Although many people believe that relapse is part of the process of recovery, it does not have to be. Relapse is preventable by adhering to a recovery program and maintaining awareness of potential risks. Effective treatment encourages the development of coping strategies and recovery-based daily habits that can keep relapse from occurring. Relapse is a justified concern for many who are entering into a life of sobriety. Addiction is a disease and relapse rates are comparable to other diseases. Addiction relapse rates after treatment are similar to the recurrence of symptoms in diseases like diabetes and hypertension; roughly 40-60 percent. These statistics do not mean that every individual has a 40-60 percent chance of relapsing, however, because they do not take into account the quality of treatment being received or the individual’s adherence to a recovery or relapse-prevention program. Addiction is a threefold disease of the mind, body, and spirit. Effective treatment and relapse prevention requires treating all three aspects of the disease. We may break our physical dependence to substances, but if we have not treated the psychological aspects of our addiction we are likely to return to alcohol or drug abuse. Involvement in certain programs after treatment, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, can aid us in treating aspects of the disease that we may not be addressing through other means. By working the program of 12 Step Recovery, we will get to a point where “we have ceased fighting anything or anyone-even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us,” according to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The most effective way that we can avoid relapse is through a combination of both treatment aftercare and involvement with recovery programs. If relapse does occur, it does not mean we have failed. We simply need to reevaluate why we may have strayed off of the path to recovery and summon the courage to keep trying.
Your story can be one of hope, faith, and courage. Recovery is possible, and you can begin building a better life in sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers cutting-edge treatment programs, from detox to aftercare, to give you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain sobriety. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777