Drug addiction is a very serious health problem and one that typically requires professional help for the affected individual to get better. Whether the substance being abused is an illegal drug or a prescription medication, the impact is the same. Once addiction develops, it can be almost impossible to overcome, and many struggle to do it alone.
In most cases, a programme of detox and rehabilitation will be needed and fortunately, most of those who do complete these programmes will manage to overcome their addictions and get their life back on track. Unfortunately, though, rehab does not have a successful outcome for everyone. There are times when some who have sought treatment will find themselves back on the path to addiction once more.
But are there valid reasons why drug rehab fails? What causes some individuals to return to drug use after completing a programme of rehabilitation? Moreover, why do some people not stay the course? These are all questions that we will try to address in this article.
Why Drug Treatment Fails
Admitting that a drug problem exists in the first place can be pretty tough and most addicts are not ready to accept that they need help. In fact, it is often the case that addicts cannot even see how serious their situation actually is. Normally, it is family members and friends who realise the severity of the problem first. They will then try to do everything in their power to get their loved one into treatment.
However, they will soon learn that forcing someone to get help when this person is not ready is a waste of time. It often happens that an addict will only agree to get help to get family members and friends off their backs. They will have no intention of making any effort to commit to a programme of recovery. This is one of the main reasons drug rehab fails; but it is not the only one.
Some drug addicts will be fully aware that they have a problem and will want to get help. Nevertheless, they struggle with the prospect of sobriety and will let fear get in their way. When they enter a programme of rehabilitation, they might sabotage their own progress without even realising that this is what they are doing.
Some will just go through the motions to appease family members and their counsellor, all the while thinking about the day when the programme finishes so that they can return to the drug that they are craving.
Others will feel so sorry for themselves that they cannot progress with the programme of recovery. They will believe that they are hard done by and that nothing ever goes right for them. This attitude often prevents them from getting the most from their treatment programme and is another reason drug rehab fails.
Myths Associated with Relapse
Relapse is a major issue for recovering drug addicts, but it is one that is dealt with quite extensively in a rehabilitation programme. Nonetheless, misconceptions surrounding relapse can often lead to a return to drug use.
For example, despite learning all about relapse and how to prevent it during a programme of rehabilitation, some affected individuals are convinced that it is inevitable. Some even think that because it is bound to happen, they might as well get it out of the way and will use drugs in the belief that they can use once and then get their lives back on track. Unfortunately, this is not always the outcome.
Some of those who believe they are getting their ‘slip-up’ over and done with will end up back on the path to addiction, meaning that all the hard work they have put into getting better will have been for nothing. Many never find the strength or motivation to go through the process a second time.
Then there are those who believe that a relapse cannot be prevented and will therefore not even try to resist if they experience the signs of an impending slip. In reality, there is much that can be done to stop yourself succumbing to a relapse.
There is also the belief among many that using a different substance does not count as a relapse. So, for example, if you were in recovery for drug addiction, you might believe that drinking alcohol would not count as a relapse. The truth is that addiction is in the person and not the substance, so if you start drinking alcohol, you are highly likely to return to your drug of choice when your ability to think clearly is affected by the alcohol.
Committing to a Programme of Recovery
As you have probably gathered by now, there are many reasons drug rehab fails. Another one is going into a programme of recovery with a half-hearted attitude. If you want to turn your life around, you are going to have to really want to succeed and you must be prepared to fully commit.
In a rehabilitation centre, staff will work closely with you to help you get better, but you do need to realise that your recovery is your responsibility and that nobody can do it for you. You must be ready to take chances and be motivated to do all you can to get to where you want to be.
Succeeding at treatment is all about having the right attitude. You must be willing to learn and to approach every part of your programme with an inquisitive mind. Be honest and open with not only your counsellors but also with yourself. Listen to what is happening, and even if you believe that what someone is saying does not relate to your own personal situation, let it all soak in as you never know what information you might take inspiration from.
Above all, you must be honest if you want to have a successful outcome. There is simply no point in being secretive and keeping important issues to yourself as this will act as a barrier to your recovery. Even if you are embarrassed about things you might have done or said while under the influence of drugs, you must be prepared to talk about these issues. Doing so is the only way to move forward.
Remember, a drug rehab programme is the perfect place for you to air all the issues that have been bothering you. You will be in a supportive environment with others who are in the same position as you and who will have similar experiences. Nobody is there to judge you or recriminate you for things that you have done. In fact, your counsellors and therapists have heard it all before – maybe even worse.
It is also important that you are realistic in your expectations regarding recovery. Unrealistic expectations often lead people to give up too early or to believe that they are beyond help; this is another reason drug rehab fails.
Recovering from a drug addiction takes time and plenty of patience. Remember that you did not become a drug addict overnight, so you will not recover that quickly either. Your brain and body need to heal, which will take time.
There will be days when you feel better than others but remember that nobody feels great all the time. Even those who have never had an addiction will feel better some days than others. That does not mean that you are not on the right track.
How to Get Help for Addiction
If you are affected by drug addiction and interested to know more about how to make a programme of recovery work for you, please get in touch with us today. Oasis Recovery Communities is tackling the issue of addiction head-on by providing first-class detox and rehabilitation programmes for those in need. Call and speak to one of our advisors about how we can help you overcome your drug addiction once and for all.