Nearly anything can trigger a crisis for someone who is in recovery for addiction. Treatment and aftercare help minimize crisis events and help the individual develop coping skills that improve the way he or she deals with the crisis. But unplanned events can still arise and it is during these trying times that individuals and their families require additional services.
Families and individuals in recovery should have a plan in place to deal with crisis, and most of the time this will involve enlisting the help of trusted staff members that are familiar with the client and his or her history and triggers. Northland Treatment Center offers emergency crisis counseling for clients and families during and after rehab.
Support for Clients and Families
Emergency addiction counseling is essential when a patient becomes emotionally vulnerable to the point where he or she may be on the brink of a relapse. Crisis services support individuals by providing a professional, non-judgmental space for individuals to talk about their feelings. Often, relapse can be triggered by stressful family situations, job loss, a death in the family, a breakup, or any other type or crisis in which a patient seeks comfort. As the newly sober individual tries to deal with unplanned and stressful events, they will naturally be tempted to use drugs or alcohol again. After all, this was how they were accustomed to dealing with stress in the past, and it is hard to break old habits. However, if caught quickly enough, the person can be saved from relapse through emergency counseling and support.
And if relapse does occur, it is not the end of the world. The person will be encouraged to get back into therapy and continue in their treatment. An experienced team of addiction professionals will use relapse to help the person learn, grow, and gain experience dealing with triggers and temptations to use. When back on their own again, the client will be better equipped to know what to look for before relapse starts and how to stop it before it occurs.
Crisis intervention is designed to help the person deal with the immediate distressing issue they are facing in a way that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol. The person will learn or be reminded of ways to face the crisis without substances and will develop awareness of the situation and constructive ways to address it. The individual in crisis counseling will also be encouraged to challenge negative thoughts and beliefs, break harmful cycles, and confront their inner fears.
Methods to Crisis Counseling
Each person and situation are unique, and each plan for dealing with crisis will be different. In general, however, there are several things an addiction counselor will want to accomplish with clients during a crisis.
Educate and problem solve. The person in crisis needs to understand what is happening and what needs to be done to rectify the situation. Most stressful situations are not as difficult as the person going through them believes, and there are often easy solutions available.
Create awareness. As the individual processes the situation, they will begin to understand their own contribution to the occurrence, and this will help them prevent another event like this in the future.
Break the cycle. In the past, the person handled pressure-filled situations by turning to drugs or alcohol. During crisis counseling, therapists will help the person find healthy ways to cope, so they can break the cycle of relapse.
Empower. Someone going through a crisis needs to believe they can cope with the situation and gain the strength needed to face their fears. Counselors guide clients to this understanding through therapy and skill building exercises.
The Family’s Role during a Crisis
Family members and friends want what’s best for their loved one in recovery, and it hurts to see the person struggle through the cycle of recovery and relapse. When loved ones see relapse beginning, the first thing they should do is contact their recovery center and get help. Waiting too long can result in relapse. Not taking any action will almost certainly result in relapse. Besides asking for help when necessary, families can support their loved one by participating in family therapy and working to be a source of encouragement for the individual when they are experiencing stressful situations.
Crisis intervention is designed to help the person deal with the immediate distressing issue they are facing in a way that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol.