Looking at the success rates of people staying sober may be discouraging, and it’s worse if you’ve had a drug relapse yourself. The reality is that those with the disease of addiction have a better chance of recovery than most people with a disease. When compared to chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, the odds are better of getting sober. The problem is that addiction is a disease that affects the brain and how a person thinks.
It’s possible, but rare, that a person stays sober the first time they try to get sober. In many cases, though, it’s the person’s old ways of thinking that get him or her into trouble. There are some common issues that lead to a drug relapse. Pinpointing these common relapse trends may give you hope that you should never give up on recovery.
What Led to Your Drug Relapse?
It’s important to sit back and look at the events leading up to a drug relapse because the signs of relapse were there. For many people who relapse, the wheels go into motion days, weeks or months beforehand. When you’re mindful of the signs of relapse that were there, you can prevent them from happening again. The relapse signs for everyone are different, but some can include:
- Isolation from support group
- Romanticizing drinking or using drugs
Thinking that You’re Cured or Different
In 12-step programs, the first step is about surrender and admitting powerlessness to drugs or alcohol. This is something that you can’t just do once and never think about it again. It takes a daily reminder to remember that you’re someone who struggles with this illness. This is in the same way that someone with a food allergy must remember every single day not to eat the food that troubles them.
What happens to many people after being sober for weeks or months is that they start forgetting where they came from. Their mind begins to tell him or her that maybe they really don’t have a problem with drugs or alcohol. The mind says that everyone else drinks or uses drugs normally, so he or she can, too. Without a daily reminder of the powerlessness, it’s easy to forget about this illness.
What Weren’t You Willing to do to Prevent Drug Relapse?
This is important for many people who have gone to addiction treatment before. Many of those going to treatment for the first time have reservations and are skeptical about relapse prevention skills. Treatment is designed to give you a foundation of recovery and many suggestions on exactly how to do that. Some people go into treatment and pick and choose what they want to do in their recovery. There might be certain suggestions the person doesn’t believe or agree with, so they don’t do them.
A common saying in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is “contempt prior to investigation,” which is how many people feel about recovery techniques. Many people say that something isn’t going to work for them or they don’t need it, but they’ve never try. When attempting recovery, one must remain honest, open-minded and willing. Sure, people get sober in different ways, but it’s important to at least try some suggestions that have worked for others.
Staying Sober is Possible
Here at Steps to Recovery, we want to work with you and discuss your relapse to see what led to the situation. We want to assist you by learning from previous mistakes to ensure that they don’t happen again. Our staff will also help you with a discharge plan to strengthen your recovery, which can include outpatient and sober living. If you’re ready to try again and regain hope, call 866-488-8684.