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Why Do People With Addiction Relapse?

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Relapse is very common. 

It’s one of the most unfortunate realities of getting help for addiction to drugs and alcohol. 

If you are asking yourself, “Why do I keep relapsing?” you are not alone. 

It is hard to stay clean and sober. Relapse rates show that between 40 to 60 percent of people with addiction will experience relapses after trying to get sober.

Relapses are a part of recovery. People with behavioral addiction should not feel ashamed for returning to use after trying to stop. However, relapses are extremely dangerous, even deadly, especially with the prevalence of fentanyl in drugs like cocaine and heroin in and near Atlanta.

In 2017, 1,014 people died from opioid drug overdoses in Georgia, almost half of which involved synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyl. It is high time to address substance use disorders to stop relapse. 

Why do people with addiction relapse?

There is not a simple answer to this question, as many factors impact one’s recovery. 

“Unfortunately in addiction, drug use has become a powerful coping mechanism for the person. As a way to cope, using a substance is a big tool. It becomes the biggest tool of all,” says Bryan Stephenson, CPCS, LPC, the executive director of Atlanta Detox Center. “In recovery, that tool is put away, but it is always lurking in the toolkit.”

The risk factors of experiencing withdrawal greatly increases if a drug addict tries to stop using drugs or alcohol abruptly without a detox program. Symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal are discomforting both physically and mentally. Without a drug or alcohol detox program to keep withdrawal symptoms under control, an addict might choose to drink or get high in order to avoid the discomfort.

Relapses often occur even after an addict has received drug or alcohol detox treatment. Many detox programs release patients once the withdrawal symptoms are stable — usually after only a couple of days. But alcohol withdrawal symptoms, can last longer than a week. In detox centers near Atlanta, patients are frequently detoxing from opiates, alcohol or crystal meth.

Extended stays at a detox program allow for a patient to treat co-occurring mental health disorders, and address repressed emotions. If left unaddressed, these can greatly increase the risk of relapse.

Have a plan after drug or alcohol detox

After leaving medical detox in Atlanta,  taking part in an outpatient treatment program can help you stay sober. Whether beginning residential treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment building a community of sober individuals should be part of your relapse prevention plan. In group meetings, or any other substance abuse support network, you can confide in others. When triggers, or stress cues arise, your sober community will help you maintain your sobriety.

“Of course, people relapse. It is part of the disease,” Stephens said. “However, relapse is not always a return to where the person was, anymore than losing your temper once in a while means you have made no progress. The more time the individual can practice skills, the better the chances that if relapse does occur, it will be a stumble, not a complete fall.”

Find detox near Atlanta

Atlanta Detox Center is a premier drug and alcohol detox facility in Riverdale, Georgia. Our addiction treatment program treats physical withdrawal symptoms, and the underlying mental, emotional and spiritual conditions. 

Our multidisciplinary staff includes licensed professional therapists, behavioral health technicians, and a 24/7 nursing staff. They will help you return to a place of peace. Through personalized treatment programs you can start building a brighter future in recovery. Options include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Medication Evaluation and Stabilization, Daily Group and Individual Therapy Sessions

Call 833 440 8642 to speak to an Atlanta Detox Center admissions specialist.

Atlanta Detox Center is a subsidiary of Amatus Recovery Centers, a division of Amatus Health. ARC offers treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders in facilities across the country. To learn more visit amatusrecoverycenters.com.