Is Drug Rehabilitation a Possibility Even if You’ve Relapsed Before?

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If you have tried quitting drugs or alcohol but have failed, you’re not alone as the relapse rate while in recovery is in the neighborhood of 40 to 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Despite popular belief, overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol is no easy task, especially for those who are long-time users. Studies show that it can take trying multiple times before some individuals will be able to put addiction behind them for good. If your initial attempt to quit drugs or alcohol resulted in a relapse, you should avoid beating yourself up too much. Instead, consider thinking about how you can approach things differently on the next go-round.


The first step toward getting back on the proverbial horse and trying to overcome addiction for the second time entails freeing yourself of any shame or regret that you may be harboring. For many people, this means working closely with a substance abuse counselor who can aid in formulating a prevention plan to help not only identify the triggers that contributed to the relapse but also how to avoid them in the future. In some cases, an individual will relapse because of the actions or inactions of the rehab facility. If this is something that resonates with you, it may be in your best interest to try a new rehab facility when you try quitting for the second time. For example, some individuals tend to fair better when seeking treatment in a holistic, spiritual, or faith-based rehab facility as opposed to traditional rehabs.


Even if a rehab facility does everything in its power to prevent an individual’s relapse, some individuals still have a hard time when it comes to not giving in to persistent cravings or otherwise falling prey to a moment of temporary weakness. The following may also be contributing factors as well:

Failing to make sobriety a top priority – The best way to get and stay clean is by making sobriety one of your top priorities. Of course, this not suggesting that you forsake everything else that is important in your life; however, staying drug and alcohol-free should rank high on your list of obligations. That said, following rehab, it would be a good idea to attend 12-step meetings for addiction. It may also be worthwhile to continue therapy sessions with a substance abuse counselor after officially completing rehab as they can help resolve any psychological barriers that may be preventing you from maintaining your sobriety.

Not having a supportive network of friends and family – It can be difficult to stay clean when you feel like you’re on your own. Studies show that those who have recently completed rehab have a higher chance of staying clean long-term if they have friends and family that they can turn to during moments of weakness. For those without friends or family, turning to churches and charitable organizations that support sobriety may also be beneficial.

Continuing to spend time with those who are still using – One of the fastest ways to derail your recovery efforts is by continuing to spend time with individuals that are still using. While it may be difficult, the best way to remain sober long-term is by cutting ties with these individuals, especially since they don’t’ share the same mindset for getting their lives back on track.

While this list does not represent all of the factors that can contribute to a relapse, they are some of the more common ones. And being cognizant of them will serve you well when trying to get and stay clean the second time around.


While it may not seem like it, there is a hidden benefit in relapsing, insomuch that it highlights the things that you may need to focus on when you decide to go back to rehab. For example, many people have cited placing a stronger emphasis on addressing the psychological aspect of addiction as being the key to their success after undergoing addiction recovery for the second time. That said, one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy for those battling addiction is CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) as it helps individuals identify triggers and personal experiences in their lives that may have led to their addiction. Lastly, many individuals have found that engaging in exercise, meditation, yoga, and other activities was an effective way to distract them from the temptation to start using again.

All in all, several factors can cause individuals to relapse after going through rehab. However, it does not mean that you won’t eventually succeed. It simply means that you will have to work harder. To learn more about avoiding relapse after rehab or to start addiction recovery treatments, consider speaking with one of our associates today at 888-380-0342.

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