Reasons Behind Why Many Addicts Relapse
Many addicts struggle with a repetitive pattern of sobriety and relapse, where they sober but find it impossible to hold on for an extended period of time.
You might have heard somebody who is in recovery say something along the lines of, “Relapse is not a prerequisite for recovery.” This phrase essentially means that one does not have to experience a relapse to stay sober long-term. Because relapsing is so common, many believe that to maintain sobriety for years and years, you have to experience a return to drinking or using at least once after treatment. This is not the case. There are plenty of men and women who have gotten sober after a severe substance abuse disorder, and who have stayed sober for years without a return to their old behavioral patterns. part of the reason why so many addicts relapse is because they feel like relapsing isn’t a big deal, or because they feel like it will improve the quality of their sobriety once they do manage to stay sober.
The truth of the matter is – as soon as you enter into a recovery program, you should be completely committing the remainder of your life to complete and total abstinence. If you are planning on relapsing, you are simply doing it wrong. The whole point of addiction treatment is to teach you how to stay sober, and how to enjoy your sobriety while making your life as happy and fulfilling as possible.
Why Do So Many Addicts Relapse?
Here are several reasons why so many addicts relapse after a short stint of sobriety:
- An underlying and untreated mental health disorder like anxiety or depression
- A failure to keep up with a program of aftercare, which typically includes 12 step program involvement
- A return to an old living situation, or spending time with old friends who might drink or use drugs
- Extremely high-stress situations
- Not paying attention to personal relapse triggers
- Becoming overwhelmed with unpleasant emotions, rather than effectively working through these emotions
- Failing to continue with treatment after medical detox, or a lower level of clinical care
The good news is that relapse can always be avoided when the right tools are in place.
How to Prevent a Relapse from Happening
If you want to prevent a relapse from occurring, there are several steps you can take.
- First of all, make sure that you have a solid program of aftercare in place. Most aftercare programs include 12-step program involvement (which includes attending at least one Alcoholic Anonymous meeting every day and working through the steps with a sponsor), a continuation of individual therapy, and participating in any holistically based treatment methods that have proven successful. This could include yoga therapy, mindfulness meditation, or some level of daily exercise.
- If you want to prevent a relapse, you have to get comfortable reaching out for help whenever help is necessary. if you start to feel like you are on shaky ground, reach out to a trusted sober friend and ask for guidance and assistance. Remember that you cannot do it on your own.
- If you want to stay sober and avoid relapse, attending a multi-phased program of recovery is always a good idea. This means attending medical detox, inpatient treatment, and intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment. When it comes to your recovery, don’t try to cut corners.
On Call Treatment and Relapse Prevention
At On Call Treatment, we put a very strong emphasis on Relapse Prevention Training, seeing as adequate training means the difference between long-term sobriety and a return to negative behavioral patterns. We utilize several proven techniques, helping clients identify their relapse triggers and teaching them how to work through these triggers in real-life situations. If a client is in our intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment programs, he or she has the opportunity to employ the relapse prevention skills learned in treatment, then openly discuss related experiences in a therapeutic group setting.
If you have been struggling with a repetitive pattern of sobriety and relapse, continuously getting sober but finding it impossible to stay sober for an extended period, we are available to help. For more information on relapse prevention or our program of addiction recovery, reach out today. Many of our clients come to us after having struggled with sobriety for years, finding it impossible to stay sober despite their best efforts. We are confident that our program of recovery is effective for everyone who remains committed to a new way of life – we look forward to speaking with you soon.