Addiction is a Chronic Disease

Addiction is a chronic brain disease. With treatment and relapse prevention, many people can and do achieve long-term recovery. But like other chronic diseases, individuals who have struggled with addiction need to take care of themselves to stay healthy and sober. That means paying attention to their physical health, mental health, emotional well-being and their environment to avoid relapse.

Bluff provides recovery planning and coaching to help those in recovery maintain sobriety for a lifetime. Our commitment to relapse prevention includes:

  • Helping patients develop coping skills, resilience and relapse prevention skills during treatment.
  • Providing monitoring and support during the transition to life outside of treatment.
  • Encouraging an ongoing connection with our therapeutic environment so that we can stay alert to any warning signs for relapse.

Through this purposeful attention to chronic relapse prevention, we have helped many individuals heal from alcohol and drug addiction, and experience the happiness of a life not controlled by substance use.

What is Relapse?

Relapse is often thought of as a moment in time when an individual takes a drink or does drugs. But relapse is also often an incremental process of slipping – returning to old habits, behaviors or environments that were once problematic, or allowing attention to veer from the healthy lifestyle practices that are important for sustaining recovery. There are many ways that people can become vulnerable to relapse – not getting sufficient sleep, not eating well, entering into unhealthy relationships, skipping support meetings, as well as not adhering to a schedule, practicing self-care, or managing co-occurring disorders such as depression.

There’s no doubt that maintaining sobriety takes focus and resolve, especially at the beginning of recovery but also at some level throughout a lifetime. At Bluff, we believe that people benefit greatly when they don’t try to go through it alone. Through our recovery planning and chronic relapse prevention program, individuals stay connected and build the support system they need to stay connected, motivated, healthy and sober.

Building Resilience

Treatment for addiction has largely been centered on acute care occurring in short episodes of treatment. Although this model is effective for initiating abstinence, it does not promote sustained behavior change in individuals with substance use disorders.

At Bluff, treatment extends well beyond the initial rehabilitation period. After residential treatment, patients can step down to an outpatient program offered through Pyramid Healthcare. Outpatient programs include partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient, both of which help those in recovery build resilience, practice mindfulness, and develop the communication and coping skills to sustain sobriety and encourage long-term good health.

Recovery Planning and Coaching

As important as those phases of treatment are in laying the groundwork for long-term sobriety, recovery is an ongoing process that has to be carefully nurtured. As with managing other chronic health conditions, recovery needs to be carefully planned for, monitored and managed.

Every patient at Bluff receives a recovery plan, which addresses each individual's needs for ongoing support, group attendance, individual and family therapy, medical care, ongoing psychiatric care and community resources. We will make sure these resources are in place to support each person on their journey.

Our recovery coaches are there to assist each individual throughout their treatment and beyond. The road to recovery is often toughest when individuals return to the responsibilities of their household and jobs. During this phase, it's essential to apply the tools learned in treatment to maintain sobriety. Other important recovery-supporting practices include caring for oneself physically, mentally and spiritually, and getting connected with a community of sober peers.

At Bluff, support in maintaining sobriety doesn't end when a patient leaves our residential treatment center or completes PHP or IOP. Bluff's recovery coaches continue to work with each individual for as long as they need us.


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