What are the Risk Factors for Relapse After Treatment?

Relapse is a terrify but all too common situation that men and women in recovery find themselves facing. Relapse does not mean that one has failed in recovery. It simply indicated that an individual must summon the courage to try again and re-enter treatment if necessary. It may be important to take into account how at-risk one may be for relapse in order to understand what may be ahead of them after discharging from treatment.
In a 2011 CBS News article by David W. Freeman entitled Blame Addiction on Poor Willpower? What Doctors Now Say, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), explained, “The behavioral problem is a result of brain dysfunction. You can family members that say, ‘OK, you’ve been to a detox program, how come you’re taking drugs?’ The pathology in the brain persists for years after you’ve stopped taking the drug.” The general recommendation is for an individual to stay in treatment for at least ninety days. This allows one to develop healthy coping school and give the brain some time to heal before reintegrating into their lives outside of treatment. Staying in treatment an adequate amount of time and receiving therapeutic interventions designed to address and underlying drug-relation psychological, medical, and social problems can be a major factor in determining one’s ability to maintain sobriety.
One of the most influencing factors for drug and alcohol relapse is stress. The NIDA explains, “Stress is often a contributing factor to relapse, and offenders who are re-entering society face many challenges and stressors, including reuniting with family members, securing housing, and complying with criminal justice supervision requirements.” When we leave treatment, especially after only a short duration, we may not have built up the necessary defenses against the first drink or drug. We may feel overwhelmed by the stress of our day-to-day lives and begin turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with stress.
A variety of factors and the complex interplay between them can also move us toward a potential relapse. Rudolf H. Moos and Bernice S. Moos, in a 2007 Addiction publication entitled Rates and Predictors of Relapse After Natural and Treatment Remission from Alcohol Use Disorder, explain, “Among treated individuals, more severe alcohol-related problems and depressive symptoms, lack of self-efficacy and poor coping skills have been associated with short-term relapse.” Conversely, factors that influence an individual to maintain sobriety include “high self-efficacy, more reliance on approach and less on avoidance coping, support from family members and friends, and positive life events.

Your story can become one of positivity and serenity in sobriety. You can begin the rewarding journey of recovery by making the courageous decision to reach out for help today. Oceanfront Recovery, a licensed Substance Use Disorder and Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Center located in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, was founded with the goal of providing the best care and service possible, at an affordable price, and in a location where men and women seeking recovery would want to get well. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777