As difficult as it might be to hear, not everyone gets through rehab and successfully overcomes drug or alcohol addiction the first time around. Sadly, many people relapse midway in their journey toward getting their life back on track. And there are countless studies to substantiate this grim and unfortunate reality, one of which comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). According to the organization, the relapse rate for substance use disorders was around 40 to 60 percent in 2018, and the bulk of those relapses occurred while individuals were still in rehab.
What Does It Mean to Relapse?
To put into perspective how relapsing can completely sabotage an individual’s efforts to put addiction behind them, we should probably take a moment to learn more about what a relapse is first. In the world of addiction recovery, if an individual returns to abusing drugs or alcohol after being sober for any length of time, doing so, by definition, is a relapse. And it can happen for any number of reasons, but more often than not, the withdrawal symptoms that present themselves while individuals are going through detox is the chief reason.
Why Difficult Withdrawal Symptoms Send Some People Spiraling toward Relapse
To appreciate how difficult some withdrawals symptoms can be while individuals are trying to quit drugs or alcohol, it would help to know a little more about detox. In addiction recovery, detox refers to the process whereby the human body naturally begins to rid itself of drugs, alcohol, and other harmful contaminants when an individual stops using. While this is a good thing, it comes at a price in that it sets off a barrage of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, many of which can put people on a fast track toward relapsing. Although they can vary depending on an individual’s drug of choice, the following are some of the withdrawal symptoms that most encounter while going through detox:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in mood
- Feeling congested
- Chronic fatigue
- Feeling irritable
- Severe muscle pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tremors and shakiness
- Insomnia and hypersomnia
- Profuse sweating
Generally speaking, most individuals will experience one or more of these symptoms within hours or days of taking their last alcoholic drink or the final dose of their drug of choice. Although most rehab facilities in America offer medication-assisted detox to combat severe withdrawal symptoms, it does not always work as intended, especially when individuals have a psychological dependence on illicit substances.
Similarly, medication-assisted detox alone might come up short if an individual has a substance abuse problem and a mental illness. To give individuals the best chance of escaping the relapse trap and completing rehab successfully, many of the over 14,000 rehab facilities across the U.S. employ a multi-faceted approach to addiction recovery, which means, along with medication to combat severe withdrawal symptoms, these rehab facilities also provide the following:
- Round-the-clock monitoring by a licensed physician
- One-on-one, group, or family counseling with a licensed addiction therapist
- Addiction education courses
- Referrals to support groups
- Referrals to sober living homes
Life after Relapsing
Although many people relapse while going through an addiction recovery program at a licensed rehab facility, many will get back on the proverbial horse and try again. And after having learned from their mistakes and, of course, developing a much stronger resolve to get and stay clean, many successfully achieve sobriety on their second go-around. As a byproduct of this crowning achievement, many will re-establish strong relationships with friends and family members. It, of course, doesn’t end there as many are also able to find and hold on to jobs. All in all, they again become contributing members of society. It is worth noting that these successes often come by way of these individuals accepting the referrals that rehab facilities offer to support groups and sober living homes, which most generally do not do on their first go-around in rehab.
Many people suffer a relapse while trying to break free from addiction, but it does not define who they are as individuals. To learn how to avoid relapsing while going through addiction recovery or for help locating a licensed facility in your area, consider speaking with one of our compassionate representatives today at 844-903-2111.