Life After Rehab: Top 3 Causes of Relapses
The numbers behind addiction are staggering. Over 23 million Americans over the age of 12 suffer from some sort of addiction. Of those – more than 15 million are dependent on alcohol, 4 million on drugs and the rest on both. In 2006, only 1.8 million of those made it to a rehab center and 40-60% of those who did will relapse at some point. With such a finite margin for error, it’s critical that people know some of the primary triggers for addiction relapse and how you – as a patient’s support system – can help improve the odds that your loved one will get sober and stay sober.
This week’s post is about that very thing. Here are the top three causes of rehab and what you can do to mitigate their effects.
Remember that old saying about the idle mind being the devil’s playground? That certainly applies here. In fact, boredom is a primary condition that both CAUSES alcoholism as well as its relapse. For a recovering addict, it’s always important to keep a busy schedule. Everything from working out and sight seeing to seeing family and staying busy at work is important to keep the mind focused elsewhere. The more time that’s left to nothing means the more time for a misstep.
Financial stress, depression or any other extreme life-changing event can trigger relapse quickly. The likelihood for relapse is higher among men largely due to their tendencies to pass on group therapy and 12-step meetings with greater frequency. A great example of this was pro wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts – who after a brief period of sobriety in 1997, relapsed after a hip injury kept him off the road with the World Wrestling Federation. He quickly slipped back into a pattern of addiction shortly thereafter and it wasn’t until 2013 that he was able to get clean again.
Undiagnosed medical disorder
Over half of those suffering from addiction also suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorders. Among the most famous was English soccer superstar Paul Gascoigne – who battled alcoholism and eating disorders for years. In 2013, Gascoigne was checked into an Arizona rehab facility for a fourth time, even raising questions from his agent as to whether or not he would be able to defeat the disease. Sometimes addiction is merely an offshoot of an already existing condition.
How the proper continuing care program can lower the chances of relapse?
There is a vast amount of research that has been done over the decades that has definitively proven the need for ongoing support for people in the early stages of recovery – not just from substance abuse issues – but for most extreme health-related events. 12-step programs alone are built on the premise that continuing care after breaking the cycle of addiction is vitally important to the recovery process.
All in all, people who were involved in continuing care proved to be 10 times LESS LIKELY to return to the seriously harmful behavior of their past. This was true especially among women – who were 23 times as likely to stay clean when there’s some sort of support mechanism present. Transitional living facilities make the best support mechanism for anyone, because of their strict curfews and mandatory meetings. Also everyone in the home is striving for the same goal, to be free from addiction. Most transitional living homes also work closely with IOP’s to make sure care continues past the traditional 30 day residential program.