Relapse statistics may appear gloomy at first glance but the percentage of people who will relapse after a period of recovery ranges anywhere from 50% to 90%. This is often used as justification for those who want to keep doing addiction. Rather than hide behind the statistics, let’s learn about how to find aftercare resources which greatly increase the chance for success.
Reasons for Relapse
People relapse for many reasons, some of which can include the following. It depends on the individual but it is helpful to be aware and know the signs.
- Lack of adequate preparation for transition from rehab to home. Moving from protected environment to a world of temptations is challenging
- Lack of appropriate aftercare for success
- Ambivalence towards recovery and not giving up completely on the idea of ever drinking or using drugs again
- Appeasement of others without intention of committing to recovery
- Dual diagnosis for additional mental health problems alongside addiction
- One size fits all approach is no longer widely accepted but an individual may feel needs were not met in recovery program
- Thinking the only problem is the drugs and alcohol without delving into the reasons why it happened in the first place
- Landing into a substitution for addiction either work, school, exercise or other hobby
- Spending too much time with substance abusers which brings old temptations to the fore
- Getting involved with people in recovery who are not fully invested and pull others down
- Suffering from loneliness or depression after letting go of old people, places and things for a new life in recovery
- Taking on too many burdens while sober which leads to overwhelm and inability to cope
- Giving up one substance but continuing to use others
More often than people think, relapse happens and most people do not manage to quit addiction on the first attempt. Many can try and fail a number of times before managing to secure lasting sobriety. This leads to the conclusion relapse is a normal part of recovery. Plenty of people leave addiction behind straight away while others feel challenged.
Dangers of Relapse
For some of the following reasons, relapse may be dangerous:
- Returning to drugs or alcohol can be lethal
- Relapse after sobriety makes personal situations deteriorate and tougher to deal with
- Relapse lowers personal empowerment and self efficacy, making it harder to stay sober
- Recovery may feel a waste of time if the experience of getting sober was not as expected
- Relapse is a disappointment to others and this may bring feelings of fear, shame and guilt
- Depression keeps people from moving forward
Beat the Stats
In spite of thinking all the stats are gloomy, there is hope on the horizon. For people who are able to get out from under addiction and build a great life, relapse does not have to be a death sentence or a huge challenge. In fact, it can lead to great things. The willingness to do whatever it takes to stay sober can be a great personal challenge to stay focused on recovery with the help and support of others. People may give up addiction when a break is needed from life but this does not have to happen if the right individuals are around to help support the process. Recovery is possible with the right tools and resources.
The Villa supports individuals and families even as they struggle through the challenges of recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you beat the odds.