Addiction is a chronic disease, such as heart disease, and therefore is treatable. However, treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol is not a cure, although it can be successfully managed. Treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol enables sufferers to offset the negative effects that the substances have on their brain and behavior. Recovery helps people stop using substances and regain control over their lives. Sustaining recovery is often the hardest part of an addiction, but it is possible.
Relapse Risks and Prevention Methods
Relapse, or returning to using drugs or alcohol after attempting to stop, can be a part of the recovery process and can be dangerous. Some risk factors that foster the likelihood of relapse include:
- Stopping medical treatment, such as prescribed medications or therapy
- Exposure to stressors involving particular people, places, things, moods, or behaviors
- Contact with drugs or alcohol
Restricting these risk factors helps people maintain recovery. Since addiction is a chronic disease, deep-rooted behaviors need to be changed. Therefore, treatment may need to be modified or resumed over time to maintain a healthy path to lifelong recovery. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps people recognize situations or stressors that may lead to relapse so they can avoid and cope with these triggers. CBT can also increase the effectiveness of treatment and therefore help people remain on the path of recovery.
Abstinence, or restraining from using drugs or alcohol, is the most essential factor in preventing relapse and sustaining recovery. Avoiding contact with substances and avoiding stressors that may trigger a relapse is crucial to practicing abstinence. Maintaining hope, strong support systems, and being honest with oneself are also vital factors in maintaining recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Relapse does not equal failure. Recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is a lifelong journey. No two journeys are the same, and neither are their successes or challenges. At Fort Worth Recovery, we understand that recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is a personal and challenging road to travel. We seek to inspire clients to face their challenges, accept their present state, and foster hope for their future.