Despite the best efforts of addiction treatment professionals and all the best intentions of addicts and their loved ones, it’s not unusual for addicts to relapse and end up going back to drug treatment again and again. Why do so many addicts need to go back to inpatient drug rehab two, three, or more times? Addiction has a high rate of relapse, and here are some of the reasons why.
1) Addicts Treat Inpatient Drug Rehab Like a Quick Fix
Addiction is a chronic illness. Most addicts suffer extensive brain changes over a period of years. It takes a long time to become addicted to substances to the point where treatment specialists must intervene, so it makes sense that true recovery also takes a long time.
But too many addicts treat drug treatment like a quick and easy fix. The fact of the matter is that the 30 to 90 days most addicts spend in any given inpatient treatment program isn’t long enough to repair the brain damage done by addiction, nor is it anywhere near long enough for addicts to make the long-term lifestyle changes necessary for real healing to occur.
If you’re thinking that a trip to inpatient rehab will fix all of your problems, you’re in for a big surprise. It’s best to come to terms with the serious and chronic nature of your condition before you seek treatment, so that you can get more out of it and hopefully avoid more stints in rehab.
2) Not All Inpatient Drug Rehab Programs Are Effective
Unfortunately, not all drug rehab programs offer quality addiction treatment. If you or someone you love needs help for addiction, choose a rehab center that offers evidence-based care, delivered by board-certified doctors and psychiatrists. Treatment centers that use outdated methods administered by inadequately trained staff can make addiction worse, not better.
Even evidence-based treatment programs may not always lead to a lasting recovery on the first try. Don’t be discouraged if your loved one attends a quality program, only to relapse later on. Instead, send him or her back to inpatient drug rehab. The effect can be cumulative, and putting your loved one in the hands of medical professionals is necessary to give him or her the best chance at a lasting recovery.
3) The Addict Didn’t Spend Enough Time in Rehab
Unfortunately, many insurance providers and treatment specialists alike continue to treat substance abuse disorders like acute conditions that can be resolved with a 30-day stay in an inpatient facility. Research has shown that a full 90 days in an inpatient drug rehab, followed by outpatient treatment, support groups and counseling for at least a year, offers the best outcomes.
It’s not enough for addicts to simply abstain from using drugs and alcohol. They also have to avoid relapse triggers and establish healthy lifestyle habits that can help them manage stress and cope in healthy ways. It takes time to bring about wholesale changes in sleeping, eating and exercise habits, establish a new sober social network, find sober hobbies that bring enjoyment and fulfillment, and find a new sense of meaning and purpose.
4) Addicts Don’t Want to Change
Now, treatment can work for addicts even when they feel they’ve been coerced into treatment and don’t particularly want to change. But recovering from addiction is a tall order even for those addicts who are completely willing and motivated to change. Addicts who refuse to accept responsibility for managing their disease will become complacent, overconfident, or recalcitrant following inpatient drug rehab, and will almost certainly suffer relapse.
5) Addicts Cling to Unhealthy Relationships
Recovery from substance abuse means letting go off, or distancing yourself from, people in your life who are still in the grip of active addiction, or who do not support your recovery. Addicts fresh out of rehab will find themselves struggling with loneliness as they’ve been warned not to go back to old drug-using friends. They may also struggle to maintain family relationships with loved ones who are also addicts, or who aren’t supportive of their recovery efforts. Making new friends takes time, and it requires you to leave your comfort zone. Many addicts instead choose to return to old friendships and relationships, only to find that they can’t keep those people in their lives without returning to active addiction.
If you’ve been to inpatient drug rehab before but you’ve experienced a relapse, there’s only one thing to do – go back into treatment. Going back to rehab is certainly better than spiraling further and further into addiction.
Call FHE Health today at 833-596-3502 to learn more about our programs and how we can help.