Relapse Prevention: Coping Skills & Warning Signs

Preparing to leave an inpatient treatment program can seem intimidating, especially if you have undergone intensive treatment for many months. It is normal to worry about relapse. No one wants to reach the point of deciding to get free from addiction only to begin having thoughts of failure once the immediate treatment team is left behind. Teaching relapse prevention coping skills are one of the essential parts of a complete treatment plan. Learning how to avoid relapse by recognizing warning signs and utilizing all available coping skills will help keep you on the road to a total clean and sober recovery.

What Is a Relapse?

One definition of relapse is “to fall or slip back into a former state, practice, etc.” Beyond dictionary definitions, relapse can send someone during recovery spiraling back into their substance abuse disorders if not handled quickly. The goal is to never fall into relapse, but that is not the reality when entering the recovery process.

As with any disease, there is an ever-present danger of relapse. Rather than facing this in fear, it should be used as a push to stay vigilant and watchful for early warning signs. It is possible to maneuver through this challenging landscape and avoid scenarios that lead you toward a slip if you’re armed with preventative measures and adequate coping skills with a solid relapse prevention plan. You can adjust and learn how to prevent relapse and stay on track toward complete recovery.

How to Avoid Relapse Using Prevention Techniques: The Essence of Recovery

Understanding how pervasive the disease of addiction is in the lives of addicts is critical before entering the recovery highway. Drugs or alcohol have been the driving force in the lives of addicted individuals for the duration of the illness. Every waking thought has been about using, obtaining, and having the funds to get the desired drugs or alcohol. Relapse can happen for more reasons than a robust physical craving. The entire lifestyle built around the addiction consumes the energy of the addicted person which creates self-defeating behavior.

A complete change in mental health occurs is when a full recovery takes hold and sticks. Even under optimal circumstances, the statistics show there is still a real risk of relapse. The Journal of the American Medical Association shows the numbers of relapse requiring additional medical assistance with several diseases. Asthma and high blood pressure show a 50 to 70 percent relapse rate, diabetes type 1 shows 30 to 50 percent, and drug addiction comes in at 40 to 60 percent.

Stages, Warning Signs, and Triggers of Relapse

Rarely do individuals travel the distance from normal recovery mode to drug and alcohol use overnight. It is a journey that can begin at any time after treatment and unfolds in stages. The more acute self-awareness is, the easier it is to spot potential problems. Below are three universally accepted stages that indicate levels of relapse.

Emotional Relapse

The stage of emotional relapse is not one of actively using or even considering use. In fact, denial is usually strong at this point, and it is a period of emotional setup.

Emotional relapse is marked by:

  • Isolation
  • Negative views of others
  • Sporadic meeting attendance or missing them altogether
  • Not staying involved while in meetings
  • Being emotionally reclusive
  • Reduced personal hygiene care and sleep difficulties

Mental Health

The mental health stage of the relapse process involves an increasing lack of resistance to full relapse. It can vary from basic cravings to the planning stages of drug or alcohol use. There are more times of people placing themselves in harm’s way, looking for an opportunity to use. Without recognizing these warnings, it is merely a matter of time before a complete relapse occurs. A few early warning signs of relapse include:

  • Increasing focus and strength of cravings for drugs or alcohol
  • Viewing past drug and alcohol use in any positive, glamorized light
  • Thinking about the ability to manage drug or alcohol use
  • Thinking of or making contact with those associated with past use
  • Placing yourself in dangerous positions and circumstances that can lead to use
  • Bargaining
  • Lying about activities and feelings
  • Complete planning of relapse or expressing inevitability


A complete physical relapse is when drug or alcohol use begins and becomes an uncontrolled activity after a period of recovery. A small lapse or one-time use can be turned around in some cases, but it is imperative to recognize the warning signs of mental relapse before it goes too far.

<2>Triggers of Relapse

The actual trigger for an addict to use again varies, but stress and opportunity are the prime culprits. The need to stop, slow down, and see what is going on is a vital part of remaining faithful to proper self-care. The use of coping skills is the best defense in relapse prevention.

Relapse Prevention Coping Skills

Observing and taking the warning signs seriously is the first step in how to avoid a relapse. You need to incorporate as many coping skills as possible that work for you and the stage of relapse you find yourself facing. Below are a few helpful coping skills that can reduce the danger level and keep you from falling into complete relapse.

Stress Control & Relapse Prevention Plan

Thoughts of self-medicating begin to take on a realistic value if stress levels are allowed to rise unchecked. Those who suffer anxiety issues will struggle with stress the most. Learn to recognize the overtaxing of your system in crisis situations, such as the death of a loved one or a job loss. Avoid self-defeating behavior and learn to deal with stress in a healthy way during the early warning signs of a possible relapse so you can experience clean and sober living.

You can help reduce stress naturally by:

  • Exercising or doing a physical activity that is enjoyable
  • Watching a positive movie
  • Getting involved in volunteer work
  • Contacting a loved one or sobriety peer member
  • Avoiding negative thinking

Avoiding high-risk contacts and behaviors is also crucial. It’s important to:

  • Avoid people from the past you used to get high or drunk with
  • Stay away from locations at which you used drugs or alcohol
  • Avoid parties and gatherings with drug and alcohol use
  • Never feel you are strong enough to abstain from drugs and alcohol
  • Keep in mind that using drugs or alcohol one time is not harmless and can cause complete relapse

You’ll also want to avoid isolation. To this end, you should:

  • Maintain steady interactions with people for relapse prevention
  • Stick with your therapy and support group meetings
  • Never try and manage a crisis alone
  • Reach out and ask for help if you feel overwhelmed

Maintaining open communication is also important. Make sure to:

  • Actively participate in meetings and therapy sessions
  • Always use open and honest communication
  • Let loved ones and professionals know when you are struggling
  • Maintain a positive journal that emphasizes your progress
  • Celebrate your victories with a special lunch, dinner, or personal item purchase

    Relapse Prevention Strategies

When managing cravings:

  • Know that they are a regular part of recovery and that they will pass
  • Find distractions such as reading a book or taking a walk
  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly
  • List the negatives of drug or alcohol addiction and why you will not go there again
  • Call trusted, nonjudgmental individuals you can discuss your cravings with

When Things Get Messy

If you or a loved one slips up and ends up using drugs or alcohol again, it is not the end of the universe. Relapse is actually a common occurrence in the recovery process. If it is your loved one who has relapsed, wait for them to be in a moment of sobriety before approaching them about entering treatment again. If you are the one experiencing relapse, know that it is a matter of undergoing more treatment and devising a more effective treatment plan.

Is Treatment Necessary for Every Relapse?

Not every case of lapse or relapse requires undergoing intensive treatment again. The real priority is honesty about the situation. Falling and taking one drink or using drugs one time does not necessarily mean a complete relapse will be the ultimate outcome. The duration and severity of the relapse are the determining factors.

Your counselor will need to look at:

  • What led up to the lapse or relapse
  • The effectiveness of your coping skills and relapse prevention strategies
  • Getting you an improved support system
  • The length of the relapse and your possible need for detox

Any incidences of lapse or relapse offer opportunities to change what does not work and increase the things that are working. It can seem disappointing, but recovery can still proceed at a steady pace. The more critical factor to consider is the safety of you or your loved one if the relapse has progressed to the point of dangerous levels of drugs or alcohol in the system.

The Perfect Treatment Plan

The perfect treatment plan is one that is malleable and changes to fit the needs of the addict. Treatment plans are never the same for two individuals. The types of drugs and alcohol used, amounts, length of time, stress management abilities, predisposition to addiction, duration of treatment, and plan continuity by client all play a massive role in treatment plan success.

A few of the necessary pieces of an ideal treatment plan are that it:

  • Is adjustable to fit the client needs at each stage of treatment and recovery
  • Addresses, identifies, and includes all support team members
  • Provides an assortment of planned coping skills
  • Identifies personal triggers that bring awareness for avoidance
  • Includes a fail-safe plan for possible lapse and relapse
  • Contains regular maintenance of the plan for changing needs

Critical Effectiveness of a Supportive Environment

Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is one of the most challenging battles an individual will ever wage. It is one of the most important when it comes to health and well-being. The more supportive the environment, self-help groups and programs are, the better the results are for anyone attempting to break free from the grip of serious addiction. A few of the critical benefits of supportive teams, families, and sobriety peers are:

  • Increased and honest communication
  • A feeling of the client getting trustworthy advice
  • Supportive people who will warn when they see danger signs the recovering addict misses
  • Shared celebrations at all achievements
  • Support that lacks judgmental attitudes and social stigma
  • Ways to replenish strength when the recovering addict feels weak

Starting Over: You Can Still Win After a Complete Relapse

Although it may sound counterintuitive, relapse can often be a large part of the complete recovery process. Starting over after a serious relapse is done with gained knowledge about your weaknesses and strengths. It is a time to appreciate your humanity and realize that well-known celebrities have had to undergo additional treatment for relapse. No one is ever immune to moments of weakness.

We deal with substance abuse disorders by understanding underlying issues and co-occurring disorders so we can treat you with cognitive-behavioral therapy for a life of staying clean and sober. Seeing the relapse process battle through is done by living life to the fullest each day and enjoying the moments of sobriety. Falling can happen, but the real winners are the individuals who can stand back up and shake off the dust with a smile. Through relapse prevention therapy, you will learn how to live a healthy and sober life begins with deciding never to give up.


LAPD Addiction Prevention Unit

Rather than deal with a problem, it is best for the problem never to arise in the first place. Few would argue with this simple and often-repeated sentiment, and few would suggest all problems are easy to prevent. The epidemic of drug addiction, particularly opioid addiction, has been ravaging the United States for the better part of several years. No easy solutions exist to lead people to avoid using prescription or street drugs. However, steps can be made to prevent people from becoming involved with drugs. Educational programs and support groups may help with this noble cause.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has devised a strategic plan intended to cut down on drug abuse in the City of Angels. It is to be hoped that the work done by the LAPD Addiction Prevention Unit can prove inspiring to other law enforcement agencies across the nation. Even a small amount of help toward assisting those dealing with drug or alcohol issues might save lives.

Who does this LAPD prevention program actually seek to benefit? The answer may prove surprising.


The common assumption is that the LAPD has set up a program to help the public with substance abuse prevention. Police do involve themselves in many community outreach programs. These outreach programs do frequently focus on drug education and prevention.

With this unique addition prevention program, things are a bit different. The LAPD Addiction Prevention Unit works at helping police officers avoid falling victim to alcohol and drug problems. Rather than seeking to terminate someone with substance dependence problems, the LAPD tries to help. Let’s hope the LAPD’s approach proves inspiring to other police departments as well.

The Unfortunate Stress of the Often-Thankless Job

Police work has long been referred to as a thankless job. In truth, millions of people thank the police for what they do. Others, sadly, do not realize just how difficult working as a police officer can be.

What many people fail to comprehend is the stress level associated with performing the work of a law enforcement officer. Many also do not understand just how consistently the exposure to stress truly is for a cop. Quiet nights become few and far between for many police officers. A police officer may even be required to respond to more than one major crisis per night. That takes a mental toll on the person exposed to such incidents, incidents that could end up being violent ones.

As career police officers and detectives note, the life experiences of law enforcement personnel involve seeing human misery to a level few others come into contact with. Crime and accident scenes can leave even a veteran of the police force shaken to the core. Certain images become difficult to dismiss and may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Excess stress and the psychological anguish that comes with it might possibly lead to substance abuse problems. Since police personnel may be exposed to tremendously high levels of stress, they become at risk for substance abuse problems. While the public may not accept the possibility of law enforcement agents succumbing to addictions, the problem does manifest among an unfortunate number of police officers.

Police Officers Do Face Addiction Problems

A significant amount of study has gone into the impact of drug and alcohol use by law enforcement professionals. The reports associated with the studies have come back with shocking results. Per The American Journal on Addictions, 18% of male offices and 16% of female officers have suffered serious consequences from using alcohol. That comes out to a truly staggering number of police officers when you take into consideration just how many thousands work in the Los Angeles precincts alone.

Once again, stress and anxiety often lurk as the cause of these addictions.

Stress and Substance Abuse

The correlation between stress and substance abuse has long since been established by the addiction therapy profession. People under stress might reach for something seemingly capable of altering their less-than-desirable state of mind. As one of the members who runs the LAPD Addiction Prevention Unit noted, officers under a high level of stress may turn to alcohol and drugs as a form of self-medication. Those who suffer from high anxiety are often prescribed anti-anxiety medication in order to calm their nerves. While not everyone may be a believer in prescription psychiatric drug treatment, the medical profession has long established prescription therapy as a viable way to treat stress.

With legitimate prescription therapy, a proper diagnosis of a condition occurs and is followed by a written prescription for an appropriate drug in the appropriate daily amount. The patient is monitored and may also undergo special counseling to determine the root cause of the problem.

Choosing to self-medicate is hardly the same thing. Opting to drink alcohol in excess or turn to prescription painkillers illegally acquired would not fall under the category of legitimate therapy. Yet, this is what many do to address stress and PTSD. The mind-altering and mood-changing effects of alcohol and drugs become an unreliable means of addressing their current mental state.

Self-medicating becomes unreliable because there is no therapeutic benefit that comes from drug or alcohol abuse. The problem likely will get worse. The development of a full-blown addiction brings with it more psychological and physical problems. In short, as difficult as the problem of stress appears, the problem now runs the risk of becoming worse many times over. The stress and the root of stress now become compounded by the inclusion of a substance abuse issue.

A person who succumbs to the use of drugs and alcohol for self-medication rarely admits to a problem because he or she sees the rightness of the action. In other words, the person sees his or her behavior as the correct way to address stress. Alcohol calms nerves and helps a person forget about a stressful situation. Since it works, why let a judgmental person tell him or her what is wrong with the behavior?

Of course, substance abuse clouds judgment and behavior. Someone who chooses to self-medicate starts with a habit, and the habit expands into a full-blown addiction. This doesn’t occur overnight, but it will occur in time if the proper treatment isn’t undertaken.

Traumatic Events and the Use of Drugs and Alcohol

Substance abuse may occur as a means of dealing with traumatic events. The blanket of abuse covers up the memories and flashbacks associated with the trauma. Police officers see many horrible things over the course of their careers. Haunting images that stick with them might not go away quickly, if at all. So, alcohol and controlled substances become the means to hide the lingering sounds and images.

Unfortunately, a trigger effect may occur here. Anything that reminds the afflicted person of the traumatic event could trigger a desire to drink or use drugs. Since the underlying problem is never actually treated, the triggers always remain. Therefore, the problem with drugs and alcohol does not disappear.

Stress triggers refer to those incidents, events, and images that may lead to the onset of anxiety, depression, or other psychological and emotional responses. A person who undergoes a triggering event may not even be aware of the connection that exists between the trigger and the mental or sensory response. Consider this another issue associated with the lack of therapy and counseling required to deal with stress.

A police officer who suffers from trauma related to injuries inflicted upon children may, for example, suffer from triggers every time he or she passes by a schoolhouse. Since these triggers lead to a stress response, the way to deal with the feelings involves the choice of taking a drink. The triggers continue to fuel alcohol and other substance abuses. The cycle continues and won’t end without some sort of counseling. In the Los Angeles law enforcement world, steps have been taken to try and assist those in need.

Police Work and Painkillers

Stress isn’t the only cause of addictions among those involved with law enforcement. Police work can be quite physical. SWAT team members, in particular, may be required to perform physical duties that can affect the body in many ways. Of course, others who work on normal calls run the risk of suffering from physical injuries.

Sadly, problems with opioids and prescription painkiller abuse usually start when people suffer injuries and rely on the prescriptions to address chronic and daily pain. What might start with a legitimate prescription issued by a doctor may lead to increased habitual use and then to a major addiction. Prescriptions such as Oxycontin and Vicodin come with a significant potential for abuse. Those who commence use for legitimate reasons may never become free of the physical and mental hold the drugs eventually impose on them.

Such addictions affect people from all walks of life; this includes those who work in law enforcement as the LAPD has clearly acknowledged. The presence of the expanded peer groups shows the department does take the problem seriously. Most importantly, they are trying to help those who are suffering from addictions.

Dealing With the Issue in Los Angeles

The LAPD approach to helping fellow officers deal with alcohol and substance abuse problems commenced in the 1970s. Originally, the program started as a peer counseling group intended to assist those officers who were struggling with addiction. Over time, the peer counseling group would evolve into the official Addiction Prevention Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. The members who run the program are not only sworn employees of the department; they also possess specialized training and education in addiction and recovery. An example of the training received is visible in a California Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) certification held by one officer. This certainly contributes to their ability to help those fellow officers in need.

Of course, police officers dealing with an addiction may be leery about working with a peer group.

Concerns did and do exist about privacy matters related to counseling. Clearly, the addiction prevention sessions are not published or released as public information. Cops who venture into these sessions can feel confident that they won’t be stigmatized among other members of the police force. If this were the case, no one would continue the sessions, and the entire prevention program would shut down. If those participating were disappointed with the results of attending, the program’s reputation would suffer, leading to the end result being a major decrease in participation.

Seeking Help for Addiction Issues

While the assistance of the addiction prevention system surely would be appreciated by anyone dealing with substance abuse issues, nothing can supplant complete treatment at a drug rehabilitation facility. Whether the care is inpatient or outpatient, the person undergoing the care would be examined and treated by professionals with the experience and background necessary to safely help someone address addiction. Call us today to see how we can help you or your loved one overcome their addiction.


Nutritional Cuisine

Nutritional Cuisine

APEX Rehab

The Culinary Department at APEX Rehab spansnutritional-cuisine beyond the scope of your typical gourmet meal. We provide a variety of programs that focus on nutrition, physical health, and a diet that is closely connected to integrative medicine and holistic healing.

We believe that every single meal prepared here lays the foundation for a nutritionally balanced body. Each ingredient is woven into a dish not only for taste but for the health benefit it offers. For example, when making a dish like curry the chef questions which ingredients will create the perfect dish as well as the nutritional benefits that an individual in recovery requires. An ingredient as simple as ginger is added to the curry to release a variety of healing properties, which include antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.

APEX Rehab, as a premiere alcohol and drug rehab in San Diego, is focused on local, organic, and natural foods. We source ingredients though a partnership with Farm Fresh to You delivery, which provides organic produce from its farm in Southern California. At APEX Rehab, our executive chef prepares all items from scratch from the organic house-made mint chip ice cream to the hand-crafted mango vinaigrette.

APEX Rehab has an Integrative Beverage Program as well. The essence of this program is to harness the natural healing benefits of certain beverages such as tea and coffee to aid the body in its recovery. A new blend of iced tea is made daily not only for refreshment but for the wealth of benefits different types of tea offer. Chamomile tea is brewed for its relaxing qualities enabling clients to wind down and focus on a good night’s sleep. We also offer French-pressed local and organic coffee varieties in an effort to provide our clients with the best quality Java nature has to offer, as well as to encourage the healthy benefits for the heart coffee contains.

APEX Rehab provides a nutrition program run by our experienced executive chef, who has personal training and nutrition credentials, as well as a degree in culinary arts and food science. A sample outline for the weekly class includes a comprehensive background on carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, calorie amounts in each category, healthy caloric intake guidelines for the average male/female, discussion of client’s food likes and dislikes and which are healthy choices, and providing clients with the tools/resources to make healthy dietary choices. Clients fill out a health/nutrition questionnaire, which is designed to provide clients with the tools necessary to make healthy decisions when it comes to nutrition, as well as the opportunity to nourish their body with all that it requires. The Health and Nutrition Program can take clients to the backyard, where the herb and vegetable garden stands, or to the kitchen for a healthy cooking lesson by our executive chef.

Nutritional Cuisine


Treatment Therapy

Treatment Therapies San Diego

APEX Rehab

Apex Rehab utilizes several models of treatment, all of which are peer reviewed, evidence-based practices. We strive to bring the latest and most innovative treatments to each participant that comes into our center. A collection of cognitive therapies are used, as well as Motivational Interviewing, behavioral strategies, and alternative and holistic practices. We use therapies that have been time-tested, researched, and validated. We also utilize new, cutting-edge techniques that are on the forefront of research, and always utilize therapies that are indicated for each individual. We never take a “cookie cutter” approach to our treatment therapies. Our goal is to allow each individual to collaborate, identify, and accept treatment that works for them. Our service menu is limitless, and we go above and beyond to provide the best therapy and treatment for you or your loved one.

Treatment Therapies

  • Life Skills Training Therapy

APEX Rehab is proud of our residential programs. APEX Residential programs are made up by our residential, upscale centers in San Diego California. Our programs are integrative, holistic, and evidence based. We offer boutique services and accommodations to help comfort, heal, and restore our participants’ mind, body, and spirit. Our residential programs are founded on the mission that anyone who suffers from addiction can be helped. We believe that no one is “too far gone” or difficult to help. APEX works hard to utilize our residential program to detox, help instill a foundation in early recovery, and help individuals choose a path of treatment that works for them individually. Our residential programs are staffed with industry leaders in medical, clinical, and holistic practice. All of our 24 hour care staff is certified and trained to provide the type of help and care required to give each participant an exceptional, safe, and effective stay.

Our Residential program is a minimum stay of 30 days, while extended stay and step-down care is also provided. Our goal is to be a leader in the Residential Treatment community, while never losing our personal touch, and value for each individual and family member that we have the privilege to serve.

Treatment Therapies


Dual Diagnosis Therapy

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

APEX Rehab

Dually diagnosed clients are those that are living with a co-occurring addiction and mental health disorder. More often than not, people struggling with an addiction have some type of co-occurring mental health diagnosis. Not only does APEX Rehab’s addiction treatment team specialize in all aspects of drug and alcohol dependency, we also treat co-occurring disorders.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

APEX Rehab feels that thorough assessment and treatment of co-occurring disorders is a critical piece in maximizing the chance of successful in treatment. Dual diagnosis is a relatively new approach that developed in the 21st century. Before this landmark, dually diagnosed patients were treated separately for their addiction and mental health problems, which means they practically never got what they truly needed. Fortunately, dual diagnosis therapy now brings these patients best of both worlds – treatment for their mental disorders and substance abuse. Both of these are seen as part of a continuum, rather than as two strictly different problems.

While individual and group psychotherapy are beneficial in helping treat co-occurring disorders, often a combination of psychotherapy and pharmaco therapy are necessary for the best possible outcome. APEX Rehab’s consulting psychiatrist, Dr. Thomas DeBlois, completes psychiatric evaluations on those clients that display signs of a co-occurring diagnosis. When necessary, Dr. DeBlois provides clients with medication treatment options that are often very helpful in the recovery process.

There are so many types of mental health disorders and the relationship between the addiction and the disorder is a multifaceted and a complex one. What further complicates the matters is that individuals with a dual diagnosis are known to be in denial, because their mental condition is under the impact of a distorted perception. The symptoms of their disorder may be so uncomfortable and overwhelming that alcohol and substances may seem like the only way to manage.

There is no single formula in treating dual diagnosis. The broad range of therapies available at APEX Rehab and the diversity of highly-qualified professionals make us able to provide highly flexible and personalized treatments to our dually diagnosed patients.

Reclaiming your life is premised on getting professional help that will build your trust and hope in recovery. This is especially important if you have experienced unsuccessful rehabilitation in the past. Relying on those qualified to help you will make the whole recovery process more systematic and likely to succeed.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment


Chemical Dependency

Chemical Dependency Treatment San Diego

APEX Rehab

Once the process of detox has been completed, the focus shifts towards maintaining sobriety. APEX Rehab provides intensive behavioral therapy during the care process to examine the origin of causes for patients’ addictions and help them learn to resist temptation and prevent relapse.

 Chemical Dependency Treatment

APEX Rehab utilizes a number of theoretical models when treating its clients, including Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Motivational interviewing is non-judgmental, non-confrontational and non-adversarial. The approach attempts to increase the client’s awareness of the potential problems caused, experience consequences and face risks as a result of the behavior in question. Alternately, our therapists help clients envision a better future and become increasingly motivated to achieve it. Either way, the strategy seeks to help clients think differently about their behavior and ultimately to consider what might be gained through change.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a fundamental and core component of APEX Rehab treatment program. CBT is based on the theory that in the development of maladaptive behavioral patterns like substance abuse, learning processes play a critical role. Through CBT, APEX clients learn to identify and correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills that can be used to stop drug abuse and to address a range of other problems that often co-occur with it, namely anxiety and depression. A central element of CBT is anticipating likely problems and enhancing a person’s self-control by helping them develop effective coping strategies. Specific techniques include exploring the positive and negative consequences of continued drug use, self-monitoring to recognize cravings early and identify situations that might put one at risk for use, and developing strategies for coping with cravings and avoiding those high-risk situations. CBT also utilizes recording of specific thoughts and outlining how to change them to properly effect and affect mood.

Motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy are just two approaches that the professionals at APEX Rehab use. In addition, we use a range of available techniques and models that can address the specific patient case in question. Addiction is almost never an isolated problem in any way. It is usually accompanied by emotional and mental issues, but it is also almost never a problem limited to the patient’s life only. The family and other close people are also affected by the patient’s addiction and rehabilitation.

APEX Rehab strives to provide a safe environment that promotes patients’ facing with their root problems of dependency and helps them address these problems constructively, so that they stay firm in their decision to lead a sober life.

Chemical Dependency Treatment


Medical Detox

Medical Detox Center

Medically assisted detox is a critical and oftentimes frightening part of the alcohol and drug addiction recovery process. Before starting our core clinical programs, it is imperative that all of the toxins are cleansed from one’s body and that a level of health, safety and comfort have occurred. This is not a step in the process in which patients or their loved ones can afford to cut corners, because the patients’ experience of this stage can and usually will affect the success of the overall outcome.

There are many possibilities for detox care during rehabilitation in San Diego. It often happens that patients try to go through detox on their own or only with the support of a loved one. However, an inadequate or poorly managed detox program can cause patients unnecessary physical damage. Unfortunately, when an individual in need of an addiction treatment experiences the ordeal of withdrawal without the firm and compassionate support of a physician, they are often discouraged from pursuing rehabilitation further or they fail to stay sober for good.

That’s why our detox program is essentially different. It is guided and controlled by our highly skilled and experienced addiction physician consultant.

Medical Detox Treatment Includes:

APEX Rehab’s treatment facility offers onsite, medically supervised detox. Our addiction physician consultant is an expert at detoxing the human body. He is gentle, compassionate, and extremely safe when working with the clientele that come to our facility with detox needs from alcohol, benzodiazepines, heroin, or other opiate drug use. Our detox staff are trained to help assist in the process and make it as comfortable for the patient as possible.

We provide around-the-clock supervision, vital checks, and provide exertional and safe care while individuals detox with us. Such controlled conditions make for the best results. To support the process, we also have diets that are tailored to the body’s rapidly changing needs when undergoing this treatment. Our detox room is private and graciously accommodated to provide each individual the serene environment they require to detox fully.

We are aware that detoxing from drugs, opiates and alcohol is a difficult hurdle to clear in the process of recovery. Our medically assisted detox treatment helps people do this comfortably and safely. Our approach also encourages them to continue with their rehabilitation. The goal at APEX is to remove obstacles that stand in the way of full recovery. By providing the body an opportunity to escape the clutches of drug and alcohol abuse we ensure our participants enter a new beginning, safe from the fear the cycle of withdrawal can bring. While this process is short lived, it is crucial, and one that APEX Rehab is proud to provide.

Medical Detox Program


Administrative Staff

Administrative Staff

APEX Rehab

APEX Rehab is proud to offer some of finest doctoral and licensed professionals in southern California. With literally decades of addiction experience, and countless clinical hours spent researching, training and treating dual diagnosis issues, our team is ready to help. Despite our staff pedigree, the key difference at APEX is our team collaboration, coupled with our philosophy and humble touch. We believe every member of our team is reliant on others perspectives and insight. We every participant with respect and dignity, not from a place of superiority or judgment.

APEX Rehab’s staff is hand selected for their ability to work and promote an integrative treatment approach. No one person has THE answer, and only as a team of professionals, working with the participant and family, can we bring the results we know people are striving for. Our clinical staff is tireless in their dedication to wholeness, health, and excellence. Our constant drive for knowledge, continuing education, and goal of field, participation as leaders in the recovery community, allows our APEX team to be sought after and exceptional at treating not just an addiction, but the whole person. This allows for growth in many ways, as each participant finds their own path to meaningful recovery.

Administrative Staff



Clinical Staff – Therapist

APEX Rehab

APEX Rehab is proud to offer some of finest doctoral and licensed professionals in southern California. With literally decades of addiction experience, and countless clinical hours spent researching, training and treating dual diagnosis issues, our team is ready to help. Despite our staff pedigree, the key difference at APEX is our team collaboration, coupled with our philosophy and humble touch. We believe every member of our team is reliant on others perspectives and insight. We every participant with respect and dignity, not from a place of superiority or judgment.

APEX Rehab’s staff is hand selected for their ability to work and promote an integrative treatment approach. No one person has THE answer, and only as a team of professionals, working with the participant and family, can we bring the results we know people are striving for. Our clinical staff is tireless in their dedication to wholeness, health, and excellence. Our constant drive for knowledge, continuing education, and goal of field, participation as leaders in the recovery community, allows our APEX team to be sought after and exceptional at treating not just an addiction, but the whole person. This allows for growth in many ways, as each participant finds their own path to meaningful recovery.

Clinical Staff – Therapist

Dr. Sean House
Dana McNeil
Pam Highfill
Samuel Newman
Julianna Wida
Madison Nees
Brandon Parkhurst
Dianna Hansen


Clinical Staff – Physicians

APEX Rehab

APEX Rehab is proud to offer some of finest doctoral and licensed professionals in southern California. With literally decades of addiction experience, and countless clinical hours spent researching, training and treating dual diagnosis issues, our team is ready to help. Despite our staff pedigree, the key difference at APEX is our team collaboration, coupled with our philosophy and humble touch. We believe every member of our team is reliant on others perspectives and insight. We every participant with respect and dignity, not from a place of superiority or judgment.

APEX Rehab’s staff is hand selected for their ability to work and promote an integrative treatment approach. No one person has THE answer, and only as a team of professionals, working with the participant and family, can we bring the results we know people are striving for. Our clinical staff is tireless in their dedication to wholeness, health, and excellence. Our constant drive for knowledge, continuing education, and goal of field, participation as leaders in the recovery community, allows our APEX team to be sought after and exceptional at treating not just an addiction, but the whole person. This allows for growth in many ways, as each participant finds their own path to meaningful recovery.

Clinical Staff – Physicians

Dr. Thomas E. Deblois
Dr. Jerry Ayers
Dr. Wendy A. Khentigan, MD.