Entering a drug rehab program can take a lot of courage, determination, and the strong conviction that you’re ready to get clean.
After the struggle and major effort rehab requires, you come out feeling like your life is back on track. Then things begin to deteriorate. It can happen suddenly or over months, but eventually you relapse.
At this point you may wonder if you’ve made the right decision to enter treatment. You realize you’re all the way back at square one. And you wonder if it will ever be worth it to try rehab again.
Some People RelapseThe National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) points out some people relapse after their first experience in rehab. Experts view this setback as a normal part of the process of getting off substances and staying off. Other studies place the relapse rate at a much higher level – perhaps as high as 80% of people having to go through rehab more than once.
Causes of RelapseExperts believe 5 major factors can cause relapse. Stress can often lead a person back to the substance that gave them relief in the past. They leave rehab clean, but then old stresses come back or new stresses enter. Pretty soon the person feels like they simply must return to their substance of choice to cope with the stress. Stress can come from a toxic relationship, financial worries, or job related problems. A qualified therapist can help you identify the sources of stress and deal with them in a healthier way. This can help you avoid relapse. Relapse can also be triggered by people or places. That’s why many individuals who struggle with addiction move to a new city, state, or region of the country. This gives them a complete change of scenery to start their new life. Of course, moving is not possible for most people. It may work just as well to avoid holidays where family drinks heavily, avoid drinking buddies at a favorite bar, or avoid friends that encourage drug use. Negative and challenging emotions can also cause relapse. This is definitely an area where we can help you. Not everyone is even aware of the emotions that are turning them back to substances. We can help identify the emotions, their causes, and how to avoid emotions and deal with them in a healthier way. Seeing or sensing the object of your addiction can also trigger a strong desire to use it again. A whiff of cigarette smoke, seeing people drinking in a bar as you walk by, or meeting a friend who used to share your addiction. Those are the types of sensory experiences that can lead to relapse.
Relapse Risk FactorsThere are several major factors that make many people much more acceptable to relapse.
- Having one or more mental health disorders. These can come back to reverse your progress, especially if the disorders were not successfully addressed in treatment.
- Younger people tend to relapse.
- Feeling like you aren’t worth recovery or having poor coping skills.