There is one great fear in your life, one worry: relapsing back to an addiction. You’ve struggled to contain your compulsions; you’ve denied all substances. And the consequence has been success. The process has only just begun, however, and you can’t deem it certain yet.
And you fear it will eventually falter.
The statistics of relapsing are not kind — the majority of users tend to surrender to their impulses and you think you may do the same. There are variables to consider, however, and these impact the chance of failure:
One: Addiction. Substances are not created equal — they are instead defined by specific chemicals and tastes; and these all affect individuals differently. The source of an addiction will determine the success of treatment. Those compelled to drink, for example, will find greater relief than those who crave cocaine. The severity of the substance will shape the experience, and relapses will become more frequent as that severity increases.
Two: Treatment. Too often do individuals assume treatment will be an instant success. The first day is meant to offer relief. This expectation is incorrect, however, and will often lead addicts to think they should avoid rehabilitation. This causes quick relapses. The less time that is spent in a program greatly impacts the usefulness of that program. All must be willing to dedicate themselves to treatments.
Three: Longevity. Addiction is a lifelong disease. It’s not, however, always formed over the course of a life. There are times instead when mere months can spark abuse; and individuals may find themselves seeking treatment early. This plays a pivotal role in the chance of a relapse. Those who haven’t been burdened with an addiction for too long are twice as likely to succeed in ending it. That number decreases, though, as time is added.
Relapsing isn’t a simple process. It’s defined instead to variables and these must be understood.