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Relapse Prevention – Lessons from Amy Winehouse and other Celebrities

Posted on: Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

What a weekend this has been, shootings in Norway (I was really disappointed at the 90 minute police delay!); debt talk stalemate in the US that could create another economic collapse and singer Amy Winehouse found dead at 27 possibly due to drug use! I could barely get away from the blogs for a cup of joe.

As a Calgary addiction Counsellor, I am all too aware of the prevalence of substance abuse as a major player in people’s lives. And now with the Internet taking centre stage, porn, gaming, gambling and cyber reality living are emerging as serious concerns.

How do you know if there is an addiction at play: persistent desire and repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop use or behavior. Usually over a twelve month period or more.

As the news demonstrates some celebrities have become notoriously famous for their public antics that lead to rehab and then back again for some more. They are not alone.

Relapse is very much a part of recovery – over 90% of the time. The first year after quitting, especially, is the hardest to keep under control. Accountability & encouragement – let someone know, maybe even your family or join a group. Medical – some pharmacological treatments help. Biological – be extra careful if there has been a family history. Environmental – be aware and have a plan against reminders and triggers in the environment. Stress and Psychology – most addictive substances and behaviors are used to address emotional needs and medical needs. Have alternative strategies including counselling. Spirituality – have a reason and beliefs that inspire you as to why to stay clean.

Remember – successful people have many strategies!

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