Lifestyle after rehab determines relapse for many patients

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The death of "Glee" star Cory Monteith shocked many fans and people across the nation. He died from ingesting a dangerous mix of alcohol and heroin in a hotel room in Vancouver over the weekend.

Monteith's death caused many to wonder: Do rehab clinics really work? Are they even worth attending?

News Leader 9's Sara Lim met with Angie Kopec at Bradford Health Center in Columbus, GA. Kopec explained that she has seen many cases where former patients return for more treatment.

"Many people believe that going to rehabilitation centers is going to change people's lives," Kopect said. "It does. We provide guidelines, encouragement and treatment for people to overcome their addictions. We even provide mental and emotional motivation. However, it is what patients do after they leave rehab that will change their lives."

Kopec explained that no one can drag or force someone to stay sober. It is up to the individuals to stay motivated and make healthy choices to stay away from drugs, alcohol and other substances.

"Even when you walk out of rehab, you have to work at it for life time," Kopec explained.

The therapist also said that people often try to pick up where they left off once they finish their treatment.

"Often times when patients return to familiar places and environment, they are triggered to pick up their old habits," Kopec said. "For example, they might want to do drugs again when they come back to their house. When people are triggered and they decide to consume drugs or alcohol again, people often pick up where they left off. People lose tolerance during their period of sobriety, but they just might end up taking the same amount of substance they used to take before receiving treatment. That is when overdosing happens, and sometimes it can lead to death."

Pharmaceutical pill and painkiller addiction is the mosissue Kopec said many patients nowadays seek treatment from pharmaceutical pill and painkiller addiction over any other substance abuse. Kopec explains that an increase in painkiller abuse across the nation, and this problem is also prominent in Columbus as well.

Kopec continued to explain that emotional, mental and spiritual growths are important elements to staying sober. Attending treatment centers is an important step to take in order to treat addiction.

However, staying motivated, making healthy choices, attending treatment meetings and seeing counselors are some ways patients can stay sober after they leave their rehab and treatment centers.

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