Addiction is an incurable neurological disease. Although medical professionals have developed highly effective treatment methods, all addicts face the constant threat of relapse. The chemical changes which occur in people’s brains during addiction are permanent, and even addicts dedicated to their recovery efforts will experience cravings years after they complete rehabilitation programs. In fact, relapse is usually expected to occur at least once in those who seek help with drug or alcohol problems. Effectively dealing with it is crucial for people who want to get back on track and continue the progress they made during rehab.
Although relapse is a common occurrence, it is still confusing and frightening for addicts, their friends, and their families. It often strikes at unexpected times – even when substance abusers have been diligent with their Oxycodone Detox post-treatment recovery efforts. The causes of relapse depend on addicts’ individual circumstances, not their particular drugs, and recovery efforts are highly individual.
The severity of relapse varies greatly. Sometimes addicts will experience minor slips – one-time drug uses followed by immediate returns to clean living. They will often enter outpatient rehab programs to get back on track. They receive the same evidence-based therapies as inpatients, but they only attend their clinics for a few hours per day. They are then free to spend the rest of their time tending to their families, careers, and other personal obligations. Overall, people who slip need just a bit of extra help to maintain the lifestyle changes they made during more intensive treatment programs.
However, some addicts experience much longer-term relapses. Because of stress, the influence of drug-using friends, or other addiction triggers, they may return to heavy drug use for months or years. Despite the progress they made before, they may end up living just as they did before they ever sought treatment. For these people, inpatient rehab programs are usually required. Their long relapses undo many of their positive lifestyle changes, and they need highly involved treatment plans to achieve sobriety once more. They may also need a high level of supervision to stay away from drugs long enough to redevelop effective coping strategies.
Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is often to blame for addicts’ relapses. PAWS sets in immediately after the withdrawal of detox subsides, but it often lingers for months or even years after treatment programs are complete. Symptoms such as depression, anxiety, constant physical pain, and cognitive impairment compel many sufferers to quickly return to drug use. In fact, PAWS is the leading cause of relapse among recovering addicts. Rehab clinics across the country are now making mitigation of these symptoms a top priority.
Despite the social stigmas associated with addiction, relapse is nothing to be ashamed of. Because it is so likely, most rehab specialists treat it as part of the constant learning process of dealing with addiction. What is most important for relapsed addicts is that they continue to seek treatment and stay diligent with their recovery efforts.
If you are struggling with addiction or experiencing a relapse, click the links below to find a treatment center near you. Whether you’ve already received treatment or never set foot in a clinic, a drug rehab program can help you get back on the right track. Don’t wait until it’s too late – get help today.