The reoccurring experience of relapse indicates can indicate that there is a problem. If an individual continues to return to the drug or alcohol after going through drug detox and drug addiction treatment, then there’s likely a factor contributing to that relapse.
There are likely circumstances that are preventing the full freedom from substance abuse.
It should be stated at the start that relapse doesn’t mean someone is sentenced to addiction the rest of his or her life. In fact, even when there’s relapse, treatment and full recovery is possible! According to research, one third of patients who are in treatment for their addiction will achieve long-term sobriety with their first serious attempt at recovery.
Another one third of patients will have brief relapse periods and then achieve abstinence, while another one third will go through chronic relapses before eventually recovering from their addiction. So, although relapse is common, it’s not an obstacle to achieving sobriety.
In order for drug treatment to be successful, it has to address the various factors in a person’s life that may be contributing to the continued use of alcohol or drugs. For instance, there might be predisposing factors that can places a person at risk for relapse. These include:
Risks of Relapse
- Learning disabilities
- Concurring mental illness
- High stress
- Inadequate coping skills
- Lack of support at home or work
- Dysfunctional family life
- Lack of impulse control
Circumstantial Factors, Such as:
- Loss of employment
- A death in the family
- Loss of a close friend or relative
Along these lines, those who chronically relapse might continue to face the same difficult circumstances,which mirror the reasons that got them drinking in the first place. They may not have the skills to cope with resulting difficult emotions that, in turn, lead to drug use.
There might be an existing mental illness; there could be an undiagnosed medical concern; or there might be peers, friends, or family members around them who are still using.
Factorsa that Contribute to Relapses
Of course, there are many factors that play a role in a chronic relapse – as outlined above. However, assuming that all those issues are addressed, change will not happen unless a person acknowledges there is a problem, until he or she weighs the pros and cons to change, and until he or she decides to make different choices.
This is a critical and essential part to recovery. For this reason, one of the most effective forms of treatment is a therapy called Motivational Interviewing. It is a treatment method that recognizes that a person is going to have ambivalence about ending an addiction.
If using alcohol or substances has brought relief from emotional pain, a dramatic increase in energy, and a euphoric feeling for life, among other perceived benefits, reasons to continue to use might still be there, despite the growing severity in consequences.
An individual might say that he or she wants to change, but there may be fundamental reasons might promote continued use. Thus, there often lies an enormous amount of ambivalence. The examination and resolution of this ambivalence is the focus of Motivational Interviewing.
It’s clear that if a person is relapsing, then there are circumstances that continue to feed the destructive cycle of addiction. Motivational Interviewing along with addressing all the contributing factors can facilitate breaking through the cycle of addiction and finding long-term sobriety.
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