It’s normal to feel worried about relapse – in the addiction and mental illness recovery realm, many people fear relapse because it is seen as this horrible sign of failure, even though it isn’t. In fact, many recovery experts say that temporary relapses provide individuals with clues as to what’s working and what’s not; in this way, you can discover whether or not certain components of your treatment program need to be altered or emphasized more effectively. Relapse occurs for about 40-60% of those in addiction recovery, according to a study highlighted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The American Psychological Association (APA) notes that for those in mental illness recovery, 48% of people relapse if they do not have family involvement, whereas 28% of people relapse if their family is involved in their recovery journey.
As you can see, relapse occurs quite often. There are a variety of steps that are taken to help individuals avoid this, however; relapse prevention treatment programs provide specific tools and resources to assist clients in identifying triggers when they arise, and an action plan to enact when they feel they’re high-risk. Most often, it really is about finding the people, places, thoughts, and situations that cause you to want to use or spiral; a 2015 study published in the journal of Qualitative Health Research involved focus groups with women in treatment for substance dependence to find the factors that both enabled and impeded their recovery. Results from the study showed that both adding supportive people to their recovery networks and avoiding or distancing oneself from those who were not conducive to their recovery proved crucial to their success. Psychiatrist Dr. Chad Coren stated on the The Fix,
““Any high-risk situation or stressor that sparks off a thought, feeling, or action to use drugs or alcohol. This spark, which is experienced as a temptation to use, is called a ‘craving’ or ‘urge.’ Triggers lead to cravings, and urges to use.”
Rather than fearing relapse – which can produce feelings of anxiety, ultimately perpetuating the very outcome you’re trying to avoid – focus on your healing. Your recovery. Your action plan for when tricky situations arise. Work closely with your healthcare team if you are a reputable treatment center – they are meant to provide you with support during this time. Recovery is possible – you can do this. Don’t give up on yourself.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.