Our main goal is four our patients to live a life in recovery. They learn to be aware of their issues and gain the skills to resolve them. They will discover how to prevent relapses, identify slipping signs and live without the feelings of shame or guilt that often accompany their diagnosis. In addition to our ongoing relationships with our alumni, which include weekly meetings on campus and our annual alumni retreat, Santé begins aftercare planning as soon as a patient is admitted. This planning phase includes scheduling appointments with the appropriate mental health professionals, securing living arrangements when necessary, providing resources for local 12-step chapter meetings and gathering the necessary materials when a patient is seeking employment after discharge.
To create a viable relapse prevention plan, the individual must be committed to recovery and be willing to do whatever it takes to maintain that recovery. Every day at Santé is devoted to learning about one's self, one’s addiction cycle and the steps to take to avoid or escape emotional and environmental triggers. The more a recovering person knows about his or her addiction, the more the person can enhance their skill level and discover addiction interventions that really work.
A relapse prevention plan is about making sure the addiction interventions are right for the individual. Patients must identify high risk situations and create plans for handling those situations, then present the relapse prevention plan to group members for feedback.
A relapse prevention plan includes many components. The therapists and seasoned group members are looking for a well thought out addiction treatment plan that includes awareness of the impact of the addiction on self and others, avoidance and escape strategies, steps for stopping intrusive addictive thoughts, and how the person will manage emotional distress.
Even though it seems like a relapse happens with the resumption of drinking, taking a drug, or engaging in a compulsive behavior, relapse actually begins long before in the more subtle change of attitudes and intentions. The relapse prevention plan helps the patient and those around them recognize the symptoms before they lead to a relapse.