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Ask the Expert: What are the odds of relapse?

Difficulty saying yes or noMy 16 year old daughter has just completed a Juvenile Drug Court program and has been clean and sober for almost 6 months. We have completed an intense program of family groups, one-on-one therapy and weekly teen support group meetings. What are the odds of her relapsing? – Concerned Mom

Photo of Christy CrandellEXPERT CHRISTY CRANDELL:

While relapse is often times a part of recovery it is not ALWAYS a part of it. Research tells us that one year is the “optimal dose” of treatment so continue with her individual therapy and support groups. If, indeed, there is a relapse I think the best thing is to remain calm and remember it doesn’t mean she is going to go back to that lifestyle permanently. She needs to be held accountable for her poor decision but more importantly she will need to process what happened with her counselor in order to make sure she has all the tools she needs to stay sober. – Christy Crandell, Administrative Director and Founder of Full Circle Treatment Center.

Photo of Ricki TownsendEXPERT RICKI TOWNSEND:

Relapse is a complicated issue based on numerous factors. Both you and your daughter need to make recovery your first priority.  For you, that means getting the support you need to stay healthy and to have a healthy relationship with your daughter. Going to a Parents Al-Anon meeting, working with a counselor, or attending open AA meetings with your daughter would all be healthy and constructive.

Yes, relapse statistics are high. At the same time,  I encourage my families to not get caught up in the numbers because they can only cause you to stress and lose focus on your program. It sounds like you are doing all the right things.  Keep up the good work, and concentrate only on your individual recovery programs. I wish you all well and I know you can all stay healthy if you both keep the focus on recovery.

Blessings, Ricki Townsend, Board Certified Interventionist, Drug/Alcohol Counselor, NCAC1, CAS, RAS, Bri-1

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