Saturday, April 20, 2024

How Many Drug Addicts Relapse After Rehab

Effective Methods For Treating Sud

Recovering After Relapse

If not incarceration, what are alternatives to effectively treat substance abuse and dependency?

Given the rate of co-occurring mental health and addiction, treatment programs nationwide are beginning to recognize the importance of offering integrated programs. One of the problems with existing drug rehabilitation centers is that theyre only focused on helping people recover from drug or alcohol abuse alone. Key elements of integrated treatment include:

  • Coordinated treatment for multiple disorders
  • no division between substance abuse and mental health treatments
  • All health professionals collaborate in one setting
  • Bundled interventions

In an article published by the American Psychology Association , Its not unusual to see someone whos dealing with depression or anxiety to start self-medicating. Studies have demonstrated that police often arrest the mentally ill when treatment alternatives would be preferable. Jail may contain disproportionate numbers of severely mentally ill persons who have co-occurring disorders.

Medication for Drug Abuse

Additionally, treatment systems that are tailored to individuals needs seem to yield the highest success rates among those facing substance dependency. Generally, a one-size-fits-all approach leads to more relapse cases and more criminal punishment.

Healing the Whole Person

Holistic care can also provide a more balanced approach to include:

  • Meditation
  • Diet/Long-term health

First Steps To Take After A Relapse

An article in Psychology Today cites studies that show most relapses happen within the first 90 days of abstinence, which is why attending a rehab program lasting at least 3 months may be most beneficial. However, no matter how long your rehab program, or at what point your relapse occurred, there are many steps you can take to get back on track.

  • Stay positive. Reread or revise your recovery plan. Surround yourself with people you trust, who maintain an optimistic outlook, and who believe in and support you.
  • Continue or resume individual or group therapy. Substance use disorder usually involves deeply rooted behaviors and emotions that are often complex. Relapse may be an indication that you should resume or change your treatment approach.
  • Look for therapeutic programs that specialize in the relapse prevention skills needed to manage trigger situations. This can also help you evaluate who youre spending time with and where youre socializing and whether you need to make changes.
  • Consider either individual or group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.Better understand what triggered your relapse, the dynamics of the situation, and how to change negative thoughts and behavioral patterns.
  • Increase your attendance at a 12-step or other support group. Consider attending daily, or even several times a day. Many members of support groups have relapsed and successfully gotten back on track. They can be invaluable support and inspiration to you and your recovery.

Other Factors That Lead To Relapse

Several internal or external factors can cause a relapse that delays recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.


Physical or mental exhaustion can lead to fatigue, which can affect everyday tasks. Too much stress can create urges to numb physical or psychological pain with drugs or alcohol.


Depression is a mental health disorder that often co-occurs with addiction. Depressive thoughts can cause people to oversleep, lose interest in hobbies or have difficulty focusing. People experiencing depression in recovery may be tempted to use drugs to find relief.

Physical Pain

In addition to psychological issues such as depression, physical pain is associated with relapse. A 2016 study found that decreases in pain levels may lower the risk for alcohol relapse.


Many people in recovery are dishonest about feelings such as anger and resentment. As a result, they may make excuses for not accomplishing tasks, or they may become more easily frustrated with others. These feelings can steer someone back to substance abuse.


People in recovery may be disappointed that they can no longer attend parties or go to the bar with friends. Feeling sorry for oneself or dwelling on negative circumstances can be dangerous because these thoughts can lead to relapse.


Don’t Miss: How To Parent An Addict

Addiction: A Chronic Disease

As explained in an article on NIH MedlinePlus, the media has long sensationalized substance abuse. The negative stigma that surrounds drug use causes many to view addiction as a personal choice. However, scientists and medical professionals have long suspected that addiction actually stems from a change in the chemical makeup of the brain. Even with evidence-based research, it took years before this idea was professionally accepted and it is only now beginning to lead the way for improved treatment options. Addiction is, in fact, a disease.

Alcoholism was first recognized as an illness in 1956 by the American Medical Association . Substance addiction wasnt viewed that way until much later in 1987. Then in 2013, the American Psychiatric Association moved forward with making changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder . Within the manual, a new classification was developed shifting the term addict to addiction, or a person suffering from substance use disorder. A new definition highlighted a few key points:

According to the Mayo Clinic, drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a chronic relapsing disease that affects a persons brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control impulses as they pertain to legal or illegal drug use.

Further, this disease is characterized by certain parameters, not dissimilar to other diseases like cancer and diabetes. Some of these characteristics include:

Why Are Heroin Relapse Rates So High

The 45

Opioids are some of the most addictive substances of abuse. You can develop a chemical dependency on opioids quickly, and once you do, cravings for them can be intense. You will also start experiencing withdrawal symptoms without opioids. Heroin relapse may stem from a combination of physical, psychological, and situational challenges. These include:

Also Check: Why Do People Have Addictive Personalities

Statistics On Addiction Treatment

  • In 2017, an estimated 20.7 million people age 12 and older needed treatment for a substance use disorder. Only 4 million people received treatment, or about 19% of those who needed it.1
  • In 2017, of the more than 18 million people who needed but did not receive treatment for substance use, only 1 million, or 5.7%, of those people felt they needed treatment.1
  • Alcoholics Anonymous has more than 120,000 groups in more than 175 countries around the world, with more than 2 million members.17
  • There are over 14,500 specialized substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States providing a variety of care options, including counseling, behavioral therapy, medication, case management, and other forms of care.18
  • The relapse rate for substance use disorders is estimated to be between 40% and 60%. This rate is similar to rates of relapse for other chronic diseases such as hypertension or asthma.19
  • Addiction is considered a highly treatable disease, and recovery is attainable. About 10% of American adults who are at least 18 years old say they are in recovery from an alcohol or drug abuse issue.20

Mindfulness Activities Might Help Prevent Relapse

Recovery takes time. Further treatment may be needed after an initial stay in rehab to help people reach long-term sobriety. During recovery, individuals should attend counseling or 12-step meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

A 2014 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that mindfulness-based relapse prevention programs may reduce relapse rates. These programs combine mindfulness activities such as sitting meditation with traditional relapse prevention skills, such as recognizing triggers.

Researchers involved in the study examined 286 people who successfully completed initial addiction treatment at a private, nonprofit facility between October 2009 and July 2012.

Participants entered mindfulness-based relapse prevention programming, cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention programming or standard aftercare treatment that included 12-step programs and psychoeducation. They were monitored for 12 months.

According to the results, people in mindfulness-based relapse prevention and cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention programs showed a much lower risk for relapsing to drug use or heavy drinking than those in traditional aftercare treatment.

A variety of factors can cause someone in recovery to relapse. However, engaging in aftercare services such as 12-step programs or halfway houses can reinforce strategies to stay sober. Individuals who experience chronic stress or feelings of depression should seek further assistance to avoid relapse.

Don’t Miss: Can You Get Disability For Addiction

Whats The Best Way To Deal With A Relapse

When you go through the difficult recovery journey and come out on the other side clean and sober, you have a lot to feel good about. Yet you may also feel something many others who have walked in your shoes feel: fear of relapsing. After winning that hard-fought battle for sobriety, it can be devastating to consider that it might not last forever. However, it is actually relatively common to relapse at some point after you get clean. So common, in fact, that relapse is often considered one part of lifelong recovery.

This article will take an in-depth look into relapse after getting clean and what to do about it.

Biological Changes And Subsequent Relapse

Signs Of A Drug Or Alcohol Relapse | Why Do Addicts Relapse?

Several studies have used a prospective design to examine whether changes in biological stress responses are predictive of future relapse. In alcoholics, blunted stress- and cue-induced cortisol responses have been associated with poor alcohol relapse outcomes . Nicotine-deprived smokers who were exposed to a series of stressors showed blunted corticotropin , cortisol, and blood pressure responses to stress, but increased nicotine withdrawal and craving scores, and these responses were predictive of poor nicotine relapse outcomes .

Evidence from preclinical studies shows chronic drug-related central changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor and other growth factors during abstinence that have been associated with reinstatement of drug seeking in animal models of relapse . In a recent study, we found morning serum BDNF levels to be significantly higher in abstinent cocaine abusers and alcoholics compared with controls . Furthermore, higher serum BDNF levels were highly predictive of shorter time to cocaine relapse and higher amounts of cocaine used, as well as greater number of days of cocaine use over a 90-day follow-up period .

Recommended Reading: How To Break Carb Addiction

How To Recover From Relapse

Once the danger of overdose is removed, you should reach out to your support system and find a safe living environment. The immediate goals should be to remove access to alcohol or other drugs, shield yourself from negative influences including friends who drink or use drugs and begin to search for addiction treatment.

The intensiveness of treatment is dependent on the severity of relapse. Supervised detox may be necessary to safely overcome dependency and withdrawal symptoms. In less severe cases, outpatient therapy and support groups may be adequate. Insurance plans are not allowed to impose lifetime or dollar limits on substance abuse coverage, so treatment is covered regardless of how many times a person has received treatment in the past.

Take the first step and start your recovery today.

Many people who relapse multiple times begin to lose faith that they can recover. Theyre unsure how to quit relapsing. In some situations, they make the same mistakes repeatedly.

For example, they may attend clinics that provide detox but not therapy. Therapy is crucial to recovery. Or they may attend therapy for only one to two weeks. In many cases, 30 days of residential treatment and multiple months of therapy are required to prevent relapse.

Drug Relapse Statistics After Rehab & Treatment

Alcohol addiction is one of the most common substance abuse problems in the United States. A 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health report shows that among adults, nearly 27% admitted to binge drinking in the past month, and 7% of them said they drank heavily in that same month 1.

Our community offers unique perspectives on lifelong recovery and substance use prevention, empowering others through stories of strength and courage. From people in active recovery to advocates who have lost loved ones to the devastating disease of addiction, our community understands the struggle and provides guidance born of personal experience.

1, remitted individuals with no risk factors had a 22% likelihood of relapse. The likelihood of relapse rose to 45% for individuals with one risk factor, 70% for individuals with two risk factors and 86% for individuals with three or four risk factors.

You May Like: Can You Get Addicted To Crack

Are Rehab Programs Successful

Rehabilitation programs experience higher success rates when they practice evidence-based treatments . Some recovery programs do not practice EBTs and rely on outdated methods for treatment. These recovery centers dont see as much success, since they are not focusing on solving the right issues and tackling addiction in a lasting and meaningful way.

The best addiction recovery programs use EBTs to give people greater control over their lives. They focus not only on stopping people from using, but on how to change their life and avoid relapsing in the future. Long-term treatment and support is key to successful recovery, and its the one thing that unsuccessful recovery programs dont give enough time and resources to accomplish.

Rehab centers are almost always successful at stopping someone from using an addictive substance when they complete a residential program. But, rehab doesnt end when the patient walks out the door after their stay. They also need to stay committed to long-term, outpatient treatments, and support groups. Many of these groups exist around the US for people to get connected and stay stronger together with other recovering addicts.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Addiction Relapse

Relapse Happens: Never Give Up Hope of Recovery

Relapse is a very real concern for each individual in addiction recovery, and therefore, it is important to plan ahead and take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of you experiencing an addiction relapse. By taking the time to identify your own personal triggers, you will be better prepared to avoid any negative influences that may have an adverse effect on your abstinence, and potentially lead to you relapsing.

Before you are discharged from your Addiction Treatment Programme at Priory, we will support you to make time for self-reflection, and encourage you to consider the following:

Relapse prevention planning is a priority at Priory from the moment that you enter treatment for addiction. By developing an understanding of the personal triggers that may compromise your abstinence, you will be much better prepared to accurately assess negative situations, and be better equipped to prevent addiction relapse. Furthermore, by having a robust plan in place for how you will respond to a relapse, you will stand a much greater chance of overcoming this setback, rather than viewing it as a defeat.

Get In Touch Today

For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding addiction treatment, please call 0800 840 3219 or . For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

Also Check: What Am I Addicted To

Drug Relapse Warning Signs

Current research suggests that relapse is a gradual process wherein a person in recovery returns to his or her drug abuse. This means relapse can begin weeks or even months before an individual first takes a drug again 7. A good relapse prevention program helps individuals identify those early signs of relapse and develop tools and techniques for coping, so they can stop relapse early in the process. Researchers believe this significantly reduces a persons risk of returning to drug addiction 7.

Drug relapse warning signs can be broken down into three categories: emotional, mental, and physical signs. During emotional relapse, individuals are not consciously thinking about using, but they are setting themselves up for it. They remember what relapse feels like and are in denial about the possibility of it happening again 7.

During mental relapse, individuals are thinking about using drugs again, but they are at war with themselves. Part of them wants to use, and part of them doesnt. Eventually, this internal struggle wears them down. Physical relapse is when an individual finally returns to drug use. Some clinicians divide this phase into lapse and relapse . Either way, this final stage is the hardest to come back from 7.

Drug addiction relapse prevention requires identifying the following warning signs 7:

Factors That Can Cause Relapse

Completing rehab does not guarantee sobriety. After leaving substance abuse treatment, people often return to environments where they once used drugs. Certain people, places and things from a persons past can bring about memories of substance use, which can induce urges that may lead to relapse.

The risk for relapse can be influenced by the duration of addiction. For example, a person in recovery from long-term alcoholism has a higher risk for relapsing than someone who seeks treatment for an alcohol addiction that has lasted less than a year.

A number of factors can increase the likelihood of relapse, including succumbing to triggers or failing to seek aftercare services upon completion of addiction treatment.

Recommended Reading: How To Fight Addiction Urges

What Does Drug Rehab Treatment Centers Offer

Drug rehab treatment centers offer frequent individual counseling to patients. These counseling sessions sometimes even take place on a daily basis. Counselors help patients discover any emotional or psychological factors that may have contributed to their addictions. It is important that these psychological factors are addressed if a patient is to make a full recovery.

In addition to individual counseling, patients in rehab often participate in group therapy. Patients with similar addictions meet together under the direction of a counselor. This allows them to form friendships and to have fellowship with one another. These close personal bonds aid patients on their road to recovery.

Patients in drug rehab learn to recognize situations that may trigger drug abuse. These triggers could be emotional, physical, part of relationships, or simply part of their normal routines. Counselors and doctors help patients learn how to combat those triggers and get out of circumstances that may lead them to abuse drugs.

Once patients learn to recognize drug abuse triggers, they learn the skills needed to cope with them. Counselors and doctors in drug rehab treatment facilities work with each patient to come up with a personalized set of coping skills that the patient can use to prevent him or her from turning to drugs.

Program preferences before and after treatment

- Advertisement -spot_img
Popular Articles
Related news