Cycles of chronic relapse can be extremely challenging for clients seeking freedom from substance abuse. These individuals may feel guilty, ashamed, or even hopeless if they cannot maintain perfect, flawless abstinence. However, if these relapses are considered part of the greater healing process, they offer clients powerful opportunities to reconsider their choices.
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, relapse prevention therapy is available to help you unearth the hidden obstacles making recovery so difficult for you, allowing your dedication to affect permanent change. Call our team today at 833.551.2304 to learn how we can help you progress along your pathway to healing.
What is Chronic Relapse?
Chronic relapse is when a client attempting long-term recovery succeeds in abstaining from drugs or alcohol for short periods but ultimately resumes usage. It is a pervasive problem, affecting an estimated 40-60% of individuals who pursue treatment. This can happen for several reasons that appear benign in isolation, such as the decision to temporarily cease a therapeutic medication or to hang out with friends who continue to imbibe.
Other reasons for chronic relapse include:
- Undiagnosed co-occurring disorders
- Lack of a comprehensive support system when the client makes the transition to independent living
- Return to an unhealthy environment where drug or alcohol use is common or where the client experiences a high degree of social pressure to resume use
- Discontinuation of mental health support services
- Feelings of isolation or boredom
- Newly stressful circumstances such as enduring the legal consequences of drug or alcohol use following treatment or attempting to settle domestic disputes that were put on hold while the client was in recovery.
Some of the signs of a chronic relapse cycle include:
- The client has undergone numerous programs, always to temporary effect
- The client only participates in a treatment program to appease other people
- The client feels tremendous shame and regret regarding their recovery and adopts an all-or-nothing approach to their progress.
Unfortunately, chronic relapse can reinforce the erroneous belief that drug or alcohol use indicates an incurable condition.
Steps in Chronic Relapse Prevention
To create the foundation for permanent recovery, it is essential to consider potential relapse a part of the larger picture. Those who have relapsed need to be taught how to step back from the scenario and identify the possible triggers that led them to resume drugs or alcohol. They also need to be instructed to pursue healthier activities to fill the void once occupied by substance use, such as creating professional goals based on their interests or becoming involved in volunteer work.
Ongoing mental health treatment is vital to clients in all stages of recovery and to help individuals who have relapsed immediately take action to regain control. This may include introducing or discontinuing certain medications and ongoing involvement in a mixture of behavioral therapies.
For clients susceptible to chronic relapse, it may be necessary to participate in longer-term programs, allowing them to adapt to the demands of their regular life. For some, this may require a minimum of 6 to 12 months of treatment, a period of time in a sober living home, and a structured aftercare program.
Find the Relapse Prevention You Need at Gulf Breeze Recovery
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we understand that every client comes to us with different needs, and we are here to support your entire successful journey. Relapse isn’t the end of recovery. Chronic relapse does not mean you are broken or beyond help but indicates treatment needs that have yet to be fully met. Call our team today at 833.551.2304 to learn about our holistic approach to obtaining life-long sobriety and how we can help you to regain control over your destiny.