Howard County is a county that is located in the central portion of the state of Maryland. Home to an estimated population of more than 325,000 people as of 2019 according to the United States Census Bureau, Howard County is one of the ten largest counties in the state by population. But having so many people can be a drawback during America’s drug epidemic, where rates of drug addiction and overdose can overwhelm densely populated communities. From 2015 to 2017 there were 156 drug deaths in Howard County according to County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, one of the highest rates in the state for any county during that time period. This shows how badly drug and alcohol rehabilitation, detox, and recovery services are need among residents of the state to help people and save lives. But what can be confusing is why so many people receive help from these services yet still relapse. This can be attributed to the power of addiction, but also to the lack of adequacy in America’s treatment system. But what we are discovering is that it is after treatment where people fail most, and we cannot expect rehab facilities to be responsible for the decisions a person makes years after they have attended. So, we need to understand why this occurs so that we can help people more effectively.
People usually relapse after treatment because they lack support. They get home and if they develop cravings, they are no longer in an environment where they cannot use drugs. They have no one to turn to. But thankfully this is changing, as recovery coaches are becoming more and more popular as a way to supplement treatment. A recovery coach is exactly like it sounds. Much like a mentor or a life coach, a recovery coach is someone who helps another person be successful in recovery and in life. They are not a counselor or a medical professional, so they are not licensed to diagnose or treat any condition including substance use disorder. But this is because anyone using a recovery coach should have already completed treatment and be in recovery. The solution to preventing relapse is not just to keep the person in treatment forever. While this might work, people eventually need to get back to their lives. But this transition can be very difficult for most people when they go from an environment of complete support at any hour of the day and restrictions which prevent them from relapsing to being back in the same environment where they were recently using drugs, and they have complete freedom and virtually no support. They can quickly become overwhelmed and relapse. But this is where a recovery coach becomes such a vital role. A recovery coach would be there for a person from the point when they complete treatment to when they are stable enough in their recovery that they no longer need support services.
A recovery coach focuses on what their client is doing right and provides them guidance with decision-making so that they continue to experience success in life. If their client is succeeding in life, their risk for relapse decreases dramatically. So, a recovery coach is a life coach in a way because they do not only discuss and work on not using drugs. In fact, a recovery coach does not allow his client to spend time endlessly discussing the past or their feelings, as these are not productive and should be handled with treatment or counseling. The recovery coach help keep the person in the present and on the right path. Anyone who is new in recovery or who is going through a rough patch could benefit from utilizing a recovery coach. Working with one may even prevent a lot of situations that otherwise could cause relapse.
Given the nature of opioid addiction and the rate of relapse, recovery coaching could be a major addition to the continuum of care that currently exists in Maryland. People stop getting help when the help doesn’t work, so anything which can make treatment services more successful and give people a better chance at a future is a worthwhile investment. Always start with treatment, and then set up aftercare and recovery support services so that when you get out of treatment you will already have someone on your side.
Here is a list of the different treatment centers in Howard County, Maryland. The list can be incomplete so please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.