If someone you care about was once addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may be concerned about relapse, and often wonder what will happen if he or she suffers a relapse after rehab. You may find yourself having difficulty understanding why people relapse on drugs or alcohol after finally getting sober. After all the time and effort spent to recover why do people relapse?
Addiction causes serious, long-lasting physiological, emotional and behavioral problems. Even those who have been successfully clean and sober for years can slip. Most addicts and alcoholics in recovery agree that staying clean and sober is a commitment that lasts a lifetime. The choice to become sober itself is an extremely difficult choice and requires a lot of effort to stay the course.
The statistics of relapse indicate that more than half of those with a substance abuse problem return to addictive behavior — over 60% overall. Some drugs are more likely to cause a relapse than others. Heroin users suffer the highest risk of relapse at 91%. Certain factors also affect the likelihood of relapse: age, the amount of use, the method of administration and participation in aftercare. Those who participate in aftercare and get help are more likely to stay sober.
If someone you care for is struggling or has relapsed here is what you can do:
Ongoing support: Struggling addicts are more likely to recommit to sobriety if they have the care and support of family and friends.
Communicate: Talk to your loved one when he or she is sober and calm. Never attempt to talk about sobriety with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Tell your loved one without judgmental language that you know he or she is using again. Ask him or her to consider going back to rehab.
If your loved one is unwilling to listen, it might be time to plan an intervention. An intervention can be an extremely powerful tool. The most effective interventions take place with the guidance of a professional who is prepared to escort the struggling addict to rehab.
Keep in mind it may take more than one attempt. The road to recovery is always open.
For more information on drug addiction relapse and addiction recovery, please contact Revive Detox at (844) 467-3848.
Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley is the CEO and Founder of Revive Detox, a Joint Commission Accredited and Legit Script Certified Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University in Los Angeles in 2007 and has extensive experience working in the addiction and recovery field and the LGBT community. To learn more about Dr. Calvert-Conley click here.