There are many reasons a person in recovery might start using drugs or alcohol, but the relapse is usually related to a trigger. It’s crucial to realize that relapse does not mean that treatment has failed! If an individual is experiencing chronic relapse it means the treatment needs to be changed. The following are a few reasons why some people repeatedly relapse.
Co-Occurring Disorders Not Addressed in Treatment
Many individuals struggling with substance use have an undiagnosed and untreated co-occurring mental health condition. When there is no treatment for co-existing issues such as depression, anxiety and trauma, the individuals face hard challenges to maintain their recovery.
Person Is Unable to See the Problem
Often times, individuals in the midst of their addiction are not aware of the problems or issues that exasperate their addiction. They are unable to envision recovery. They are not ready and have a hard time committing to their recovery program. This is true especially when they have agreed to the treatment because of the pressure they felt from loved ones.
Repeating the Same Treatment Program
It is not unusual that an individual undergoes multiple treatments with the same result, namely relapsing later and going back to where they started. This is the case when the treatment options that the person chooses is not suitable for his or her situation. In fact, this is one of the most common and overlooked factors when it comes to chronic relapse. Addiction treatment assessment must be thorough, treatment must be comprehensive (Mind, Thought and Consciousness) and therapies need to be specialized to address addiction and underlying mental health conditions.
Pride can interfere with the individuals’ receptiveness to change. Pride in its worst form can evolve into arrogance, thus making it difficult for the individuals struggling with addiction to seek help. In addition, the individuals suffering from the disease of addiction can feel so prideful that they refuse to acknowledge their own mistakes. By doing so, they can become stuck in the recovery process with no tangible success as they are unable to let go of preconceived ideas and beliefs which must be put aside in order to gain new knowledge and move forward in the recovery process.
Not Enough Willpower
Recovery from a substance use disorder encompasses more than simple abstinence, it also involves willpower. Sustaining recovery requires a long term strategy where willpower can come into play in several different ways. For instance, willpower can help recovering individuals stick to different stages of their recovery, such as aftercare programs by attending support group meetings even when they don’t “feel like it”.
Some people may be scared of fully recovering from their addiction. Substance abuse has become such an essential part of their self-perceived identity that they may fear to let it go.
It is common to see individuals in recovering from drugs to start using alcoholic drinks to replace their drug of choice. Starting the use of other substances will most likely reverse any progress they made in their recovery. This will lead to relapse and back to old habits and conditioning.
Although Chronic Relapse is frustrating, painful, and it can be dangerous, remember you are ultimately in charge, no matter what. DO NOT LOSE HOPE. The path to recovery requires time, structure and often times success is the result of trial and error. If you are seeing yourself or a loved one slipping back into substance use, consider a specialized Chronic Relapse Program. Although relapse is frustrating, painful, and it can be dangerous, remember you are ultimately in charge, no matter what. DO NOT LOSE HOPE. The path to recovery requires time, structure and often times success is the result of trial and error. If you are seeing yourself or a loved one slipping back into substance use, consider a specialized
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