Why do people relapse from Rehab?

gambling-addiction-350Many people who have serious drug or alcohol addiction problem had most likely faced a stint at the rehab center to overcome their substance abuse and dependence. While some people have a positive experience during their drug rehab treatment, others often fail in the form of relapse. No one is really able to predict if the recovered addict will relapse or have a successful recovery period. The success of any drug rehab program consists of proper treatment plan, individualized behavioral therapy, group and individual counseling, and most importantly the commitment of the individual with drug addiction problem to stay and remain in treatment program.

Even with the most sophisticated, evidence-based drug rehab program, some patient may suffer a relapse. The cause of relapse is often associates with stress, life’s dramatic events, loss, and depression. During a professional drug rehab treatment program, the individuals learn to cope with stress and issues of life, without using drugs. A behavioral therapy identifies the causes of drug use, and provides the patient with tools to manage cravings and possible triggers.

A recurring nature of addiction disorder means that relapse may be expected. Relapse for drug and alcohol use can be compared to other chronicle medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and Dementias, Pulmonary Disease etc. In both cases the chronic illness has both psychological and behavioral components.

Treatment of chronic diseases and disorders involves altering deeply rooted behaviors. Relapse does not indicate the treatment is failed. If a person recovered from addiction has relapsed back to drug use that means going back to Rehab center to repeat a treatment program. At this point, the substance abuse professional may have to adjust the treatment plan to address new issues and triggers, which caused the addict to relapse.

facebook-addictThere are several types of triggers that may cause a recovering addict start using drugs or alcohol:
1. Environmental. These triggers occur when the individual with addiction problem is exposed to places, social events, and group of people, who may have influenced drug abuse in the past.
2. Stress. The presence of stress increases the tendency to use drugs. Unexpected life events, relationship problems, and family issues may spun out of control, and send a recovered addict back to using drugs.

In addition, many people with severe addiction problems, who may have successfully completed a drug rehab program, may face difficulties re-integrating back in to society. Living a normal and healthy life that includes working, going to school, having relationships with other people may be very challenging for a recovering addict. Although the treatment programs often provide skills and techniques for individuals re-entering society, many people have troubles to learn how live and function outside of the treatment center.

It is critical to remember, even if you relapse after undergoing a comprehensive drug rehab treatment- it is not a complete failure. You need to go back to your addiction specialist to receive another course of treatment program, which will help you to maintain abstinence to remain a drug free life.

Additional resources:
http://archives.drugabuse.gov/TXManuals/CBT/CBT8.html
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

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Dr. Black Jones