“Is Relapse Part of Recovery?”

When talking about the issue of recovery from drugs and alcohol the discussion inevitably will include the high rates of relapse and the causes of failure. Within this discussion the phrase “relapse is part of recovery” is often referenced. What is this “relapse is part of recovery” theory? Are we saying that in order for someone to achieve sobriety they must first go thru a number of failures? And the obvious question that begs to be asked is why does one have to fail the first time, second time or multiple times before uncovering the key to a successful recovery?

Does drug or alochol addiction cause a person to loose their intellectual ability? Does drug and alcohol addiction cause a person the loss of will to succeed? Is it that the draw of addiction is just too strong to ever conquer? Or is it that as far as treatment strategies go we are just missing something? Or in the final analyses is it the person just doesn’t want to be in recovery and just loves their life so much they just don’t want to change?

Let’s discuss the last question and put this concept to rest. That people addicted to drugs and alcohol love their life so much they have no inclination of changing their life style. Well for one, I don’t buy this premise at all. I don’t thing too many people knowingly choose a life of drugs and alcohol that destroys all that is valuable and meaningful in ones life. A life that leaves people without family, friends and material possessions. A life that causes people to act in way that is contrary to all that is taught by families, schools and religious circles.

This leads me to the potential conclusion that maybe people are consistently relapsing because the process of recovery as we now know it and understand it just doesn’t get the job done. Repeating the same process time and time again with the same inevitable results of failure should at least get us thinking of some alternative modalities of treatment.

What changes or different types of treatments do you think we need to make to increase the success of treatment?

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