Addiction Help: Factors that Contribute to Chronic Relapse

Addiction Help | LakehouseRecoveryCenter.comIf you’ve already gone through drug detox and you’ve already been through substance abuse treatment and yet you’re experiencing relapses, it might be helpful to look into the causes or the contributing factors to relapse.

For instance, experts in drug addiction therapy believe that the following can prevent long term sobriety:


Some individuals, especially those in early recovery, might still feel identified with the glamour of using drugs. Although avoiding drugs is often a message that is frequently communicated to the public, some individuals can continue to hold drug use and drinking with a certain ideal. Furthermore, many movies and television shows add to the glamour of drinking and drug use.

Along these lines, during the early stages of substance abuse treatment, individuals might share their stories of first time use, unusual and memorable experiences, and the relationships they have with friends who use. This story telling and the sense of nostalgia that is created as a result can be an obstacle to creating a life without drugs and alcohol.

Despite a desire to receive addiction help, a continued pattern of holding drugs with fascination can get in the way of their recovery.

No Hitting Bottom

Many individuals who have been addicted to drugs or alcohol had to hit bottom first before they have the willingness to fully surrender to the recovery process. Some individuals might not have had the experience or the number of years in their life to have hit bottom yet.

Of course, this isn’t always true; there are some who use drugs who decide to go to treatment without ever experiencing rock bottom. Hitting bottom can sometimes mean losing a job, losing a marriage or children, and even becoming homeless. Often, once an addiction gets this bad, an individual is willing to do anything it takes to change.

Peer Group

Once out of drug addiction treatment, the community in which individuals return is often made up of friends and acquaintances who are still drinking or using drugs. They will often re-enter the same socialization patterns, even if they are not spending time with the same friends before rehab.

New friends might possess similar dysfunctional character traits or unhealthy habits, such as risk-taking behavior. It is essential for a successful recovery process to include a discussion of peer influence and ways to find friendships that are healthier and support life-affirming behaviors.

Another factor that might continue to add to the cycle of relapse again and again is the tendency to feel shame because of continued relapse. As a result, an individual might socially withdraw, and in turn, experience loneliness. Experts in drug addiction help therapy recognize loneliness as the prime relapse trigger.

In these cases, individuals who are relapsing would greatly benefit from finding support.

The support of others can promote a feeling of connection, being a part of a group, and feeling welcome among others who are experiencing the same challenges. Finding a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), seeking the support of a therapist, making amends with sober family members and friends where it’s possible, and giving back can significantly support sobriety.

Lastly, those who chronically relapse might not have the coping skills to manage the emotions that were leading to drug use. Learning new coping mechanisms, healing unresolved issues that lead to those challenging emotions, and creating strong support networks can help keep relapse at bay.

Yet, even if all these problems are addressed, it’s true that there still might be a return to old habits. Yet, when all issues – emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual – are resolved, relapse might likely disappear. And although, there might still be a few steps backwards, the overall recovery process is forward moving, creating a long-term, enduring life of sobriety.


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