Relapse rates for substance abuse are high.
Between 40 to 60 percent of people will relapse, according to The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s JAMA report. While that’s about the same relapse rate as that of other chronic health conditions, it’s still concerning for anyone receiving addiction treatment and hoping to put it behind them.
While relapse is always an ongoing battle for anyone with a substance use disorder, having support can minimize this risk substantially. That support can come from a variety of places, such as your therapist, sponsor, family, and friends. It’s also valuable to have a professional recovery mentor. A mentor has professional training in the addiction treatment field and has gone through what you’re facing right now. Like you, they aren’t perfect – many have experienced relapse firsthand. Yet they’ve managed to work through those times so that they can offer their support to others.
At DK Solutions Group, we provide professional recovery mentoring. This type of one-on-one support can help people like you, who are working through recovery, stay sober. The key is to engage. When you work with a mentor, you increase your potential for recovery without relapse.
What Can a Mentoring Program Do for You?
There are various levels of mentoring. Some people need a mentor as soon as they leave inpatient treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. This individual can support them as they work through those very fragile first weeks in the “real world,” aiding in getting them established again. This may include helping you to find transitional living, getting back into the job force, and helping with instances of high risk.
Mentoring continues to play a valuable role in the months to come. You may need someone to call on when you are experiencing triggers. In some cases, your mentor is the first person to turn to if you think you are going to use again. He or she is also the first person to contact if you make a mistake.
The value of a mentor is clear: a mentor helps you stay on the right track. Yet, there’s more to mentoring than having someone to check in with.
- Mentors provide a safe place to talk about the hard details of addiction that no one else understands.
- Mentors provide encouragement, but also help you set realistic expectations.
- By their own example, mentors help you see that it’s possible to stay sober.
- You can talk freely to your mentor without risk of disappointing anyone.
- In addition to relapse prevention, mentors can also help you find care for mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
Making the Decision to Reach Out to a Mentor
Having a mentor available is very valuable. However, it’s also important to reach out to them at the right time. If you are at a friend’s party and others are using the drug you were addicted to, your first reaction should be to leave. Your second action should be to contact your mentor. Making that decision to reach out for help may determine whether or not you use.
Many people in recovery want to handle it on their own. Others may lie about their struggles because they don’t want to let anyone down. Your mentor helps you understand that it’s okay to ask for help, and that you won’t be judged by those who understand what you’re going through. When you contact your mentor, you are protecting your health and future.
Giving Back in the Long Term
Many of the men and women who rely on mentors become mentors themselves. It is perhaps one of the best ways for a person in recovery to give back–by helping others in recovery.