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If treatment centres work then why do people relapse?

It may not take too long to become an addict, but recovery takes a lifetime.

Rehab definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted and especially for the ones who incorrectly assume it will be an easy walk in the park.

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation involves an immense amount of self-discipline and dedication to break the habit.

Too often we see patients relapse back into their addiction; however throughout our rehabilitation treatment program we try to embed in our clients the idea that relapse is a serious possibility and is often guaranteed.

Frequently we see our clients dissatisfied, annoyed and on the verge of throwing in the towel.

Substance abusers and their families are left asking, “Is there any hope?” and a lot of confidence is regularly lost at this part of the process.  As a lingering, relapsing disease, there is no quick fix for either alcohol nor drug addiction.

We advise our Step Away clients that expecting to go to treatment for 30, 60 or 90 days and be “cured” is a set-up for relapse.

There are a number of factors that lead to relapse, some slightly more controllable than others.

It’s important for every client of Step Away Treatment Centre to understand their stressors in life, being able to identify these gives them the ability to either acknowledge and avoid or resist the habituated behaviour to give into the stressor.

When assessing the causes of relapse we frequently see that with prolonged substance abuse, users suffer from an altered chemical balance in their brain, which in turn results in damage that can take weeks and even years to reverse.

When observing the many reasons for drug and alcohol addiction relapse; this particular one becomes vital in determining exactly where the patient is in their addiction treatment.

What people don’t often consider when looking at different rehabilitation treatment centres is if the centre is actually suitable or fitting for the particular individual’s needs. 

Many substance rehab centres offer ulterior types of treatment than professional healthcare recovery programs.

What we have noticed in numerous cases is that this ulterior treatment used isn’t always suitable for the patient and his/her treatment needs.

Some treatment centres use old-fashioned, overly aggressive approaches that have been noted to do more harm than good. Other substance abuse treatment centres provide only short-term treatment delivered by under-qualified and poorly skilled staff.

Roughly half of patients suffer from depression, anxiety and numerous other addiction-induced mental health disorders, thus making the relapse risk particularly high if they don’t receive specialised dual diagnosis treatment addressing all conditions at once.

It is best to look for a rehab treatment centre that employs certified and licensed health care professionals who have extensive experience in treating drug addiction and alcoholism as part of a holistic program.

Being in a comfortable, residential treatment environment with a qualified medical team that can provide a well-monitored detox is crucial in order to minimize the discomfort of withdrawal and helps immensely in improving the odds of rehab treatment program completion.

Substance abuse recovery is without a doubt an enormous challenge even for a motivated participant. The process can be even more complex for a patient who is unwilling to change.

Treatment can undoubtedly work for people who don’t want to be there however holding onto anger, resentment or other negative emotions can make for a bumpier road to recovery.

Therefore we advise our clients to enter our rehabilitation programs with a new and more positive outlooks on life.

Our programs are designed to manifest within our clients the want for change to make better choices and a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

Substance abusers are not to blame for their disease but they do however need to accept responsibility for managing it.

In the post-treatment phase individuals need to watch out for overconfidence and the unwillingness to work through an ongoing program of recovery, as these can lead to the sabotage of long-term recovery success.

Many substance abusers, their families, insurance companies and even treatment centres treat addiction like an acute illness.

The norm continues to be detox and/or a 30-day treatment program, however addiction is not an acute illness; it is a chronic disease comparable to heart disease and diabetes which necessitates long-term care.

Research has shown that longer treatment programs are more realistic, followed by outpatient treatment, counselling and support groups.

Recovery requires lifestyle change and often it isn’t enough most for substance abusers to just avoid drugs and alcohol to prevent relapse. 

A healthy diet, exercise and sleep habits, and sober recreational activities that provide fun and fulfilment should be adopted along with improving and establishing supportive relationships with other sober people.

One of the biggest mistakes individuals make fresh out of rehab is spending time with old drug-abusing friends or returning to an environment full of triggers.

Granted, the early days of recovery can be lonely, but it is more advisable to lean on family and support groups.

In some cases rather than offering support, some people may make the process more difficult.

Loved ones may disregard an individual’s needs and drink or use drugs in their presence; they may also continue to enable or engage in other destructive patterns.

It is important then that some relationships come to an end and that healthier ones will take their place.

We like the idea that if a client’s recovery has taken a wrong turn, there’s always a chance to try again.

Relapse is discouraging but it doesn’t have to be tragic. What is tragic is that millions of people never seek help at all and endure a lifetime of suffering.

Equally tragic are those who go to treatment, relapse and decide a life of sobriety is too difficult or must not be possible for them.

Recovery is not a way of life reserved for the select few; it is possible for anyone who has faith in themselves and who refuses to give up on themselves.

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.

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