Relapses are common with more than 40% of addicted individuals who are in recovery. This can occur for many different reasons, including injury, the death of a loved one, loss of a job or even depression. When someone relapses, it’s often difficult for others to comprehend because they don’t know what caused the relapse to happen. The following guide walks you through a few things you need to know to better comprehend why people sometimes relapse after years of recovery.
Addiction is a Disease
The first thing that you need to know is that addiction is a disease. It’s not something that someone chooses to have. Many people make the mistake of assuming that addicted individuals choose to use drugs, but that isn’t the case.
There are many different layers of addiction. Addiction affects people on a mental level. The drugs help to minimize some of the emotions they feel and can calm their thoughts. People who suffer from anxiety and depression are very susceptible to addiction. This is because they often try to self-medicate to minimize the feelings they have.
Addiction can also be physical. Someone who suffers from a lot of pain may use drugs to make the pain more tolerable. When this happens, the person often becomes dependent on the medications to function in daily life. When they try to stop using, the pain seems even more intense than it did before they started using. This is due to the fact that they haven’t had to feel the pain in so long.
When people are in recovery, they often relapse one they have to feel the emotions or the pain they haven’t had to feel. It can become overwhelming and the fall back into their old habits quickly. Having the right support can make sticking with recovery easier.
Addiction Care Could Last Forever
Relapses also occur when people become too comfortable with their sobriety. They assume that they are far enough into their recovery that they can put themselves in compromising situations. This is never a good idea because once you suffer from an addiction, you always suffer from addiction.
Some people in recovery make the mistake of thinking that once they get out of a treatment program, they can go back to daily life and don’t have to worry about anything. This isn’t a good idea. Addicted people often have the most success with their recovery when they seek long term help for their addiction. This can include going to incentive counseling on a regular basis, going to group meetings and even avoiding drugs and alcohol altogether.
Relapses Often Co-Occur with Other Things in Life
Many addicted individuals are able to rebuild their lives and seem as though they have everything together. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. When things go bad in the life of someone who has an addiction problem, their go-to solution is drug use. When they are at home, thinking about their troubles, there is always a chance that they could relapse.
Addicted individuals need to have a good support system in order to be able to avoid relapsing. They often will not reach out for help because they feel that it makes them look weak or needy. They don’t want anyone to know that they are struggling because of the stigmas that are often attached to addiction. If you have a loved one who is in recovery, be sure to check on them regularly. You can give them the support they need to stay on track.
Relapses Can Occur at Any Time
Believe it or not, there are some people who are able to go years without doing drugs or drinking alcohol after an addiction. Something can happen in their life or they may think that they can handle a beer or a few hits from a joint because they have been clean for so long. Quickly they may become addicted again and have their life spiral out of control. It’s best for addicted individuals to never tempt fate and try drugs or alcohol again. If you have a loved one who has an addiction problem, don’t tempt, taunt or mock them into drinking or doing drugs. You could end up encouraging them to make a decision that could end up ruining their life.
Recovery Can Begin Again at Anytime
When someone relapses, they probably feel very defeated and may want to give up on everything. It’s important to express to them that everyone makes mistakes. They can pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start again. Recovery is available whenever they are ready to make a change. It often takes addicted individuals going to treatment many different times before they are able to get and stay clean for a long period of time. It’s important to support someone who wants to go to treatment, even if they’ve been many times before. You’d rather than be in a treatment program trying to stop using drugs or alcohol than sitting with their friends using and possibly overdosing.
Relapsing Could Be Life-Threatening
It’s hard to grasp the hold that drugs have on someone’s life until you consider that relapsing could kill an addicted individual. The draw to use is so strong that many users know that if the use again after being clean for a long period of time, it could be life-threatening. The risk occurs because their body has become used to not having any drugs in its system. When they use after a relapse, people often make the mistake of taking the same number of drugs that they were taking before they went into recovery. The large doses overwhelm the body and often cause an overdose to happen.
There are many different types of treatment programs available to help people overcome drug addiction. It may take trying a few different forms of treatment before an addicted individual is able to find the one that best suits them. It’s important for someone to keep trying so that they can get clean from drugs and live the life they deserve to live.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.