Relapse and Chronic Relapse – is Recovery Possible?
Statistically 75%-90% of all alcoholics or addicts will relapse within the first year of release from traditional treatment programs. The short term 28 day inpatient model or outpatient programs have in the past demonstrated these failure rates.
Addicts and alcoholics usually do work the programs they are taught and do give their best efforts. Unfortunately many addicts fail. You hear from the professionals “he didn’t work the program” or “he’s not ready, he hasn’t hit his bottom”. In fact the drug rehab program has failed the addict and their family.
Relapse is a heartbreaking event for a family it can in fact be the breaking point. All too often relapse is where the family takes a hard line and tells the addict to “do it on their own” or “we can’t help you anymore”. This is the time families are needed most. There are other addiction treatment options such as programs that have higher success rates or that offer “peace of mind” guarantees to families. This is the time for long term effective drug rehab that will treat the biophysical drug cravings and the underlying emotional pain, the root of the addiction. Typically a 3-5 month residential program with 4-6 months of follow-up aftercare is the recommended treatment method, for most hard-core addictions
Never Give Up!
Addiction and alcoholism are tricky afflictions. The addict has most likely deeply hurt the family. Lying, cheating, stealing, job loss, violence, even criminal behaviors are all symptoms of the addictive behavior. If these were the symptoms of cancer would you give up? Of course not, you would try other treatments. You would go to the end of the earth to find something to save your loved one’s life. If you have a chronic relapse victim in your life you are in the same position as a terminal cancer patient’s family if not effectively treated. The addict/alcoholic will die or end up in prison. Unfortunately addiction is viewed all too often in the light of a lack of will power or the addict just wants to get high and doesn’t care about his family. This could not be farther from the truth.
Never giving up should not to be confused with enabling on the part of the family. The enabling behavior is destructive and must be stopped immediately upon identifying the active addict or alcoholic. The family must provide treatment options only. For the addict unwilling to get a treatment professional intervention is recommended.