Why is Testing is an Important Part of the Treatment Process?
To the casual observer, frequent drug screening (like that which we require in all of our programs at Simple Recovery), might appear punitive or suspicious. Quite the contrary, it’s a cornerstone of effective treatment. Let us explain some reasons why:
1. Treatment is a clinical process and addiction is a medical disease
Really, this fact alone should singlehandedly settle any argument against frequent drug screening during treatment. For any other medically diagnosed condition, who would object to a concerned doctor running tests to the check the progress of the patient’s recovery (or identify a relapse in order to address accordingly)?
2. Testing rewards abstinence with positive feedback
The 12-step program of alcoholics anonymous came up with a powerful ritual to celebrate recovery milestones. The “chip ceremony” (or celebrating “birthdays”) is practiced at many meetings wherein sobriety “chips” are handed out to recognize the participant’s continued sobriety (for 1, 3, 6, and 9 months, and then annually). This ceremony is voluntary but almost all members choose to be recognized in front of their recovery community because it affirms the success of the entire group and the process. For the abstinent individual, passing drug and alcohol screenings serve as constant reminders of their progress and these affirmations build momentum in recovery.
|Processing a Relapse Can Unlock the Key To Recovery|
3. Relapse is not a failure, but a setback (that should be carefully analyzed)
If a person relapses, they will feel terrible about it. It follows that they may hide the relapse from their recovery support community (which includes other newly recovering individuals, their family, their addiction counselors, and others). If a relapse goes undiscovered, the individual loses the opportunity to fully process the relapse and learn from it.
Trained addiction counselors (like the ones at Simple Recovery), will work with a client very carefully to re-trace the hours and days preceding a relapse to hone in on the triggers that contributed to it. There will also be new responses planned for future stressors and a commitment made by the individual to react differently. In some cases, a psychiatrist may prescribe a medication (or change the dosage) to help the person more easily manage future episodes like the one that preceded the relapse.
Contact Simple Recovery if You Have Questions about Treatment
Simple Recovery helps men and women get and stay sober by providing a carefully designed & personalized treatment program, and then closely monitoring the person’s response to each component of the process and adjusting accordingly. Drug and alcohol screenings are part of our process. If you would like to discuss any aspect of addiction treatment, please call us today at 888-207-0965.