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Crisis Intervention – An Important Aspect of Drug Recovery

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The risk of relapse remains for most drug abusers throughout their life. Several factors might trigger relapse, crisis being one of them. Crisis is a painful event or situation that can disturb the normal functioning and emotional state of the individual. A crisis in an abstinent person’s life can push him back into the nasty cycle of drug addiction. But, every problem is not a crisis. The individual, in his course of recovery, learns to solve several problems on his own. But there are situations that cannot be solved with just his usual problem solving resources. It is during such situations that a professional help is required to deal with the situation and help the person continue with his recovery.

For a recovering drug user crisis may emerge from any of the following situations –

Family situations like lack of family support, separation, physical illness in the family, death of a close family member can give rise to crises for the abstinent user.

Interpersonal problems arising from difficulties in relationships within and outside the family can lead to crises. Positive emotions like a promotion, marriage, birth of a child could also act as crisis situations.

Personal and social situations involving problems resulting from the person’s previous drug use like legal action for some criminal action done before, ostracism from the community due to previous behavior are also potential causes of crisis.

Economic situations like losing a job, failure to repay debt, failure to find a job could also spark off a crisis.

Following a crisis, the person feels anxious, hurt, upset or angry. He might try to deal with the problem on his own or with the family members. But if he fails then the emotional problems might worsen and he might run the risk of relapse. This possibility usually lasts for 4 to 6 weeks and it is a critical period when he needs help to stay on his path of recovery.

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