Relapse is extremely likely no matter what, but that doesn’t mean that you are “immune” to treatment. Relapse doesn’t have to occur, but it a part of the story of most people who have eventually achieved permanent sobriety. Some people can go to treatment once and never use alcohol or drugs again, but for the majority of men and women who go through treatment, multiple attempts are necessary. Everyone has the potential to achieve sobriety through treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to drug abuse at some point is not only possible, but likely. Relapse rates (i.e., how often symptoms recur) for people with addiction and other substance use disorders are similar to relapse rates for other well-understood chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components. Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.” Our addictive behaviors and thoughts are very difficult to change and require strict adherence to our chosen recovery program. Addiction is a disease, and like other diseases, it must be managed or the symptoms will return. For any number of reasons, we may have not been “ready” to be sober during our last attempt at treatment. Relapse can bring untold pain and suffering back into our lives, but also can bring us one step closer to the willingness needed to choose sobriety. We can look back at why we relapsed and see where we went wrong and what led us back to drugs and alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-Step recovery fellowship, explains, “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.” Treatment can work for anybody—we get out of it what we put in. If we approach treatment with honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to take suggestions, our chances of recovering are greatly increased.
Addiction doesn’t have to control your story. You can make the decision to seek treatment now and begin building a better life. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is dedicated to providing all the tools needed to make a full recovery from addiction and alcoholism. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777