What is Illness Management and Recovery

What is Illness Management and Recovery?

Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) is a program that teaches coping and self-management skills. This program helps people with serious mental health conditions. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. It’s new to behavioral health, and most of the public isn’t aware yet either. 


IMR is backed by research and is part of many addiction treatment programs. This approach is educational and supports individuals and their families with long-term mental health concerns.


What is IMR?

Self-management is vital when living with a chronic condition. Mental health and addiction issues are no exception. 


Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) is a program about addiction recovery. It teaches people to manage mental health or substance use issues. Part of the program teaches people about their condition. A therapist shares the same lessons with everyone. But they also use several teaching methods. Everyone can learn in ways that work best for them. 


These are some key aspects of the IMR program:

  • Therapists teach about social skills, medication use, and coping skills. 
  • Lessons are taught privately, in groups or both. 
  • In-person lessons, videos, and handouts are used. 
  • People do the lessons as they meet their therapy goals.  


IMR lessons help families get involved. People do better with treatment when family members stay connected. And family members give better support when they learn more about the issues. IMR sessions are open to all family members.


How can IMR help with substance use disorders?

Substance use disorders are chronic conditions. The IMR program teaches people how to live with long-term issues. Treatment helps, but it doesn’t cure addiction. A person may be doing well for months or years. But sometimes, they relapse. That’s not unusual.


A person with an addiction needs to learn about their ongoing needs. This knowledge helps people do better after treatment. The skills in the IMR program set the stage for better self-care. IMR’s step-by-step plan helps people through recovery. The approach is simple but effective for long-term management.


How does IMR help with dual diagnosis clients?

A dual diagnosis client is a person with both substance use and mental health issues. Both conditions are related and can affect each other.


A substance use disorder often develops when coping with painful emotions. If the treatment only addresses one disorder, recovery may not last. For example, a person with anxiety may use alcohol to cope. When the anxiety doesn’t get better, they may increase their drinking. It may turn into an addiction.


Substance use treatment alone can help. But the anxiety will only get worse without treatment. A one-sided approach makes relapse more likely. A stable and healthy lifestyle is vital for recovery. The structure in the IMR program can help in these ways:


Learning to manage addiction recovery

Our mission is to deliver innovative, transparent treatment. At The Right Step Houston, we will teach you how to manage your addiction. We’ll also help you advocate for the health of yourself and others. Illness Management and Recovery is an effective way to meet both of these goals.


If you or your loved one is seeking substance use treatment, we are here to support you. Call us today at (844) 767-9404 to speak with our recovery specialist about getting the help you need. Don’t wait another day.

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