Going to drug and alcohol rehab in order to overcome an addiction marks the beginning of a new way of life. When you go to an addiction treatment facility, you will go through detoxification, which will break your physical dependence on drugs or alcohol. You will then begin to learn what you need to do when you leave treatment in order to avoid picking up alcohol or other drugs. Long-term success requires knowing what might trigger cravings in the future and what you should do to avoid giving in.
Recovering From the Disease of Addiction
Many people expect to be instantly cured after going to drug and alcohol rehab, but it’s not that simple. Addiction is a chronic disease and in many ways resembles other diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. When you have a disease that isn’t going to go away, there is always the possibility that you may relapse. This is true in addiction recovery, but it’s also true in recovery from other conditions that involve both behavioral and physiological aspects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the relapse rates for people recovering from a substance use disorder are very similar to the relapse rates of other chronic diseases. For many people, relapse is part of the learning process, and if you do relapse, it’s a signal that there are some things that need to be done differently. While the hope is that you will never pick up a drink or a drug again, if you do relapse it doesn’t mean you won’t eventually attain long-term success.
Succeeding in Addiction Recovery
There are many signs that going through treatment has made a positive difference in your life. You may be able to change destructive behavior patterns. For example, you may give up criminal activity, show up for work regularly for the first time or stop picking fights with loved ones. When a person experiences a relapse after going through drug and alcohol rehab, it doesn’t mean that that person has failed or that long-term success at recovery is hopeless. Like with other diseases, relapse during recovery means that some aspect of treatment needs to change. Each time you try again, you have a better chance at long-term success. Resources: “How Effective is Drug Addiction Treatment?” – National Institute on Drug Abuse https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-effective-drug-addiction-treatment