Chronic Relapsing Disease

Addiction is a disease that is not easily overcome. To defeat it takes an immense amount of willpower and open-mindedness to treatment; what happens when this isn’t enough? Some people try so hard in their rehab programs. Whether they’ve attended inpatient treatment or have tried holistic methods, their efforts are maxed out. The problem is, some individuals still experience relapse, and this can lead to chronic relapsing disease.

These individuals likely try doing the same thing over and over and get sick and tired of not seeing the results they want. Meanwhile, their utmost desire is to pursue a life of sobriety and stability. The worst part of all of this is that some try so hard yet wind up in the same position they were already in. Is there any escape from chronic relapsing disease?

What is Chronic Relapsing Disease?

Chronic-Relapsing-300x235Relapse happens when someone is recovering from substance use disorder and ends up falling back into their addictive habits. When someone is only partially recovered from their substance use disorder, relapse may occur. When this is chronic, it means that relapse persists no matter how hard they try. In circumstances like these, the individual must continue to pursue long-term treatment options for their substance use disorder.

Individuals often experience chronic relapsing disease because of the nature of substance use disorder. Addiction is a chronic disease, and stumbling over it again and again isn’t out of the ordinary for most individuals. This tends to take a toll on family members and friends who want nothing but success for their loved ones in regards to their treatment (and life in general). 

When someone tries a 30-day treatment or some sort of milder form of rehab, they may be more at risk of chronic relapsing disease. More times than not, those who suffer from a chronic relapse will go into treatment for a relatively short amount of time, leave treatment, and as soon as they leave they’ll break down everything they’ve built up.

Why Do Individuals Suffer from Chronic Relapsing Disease?

There are many reasons someone may experience chronic relapsing disease, some of which include the following:

  • Not prioritizing recovery 
  • Not receiving support
  • Recovering for someone/something else
  • Fear of failure
  • Lack of preparation for the world outside the treatment facility

Don’t get things mixed up — relapse isn’t guaranteed to happen to everyone who attends treatment. However, that’s not to say that there’s a 100% chance that it won’t happen. Relapse can sneak up on whoever it wants to, it’s just a matter of who is best prepared and equipped to deal with it. Thankfully, there are some ways to know if relapse may be possible. 

Not Prioritizing Recovery 

When it comes to recovering from substance use disorder, there are many harsh realities to face. One of these realities is that of relapse. Relapse can happen to anyone, especially those who do not prioritize recovery. When someone isn’t committed to putting all of their efforts into recovering, life post-treatment becomes a lot more difficult. Getting sober is one thing, but staying sober is another.

Not Receiving Support

When someone doesn’t receive the support they need from those around them, they have a harder time staying sober outside of recovery. One of the most successful addiction treatment programs is inpatient residential treatment, and it’s mostly because of the number of support people receive from it. Community and belonging are everything, and when an individual doesn’t have that, it becomes much easier to slip back into old habits.

Recovering for Someone/Something Else

It’s pretty safe to say that nobody needs to convince others of the dangers of being addicted. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. There are friends, partners, and family who become immensely concerned with their loved one’s addiction, and while this may be a good thing in many regards, it’s dangerous in others. This all isn’t to say loved ones shouldn’t express their concern, but rather that they should be aware that the person has to want to recover for their benefit.

Interventions are a great way to get someone into treatment. At the end of the day, if guilt is what drives someone to treatment, their success will be dependent on guilt rather than love. People have to be compelled to make a difference in their own lives. The obligation is no way to recover. The true measure of a successful recovery lies in doing it for you instead of someone else.

Fear of Failure

Chronic-Relapsing-Disease

Failure is one of the worst feelings in the world. There’s nothing quite like it. There’s this sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach when it happens. It’s so intense that the fear of it is what drives people to not act, or give a half effort. Fear paralyzes even the strongest of individuals. However, to succeed, one must accept the fact that eventual failure is inevitable in life.

When an individual can accept their potential to fail, there’s nothing more to fear. In this case, it makes them fearless. There’s nothing scarier to addiction than someone who has nothing to lose. Failure is inevitable, but courage is forever.

Lack of Preparation

Transitioning from addiction treatment to the world outside of the facility is burdensome, to say the least. In this regard, the most important thing is to have a plan for when you leave the treatment center. A person can be the strongest of individuals, but if they don’t have a plan, they’ll get knocked right off of their feet. Preparation is everything when it comes to avoiding relapse.

What Happens if I Relapse?

As previously mentioned, relapse is difficult to avoid for those who aren’t prepared. This makes it very frustrating whenever relapse occurs. What’s even more frustrating is having to decide whether or not to go back to treatment when it does. 

When someone is dealing with chronic relapsing disease, it seems like all is lost; like everything they worked so hard for in recovery is coming to a screeching halt. This is why it’s imperative to stay positive. Being frustrated and discouraged is a natural reaction, but it’s important to fight that instinct. This will help those who experience chronic relapse keep their head down and move forward to further their sobriety.

It’s difficult to think clearly when you relapse, let alone think outside the box, but these skills will help when relapse is impending. Strategy is the name of the game in this regard. There’s a lot to recovering completely, and most of this has to do with how someone recovers. Thankfully, there are individualized treatment options at North Jersey Recovery Center that help with that.

No one person’s the same as the other; that’s the beauty of what makes us human. Everybody is unique with their own set of needs, and those ring true for addiction treatment. Thinking outside the box when it comes to a person’s needs is imperative in this regard. For example, some individuals may need to consider holistic treatment options.

What is Holistic Treatment?

chronic-relapse-treatment

Holistic treatment for substance use disorder is a method of care that uses unconventional techniques to treat an addiction. This could include any sort of alternative method that treats the mind, body, and soul. Some examples of holistic care include the following:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Hiking

Holistic methods of care allow individuals to utilize what they learned in the treatment center and apply it to the outside world. Transitioning to the world outside the treatment facility is not an easy task; this is especially true for those who have spent an extended amount of time in recovery. 

Chronic Relapsing Disease, Relapse Prevention, and Long-Term Treatment

Suffering from chronic relapse is not easy, and if you do, you must go back to receive help in the long-term. It may be difficult going back and putting even more effort into treatment for an extended amount of time, but in the end, it will all be worth it. This way you can develop new coping skills that will translate to your life specifically.

Aftercare for Chronic Relapse

Typically when someone recovers from a relapse and they’ve completed their treatment process, they receive aftercare. Aftercare is when individuals who are done with their traditional treatment method attend groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or some other form of therapy.

There are also other ways to practice self-care post-treatment, which include steps that may be more difficult. These kinds of practices include things like cutting out all the negative people in your life or staying away from any sort of party.

Relapse is Scary, But it Doesn’t Have to Dictate Your Future

Chronic relapse is a frightening reality to face, but it doesn’t have to map out your future for you. Once it happens, it happens; there’s nothing you can do to change the past, but the way you respond has a huge impact on your future. This is why finding the right post-relapse treatment is imperative to your recovery success.

At North Jersey Recovery Center, our goal is to meet each person who walks through our doors where they’re at. Whether it’s alcoholism or drug addiction, we want to do all we can to help. This means coming up with individualized treatment options that work best for them, whether it’s inpatient treatment or drug and alcohol detox. If you or a loved one are experiencing chronic relapse and need help, you can contact us today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Laura-Riley-Cropped-Profile-150x150Laura Riley, MA, LCADC, CCS is an Administrator with North Jersey Recovery Center.