mine was as far in his process as yours is. Obviously a long way to go but step one is still a step! Mine hasn't even got that far.

    With all the jails, prisons, programs mine's been in... There is no such thing as treatment in prison that I've ever heard of. At best a voluntary 12 step program which rarely has an opening.

    Keep in mind that the incidence of mentally ill in prison is so astronomical that any psychological or psychiatric service is overwhelmed with severe cases. They don't have staff to do group therapy much less individual. Mind you, the mentality of inmates does not encourage therapy. It's not a supportive environment! As my son reminds me constantly, you spend all your time watching your back to avoid getting attacked, stabbed, etc. There is no time for cozy chats about feelings and childhoods.
  5. OTE

    OTE Guest

    As to kicking them out of rehab for relapse. Yes necessary to prevent the spread. Kind of like a room full of sick kids and a coughing kid with tb comes in. They'll all catch it easily. They may all get healthy again but one may die too. If the relapsee agrees he/ she goes back in detox. Once again clean can go back into rehab group. But yes in my humble opinion necessary.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think this is the main problem with sober livings....if they tolerate subsance use then that of course is a problem. And if they kick people out for using that doesnt deal with the reality of relapse in the process of recovery. That is why the program my son is in wants you to get an apartment for the participant so they are living alone.... and so when my son relapsed they will not let him come to groups and they will not take him anywhere except in an emergency.... but they will talk to him by phone or go to him and talk to him in person. So he still gets support. I think one of the things that is important is that it means he doesnt have to hide, isolate and lie all of which help relapse and do not help recovery. So he is now being more honest about his relapsing. When he was in sober living and relapsing he was trying to hide it and lying about it which of course just made things worse.
  7. OTE

    OTE Guest

    Agreed its a great program. Most here have detox programs with rehab programs. Not aware that there are any here that will go to them. But as long as they can get into a bed somewhere here it works.
  8. OTE

    OTE Guest

    I meant would go to the patient. Here you have to get the patient to the detox
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think that is where a treatment model where they deal with both substance use and mental illness helps. Because there they have a community response team that works with participants in the community. I think this model has worked for programs dealing with mental illness but it is not a model most substance abuse programs have but to me it makes a lot of sense. I think part of it means looking at substance use as a mental disorder which it is.
  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I'm glad your son is sticking with it even though he messes up. I think that is a good thing. My son sounds a lot like your son. My story sounds a lot like yours too.

    I could never totally walk away but we did send him away and my husband dealt with him a lot after that because my heart was shredded. I had to work on myself.

    The only thing that fixed my son was establishing his faith. I know that is not for everyone but my son's brain is the best I've seen it since he was 15. He will be 23 this month. We have been struggling for a very long time.

    He is truly in an amazing program and they have saved and changed so many lives through God's grace. I wish that I could send every one of our adult children there because they truly work miracles. I knew that nothing less would fix our son.

    Hugs and stay strong.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thanks RN. My son considers himself an atheist so would have a very hard time in a faith based program. He struggles with AA because of the emphasis on a higher power although I think he has found ways to come to terms with it.

    I have come to believe that completely walking away is not the right thing for our son or for us. However I do believe strongly in good boundaries and not taking abuse. I think boundaries evolve over time.
  12. OTE

    OTE Guest

    Mine also has never been able to accept the higher power. I am long past trying to get him to see my God. I've told him to think of the higher power in whatever way he likes or skip that step altogether. As long as he goes. If the group has trouble with him being still in their definition of first step then try a different group. But they know its a step so I think they'll accept him as long as he's clean.

    For whatever it's worth, mine at 28 still has the I know it all mentality. He doesn't need anyone to tell him how to stay clean :)
    Thankfully he's now seen enough friends die, or more likely matured past the teenage "i'm immortal" phase. in my humble opinion we all accept God at a different age. I'm still hopeful mine will. But the "I know it all" mentality is part of not accepting God. I sometimes wonder if that's my fault for trying to instill self-esteem and self-confidence in my kids.
  13. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Well my son had said at one that people only believed in "God" because it made them feel better. He isn't saying that anymore.
  14. OTE

    OTE Guest

    He's not wrong in some sense. Sure makes me feel better most of the time.:)
  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Well I myself am agnostic and had to figure out how to think about higher power myself.... so I dont really have an issue with the fact my son doesnt believe in God. I wouldnt have a problem if he did either but it just isnt an issue for me. Just had a call with him and his treatment team and he seems to be getting back on track, He is feeling better and actually has a job interview so he sounds good. I am just so thankful for their model... because in the past a relapse was the beginning of a total spiral downward. This time its a slip that lasts a couple of days with some lessons learned and then getting back on track. Huge difference.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  16. OTE

    OTE Guest

    Great news!