So many people ask that question. It’s a simple question with a somewhat complicated answer. There are so many factors to take into consideration when determining why an individual may relapse.
If there was counseling and treatment, was it the best treatment for their needs and addiction. Some people just aren’t ready to quit yet, and others quit but not for the right reasons.
An individual’s environment has a lot to do with relapsing also. After successfully stopping the substance abuse, if there are still problems and negativity where they live, work or hang out makes a big difference too. Problems with home-life or at the work place have to be dealt with in order to stay successful. Having supportive people around you in your home-life and social life is very important. Where a person socializes and who they socialized with during the time they were abusing alcohol or drugs most of the time, has to change. If the individual is ready and getting help for all the right reasons, making these changes is a lot easier.
In many cases, there are underlying reasons people turn to drug or alcohol use in the first place. This is not an excuse, but at least knowing why can make a difference in recovery. Many people suffer from depression and use drugs or alcohol to medicate themselves for the moment. Not realizing that these substances just make matters much worse. Depression and drug and alcohol abuse is such a frequent combination that there is an actual term for it, ‘Dual Diagnosis’. If the substance abuse stops but the depression isn’t dealt with, the chances of relapse are almost inevitable.
Sometimes there was past physical or emotional abuse, again not an excuse but an underlying problem that needs to be dealt with along with the addiction in order to have a successful recovery.
Alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription drugs are very addicting substances. Many times it takes more than just saying ‘No more’. Some people go years before relapsing. Alcohol or drug abuse at one time was their way of coping with a crisis and now that they are facing another one, they choose to cope the only way they know how.
The possibility for relapse holds true with everyone. With the right people around you, the right treatment program, professional counseling and a willingness to try, can make all the difference in the world in terms of recovery. Just remember to never give up and even if there is a relapse, never stop trying.