Every person who battles addiction and wants to get better is going to face hurdles throughout their recovery path. As a treatment professional, it’s up to you to recognize the most common challenges and be prepared to help them overcome.
De-stigmatize relapse by openly discussing the possibility
The first step for a person suffering from addiction is always to admit that they have a problem and need help, thus acknowledging that there’s a better life that is possible. The downside is that this can lead patients to automatically associate relapse with failure.
One antidote to this mindset is to have clear discussions with your patients about the possibility of a relapse. Ensure them that a relapse does not mean that their recovery effort has failed, and it will remove some of the stigma from a scenario that they may encounter.
Give them positive experiences to latch onto through association
In many ways, letting go of connections to past experiences and building new associations is one of the most challenging parts of addiction recovery. Addiction is never just about substances; it’s also about a collection of memories and associations that linger once the substance has been removed from the equation. Focus on positive associations to help them establish new patterns of behavior, especially early in the treatment.
Consider memory reconsolidation methods
The traditional method of substance extinction establishes an unhealthy binary reality for patients: remove all thoughts of the substance and go without, or succumb to the substance and get relief. However, memory reconsolidation encourages them to conjure thoughts of their cravings and then introduce new, positive emotions along with them. This allows the brain to establish alternative paths.
Track patient progress
All of these treatment tips require the clinic to maintain accurate and reliable patient information. AZZLY®’s Electronic Health Record solution frees you to provide the best possible care for your patients who are struggling with addiction by giving you access to the tools you need. Contact one of our consultants today to learn more about how AZZLY can help your staff have the best clinical process and better your patient’s outcomes.