Reversing the Regression Spiral: Self-Care and Relapse Prevention Planning for Addiction Recovery Management
by Merlene Miller and David Miller, Ph.D.
People believe that when addicts relapse it is because they don't want to stay sober. But in most cases this is not true. It is because they don't know how. Merlene and David Miller have studied the problem of relapse for over 30 years. In 1986 Merlene wrote the book Staying Sober: A Guide for Relapse Prevention with Terence Gorski. In 1996 David wrote Overload: Attention Deficit Disorder and the Addictive Brain with Kenneth Blum in which they explore attention deficit disorder and other disorders that make sobriety more difficult. Their most recent book is Staying Clean and Sober in which they explore the use of complementary and natural strategies for healing the addicted brain and help prevent relapse.
In this book, Reversing the Regression Spiral, they present the same two-part model, applying it to any addiction. The first part of the model helps recovering people develop self-care plans that are right for them and which apply strategies for maintaining balanced brain chemistry as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of recovery. Second, this model provides a guide to interrupt negative spiraling thoughts and behaviors that lead to relapse.
Self-care is what we do on a regular basis to be healthy and well. Regression prevention is learning to recognize when we are spiraling away from good self-care and taking steps to interrupt and reverse the spiral.