Many people who go through substance abuse treatment to overcome their use and dependence to drugs or alcohol often relapse at some point in their life, usually due to stress, anxiety or depression. This doesn't mean that they're sentenced to addiction again but it definitely means they still have work to do on them self to prevent it from happening again.
This can mean they need to see their physician who can help them through this rough time. Seeking support through Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can help a person get back on track and help prevent relapse from happening again in the future. Seeking the help and guidance of an addiction counselor can also be helpful for some people. Outpatient treatment that provides counseling or therapy is also a good choice at this time to help you get back on track and maintain recovery. Addiction is a chronic relapsing disease that can be treated and managed but is never completely cured. You have to work on recovery every day but it gets easier and easier as time goes on. One can never be too confident though and should always be prepared for stressful times, which isn't always easy. Not everyone suffers a relapse but many do, this isn't a time to give up or give in, it's a time to seek extra help and support.
When a person has gone through some form of treatment and they continue to relapse over and over again, this is much more serious and they're still in need of intense treatment. This can possibly be due to not receiving the type of treatment needed in the first place. It's very important for anyone going through drug or alcohol treatment to receive the help they need for their own unique set of issues and problems. Treatment has to be designed to treat the physical addiction as well as the mental and psychological effects of addiction. The benefits of receiving behavior therapy can make a big difference in long term recovery. Changing destructive behaviors is hard to do but with this form of therapy you learn the skills you need to change old thinking patterns and habits.
The younger a person is when they start using drugs or alcohol the higher their chances are of becoming addicted or alcoholics in the future. The earlier in life a person starts experimenting with multiple substances the more likely they are to have multiple addictions. When a person is addicted to more than one substance their treatment needs to include programs that address both dependence issues. Treating multiple addictions is more complex but with the right help, treatment, and support recovery can be successful.
Mental Health Illness Plus Addiction
Co-Occurring Disorder also known as Dual Diagnosis - Another reason a person could continue to relapse and not be able to manage their recovery is because they have a mental health illness like major depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, or post-traumatic stress disorder that was never diagnosed and hasn't been treated. It's very important for anyone that's used drugs or alcohol during their life frequently or chronically to have extensive assessments done during their treatment and recovery process. Co-Occurring disorders are very common among chronic substance users and if the mental health illness isn't diagnosed and treated at the same time addiction is, relapse could be inevitable.
Tips to Prevent Relapse
It's not uncommon for a person to relapse after treatment and recovery from substance abuse. We have to be able to manage our recovery when treatment is completed every day. This means staying away from people who continue to use drugs or alcohol, avoiding situations that may be too hard to resist like parties or get-togethers where there will be alcohol or drugs. Some people have to actually move because temptations are just too hard to manage for them. Many people attend support groups to help them stay focused. You would probably be surprised at the amount of helpful advice you can get from others going through the same challenges you are when it comes to maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.
When it comes to getting treatment for drug or alcohol abuse make sure the treatment program is designed to fit your needs. Sometimes people have to choose an outpatient treatment program because they're less expensive, they have to remain with their children, or they can't be away from their job. Outpatient treatment programs are excellent especially when they provide individualized treatment and therapy. Many people attend local support meetings in their area at the same time to help stay focused and strengthen their recovery.
Work on your sobriety every day and feel good about your achievements. If for some reason relapse takes place, seek help and support as soon as possible. It's not uncommon for a person to have to seek treatment a second time if they still have issues that were unresolved. It's never easy trying to find the treatment program that's right for you, if you or someone you know needs help call 1-800-559-9503 and a professional addiction counselor will give you advice to make sure all your needs are met during treatment and recovery. The most important thing to remember is, never give up and never stop trying!