Unfortunately I’ve been a patient at a plethora of luxury rehabs; my latest –and most successful – treatment was at a luxury alcohol rehab in Palm Beach, Florida. By now, I’m an expert at relapse. I’ve done it enough times to finally recognize the signs, symptoms and triggers for relapse. You might think that I was an expert simply by doing. No, as an addict, you don’t always identify the reason you’re doing what you’re doing. All that matters is the chase, the way your heart rate spikes when you’re walking into that neighborhood wine and spirits, the feeling of the bottle hitting your lips for that first time in 30 odd days.
Forget the fact that you just spent the last 30 days clean. Forget the fact that you’re wasting tens of thousands of dollars on not only alcohol but on treatment for your alcoholism. Forget the fact that you swore up and down to never go to another luxury rehab because you promised everyone that you’d never drink again.
Being the personification of relapse (and heretofore the poster child for unsuccessful alcohol rehab programs) was not enough to give me insight on my actions. None of my previous rehabs have ever been able to tell me why I continually relapse after each failed attempt at alcohol rehab. Their answers were simply “you’re not the only addict who relapses” or “this happens all the time; you’re not alone” or “you’re an addict; you’ll always be an addict” or “just look at Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan”.
Then I tried Seaside Luxury Alcohol Rehab in Palm Beach and I have not touched a drop of alcohol since the day I left them. The set of tools, techniques and strategies they provided me has made all the difference with my ability to resist any alcohol temptations. I soon realized after my treatment started there why none of my previous rehab programs could tell me why I relapsed: they were altogether incapable of discussing the problem of relapse. I remembered how different their therapists were from the other therapists I had encountered at other luxury rehabs. I actually remember a therapist at one of my former luxury alcohol rehabs telling me if I just thought about relapse I would bring it about. I remember after I left their luxury rehab in Malibu that I was always in a constant state of fear that I may accidentally think about relapse at any time and then cause myself to start drinking as a result!
So many rehab programs are afraid to address the issue of relapse for fear of misinterpretation or for fear of their patient success rates. Relapse is a difficult subject in rehab, for obvious reasons and for other reasons. A therapist must be careful to not portray a picture of relapse as an acceptable picture of behavior. Yes, it does happen – more often than not – but that does not mean it will happen to everyone. It is not an occurrence to be taken lightly. Moreover, it is important not to set the patient up for a mental picture of failure. Chances are, they are already emotionally scarred and see themselves as “failed.”
However, when the discussion of relapse never begins, it is likely that the relapse itself will begin. Without the ability to recognize one’s personal triggers for use, it is nearly impossible to prevent it! Not allowing yourself to consider the possibility of relapse is going to prevent any planning for it. If you have relapsed, there has to be a plan to get back into treatment, perhaps return to your rehab. Or in my case, find an altogether more excellent luxury alcohol rehab. Luckily, there are thousands of professional counselors, doctors and nurses who do not subscribe to this mistaken belief— “if you think about relapse, you will relapse” – and they have devoted their lives to addressing the problem and prevention of relapse. Without the help of my skilled and knowledgeable therapists at Seaside Luxury Alcohol Rehab, I’d never be able to claim 30 days sobriety let alone 2 years of sobriety; I am forever grateful to everyone there.