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At Experience Recovery we balance personally-crafted relapse prevention strategies with multi-faceted, scientifically-driven techniques to give our patients the resources they’ll need for a lifelong recovery. Our ultimate goal is to free you from addiction, and help you master the strategies to resist and prevent relapse on a lifelong journey to recovery. Research and techniques promoted by reputable specialists such as Michael J McCann, M.A., Dr. Jeanne L. Obert, MFT, and Patricia Marinelli-Casey, have been invaluable resources for understanding the newest research on addiction care. Current research has allowed us to be more conscious of comorbid disorders affecting relapse outcomes, develop more effective motivational interviewing strategies, and reinforce self-empowering techniques that helps our patients live a long and healthy life post-recovery.

How Addiction Can Impact Our Lives

Patricia Marinelli-Casey has conducted a multitude of research studies focusing on how addiction can impact the other aspects of our lives, from our eating habits to our anxiety. Comorbid disorders, or diseases occurring at the same time, such as addiction and bulimia, often feed off one another, increasing the risk and difficulty of treatment for both. Because of this, it’s important to understand how different diseases interact with addiction, and how to best provide a safe recovery environment for patients suffering with more than one health condition. According to Patricia’s research, the typical outcomes for patients with multiple disorders can be more severe than patients suffering with addiction alone. In these cases, relapse prevention strategies may be more effective when treating the comorbid disorder alongside a standard recovery program.

Counselor who Believed in Them

Dr. Jeanne L. Obert, MFT, was curious about the behavioral health aspects of addiction—why we can experience great suffering through a disease like an addiction, but continue to go through relapse. Why would we keep coming back to a substance that makes us feel miserable and dependent? This effect isn’t unique to addiction alone. When faced with the threat of amputation or heart damage, many diabetics continue to eat sweets and can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle. As Dr. Jeanne puts it, the “stick” approach of scaring patients with the worst outcomes may not be as effective as the “carrot.” In this case, the doctor found that patients who had a helpful counselor who believed in them had a far greater chance of prolonged sobriety and relapse prevention than patients who were scolded, reprimanded, or scared. Rather, focusing on the patient’s goals and outcome expectations through motivational interviewing was found to be one effective strategy of helping patients find a locus of control, and intrinsic motivation to keep them moving towards a clearer goal. Through this “carrot” approach, patients are energized and excited for change, rather than dreading failure.

Contingency management

Following on this message of positivity, further research by Michael McCann and his team found that an uplifting treatment care program and positive rewards for healthy behaviors were some of the most effective strategies for relapse prevention. Contingency management is the reinforcement of healthy, positive behaviors through positive rewards. Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous have long since seen the benefits of contingency management through their tokens or “chips” of sobriety. But new research shows that Contingency management was more effective than traditional methadone treatment programs on their own, or with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This exciting research further emphasizes that inspiring a patient to believe in themselves and their healthcare is one of the most effective ways to help them prepare post-recovery.

Understanding The Patient And Their Needs

Overall, understanding the patient and their needs, such as potentially comorbid disorders, and being able to motivate and inspire them towards healthy behaviors is gaining favor as the more dependable and effective strategy in addiction care. New research from brilliant specialists in addiction prevention is always around the corner, and will only improve on our current understanding of the disease. For those suffering, it’s important to find a modern and personalized care provider to ensure a safe transition into sobriety, and a personalized, dedicated treatment program that will prepare you for sustained relapse prevention during a lifelong recovery.