Rehab After Relapse: Is it necessary?
As someone who works in the field of addiction treatment, this is a question I hear all the time. Many people who relapse on drugs and alcohol after completing treatment don’t think they should go back to rehab.
I’ll hear things like “I’ve been to rehab before and it didn’t work” or “I already know everything they have to tell me.” The thing is, rehab is a lot more than therapy and learning about recovery. Even if you feel like you have learned everything you need to know about the disease of addiction and yourself, there are still reasons you should go back to rehab if you relapse.
Here are 4 main reasons to consider going back to rehab after relapse.
Rehab After Relapse: Statistics
Although relapse is not a requirement for recovery, the nature of addiction is so insidious that relapse rates are staggeringly high. Information gathered by drug and alcohol rehabs show that the percentage of people who will relapse after rehab and even after a period of sobriety ranges from as much as 50% to an astonishing 90%.
This is a frightening statistic. However, there are things that you can do to avoid being a statistic and greatly increase your chances of sustained sobriety. For those who are serious about their recovery, going on to complete rehab, including an aftercare program can greatly increase their chances of success. The same goes for people who return to rehab after relapsing.
Rehab After Relapse: Environmental
One of the most important things about rehab is the physical distance it puts between you and the people, places, and things that are a part of your life in active addiction. With that said, rehab gives you a safe place to be during those early days of recovery – not to mention during your detox phase, which can be uncomfortable and dangerous if done on your own.
If you plan to go back to treatment, but only for detox, which generally lasts a mere week at the most, you might find it difficult to stay on the straight and narrow and perhaps relapse again. That’s because those first thirty days are often the hardest, and many addicts and alcoholics relapse during this time, especially if they are in the same environment in which they were using before.
If you want different results, you need to do something differently, and changing your environment is one of the first changes you should make. Just because you (think) know how to get sober, it doesn’t mean you actually can or will. This is why it is important for you to go back to rehab if you relapse.
Rehab After Relapse: Support
One of the most important reasons you should go back to rehab after relapse is because of the support system it provides. The real thing that keeps people clean and sober is not knowledge of recovery; it’s their relationships with other people. In other words, their support system.
What most people need in early recovery is support from people who understand what they are going through, not tips on “how to avoid triggers.” They need to see people who were once where they are and who have had success in recovery. They need to build relationships with people who can show them how they can attain lasting recovery.
Rehab After Relapse: Knowledge and Experience
Ok, you may think that you know everything about recovery, but you don’t. Recovery is not about memorizing the 12 steps or reading every page of recovery literature. If you went back to drugs and alcohol, then most likely there were some fundamental things you did not learn in rehab.
- You did not surrender completely.
- You did not take suggestions from people who were trying to help you.
- You weren’t completely honest.
- You were not open minded enough to learn everything you needed to learn.
Most people who relapse, if they’re being honest with themselves, know that they did not grasp one or more of these fundamental concepts. Going back to rehab if you relapse is the safest and smartest option and it gives you the best chance for recovery in the future.
Even if you actually did do all of these things and still experienced a relapse after rehab, consider this: research shows that the experiences, education, and support that people receive in treatment is cumulative, meaning that going back to rehab two, three, even 15 times can be essential at eventually achieving long-term sobriety. That’s because going to rehab is never a waste of time; it all goes into your recovery bank account – and it adds up.
Have you completed treatment but went back to using drugs and alcohol? Have you relapsed more than once and been labelled a “chronic relapser?” We here at Palm Partners believe that everyone has the ability to “get it,” even if they have relapsed more than once. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today.