Why Do Alcoholics and Addicts Relapse So Often?
This post will explore some of the most common reasons why people struggle with staying sober in recovery from substance abuse. Hopefully, this information will help shed some light on how best to avoid relapsing in the future!
1. Lack of social support
It’s strange to think that anyone would still want to use drugs even when they have a strong support system in their lives
But when one removes the emotional and mental state of addiction, it is clear that in most cases, there is a lack of social support in their lives, which contributes to the need for using in the first place. This is because, in order for us to feel comfortable and happy using drugs, we need to surround ourselves with others who are using them as well. The reason for this is that when one feels uncomfortable or embarrassed about their substance use, they will subdue it rather than be open about it. Without the constant reinforcement of our addiction by those around us, there is no reinforcement for our need to use drugs in the first place.
2. Exposure to drug-related cues (people, places, things)
When drug addicts are constantly being reminded of their addiction through people, places, and things that are related to their addiction, it is only natural that they will begin to crave the “good old days” of using drugs. This is why many people feel the desire to relapse when something triggers their addiction, such as being in certain places or even talking on the phone to someone from their drug-using past. The key to overcoming this trigger is to avoid these drug-related cues at all costs! One can do this by avoiding old “friends,” places, and things that remind them of their past drug abuse.
3. Intense emotional states
Being in an intense emotional state can make it extremely difficult for a person to choose against using drugs or alcohol even when the person is fully aware of the consequences associated with continued use. This is because, in most cases, emotions such as shame, guilt, and fear can be overwhelming, and one might feel as if one cannot cope without using drugs. This is why many people choose to use drugs in the first place: because they feel alone and isolated from their emotions. By learning how to manage these intense emotional states with techniques such as meditation, prayer, journaling, etc., addictive behaviors will be less likely to occur. Try listening to alcohol recovery stories online to help understand how others coped during their journey of recovery.
4. Lack of coping skills
Many people who are addicted have not developed any other way to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, etc., besides the use of drugs and alcohol. This is because many drug users do not learn any other way to address life’s problems except by using drugs or alcohol. By learning and practicing good coping skills such as meditation, yoga, exercise, journaling, etc., one can learn how to manage their emotions and stress without the use of drugs or alcohol.
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5. Poor treatment choices
If a person relapses after completing a drug or alcohol treatment program, it is important to acknowledge that relapse doesn’t always mean failure. In fact, a relapse often acts as a tool for personal growth and can be seen as an opportunity for learning from one’s mistakes. However, there are some cases in which the choice to use again was not a conscious choice at all. This can be attributed to the fact that many addicts and alcoholics lack the necessary coping skills and social support contacts needed for staying sober on their own, which is why they may choose to go back into treatment. By learning how to cope with life’s problems using healthy alternative methods such as exercise, journaling, deep breathing, etc., will dramatically improve the chances of staying sober for good.
7. Being around substance abusers
This can be difficult because one might feel as if their only option for social interaction is with others who are using drugs. However, this is not the case. There are many people who choose to live sober lives and also enjoy spending time with others. By choosing to interact with these people over those who use drugs, one can avoid being around drug-related triggers altogether!
8. Exposure to stressors
Just because a person chooses not to use drugs or alcohol does not mean that their life is stress-free. Many people who are able to maintain a drug-free lifestyle still struggle with managing the everyday stressors of life. For this reason, it is important to find ways of coping with these stressors without turning to addictive behaviors.
9. Desire for relief from cravings
For many people, the only way they know how to cope with their cravings is by using drugs or alcohol. This is because we tend to feel that the only way we can achieve relief from our uncomfortable feelings and thoughts is through substance abuse.
11. Negative relationships
This seems like an obvious reason why some people might relapse; however, it is very important. When one has good relationships with their social group, family members, and counselors, they are better able to manage the urge to use drugs or alcohol because they have people who want what’s best for them. However, when one has poor quality relationships with others, these individuals might find themselves turning to drugs more often as a way of coping with feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Relapse is normal, and we should be more understanding of addicts’ decisions to go back to their addiction. More needs to be done by society and the addict in order for them not to relapse again. Hope this article can help you.