Is Relapse the Fault of the Alcohol or Drug Dependent Person

Apr 21, 2010 No Comments by

After graduating a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program, many formerly dependent individuals find themselves relapsing back into drug or alcohol use—many within the first year of treatment. In the wake of relapse, it’s easy to feel like a personal failure—or to simply believe that solutions that bring sobriety to others will not work for you. However, relapse has nothing to do with the alcohol or drug dependent person—but rather indicates that prior treatment failed to bring the healing it needed to.

Is Relapse the Fault of the Alcohol or Drug Dependent Person?

Over the years, the addiction industry has subscribed to the view that alcoholism and drug addiction are incurable diseases. As such, many addiction treatment facilities inform patients that “relapse is part of recovery”—essentially that due to their incurable conditions, they can expect to experience a relapse into drug or alcohol use. While these sentiments certainly benefit the inpatient rehab center itself (relieving them of the burden of successful, relapse-free cures for alcoholism or addiction), they often breed self-blame and hopelessness in those who have experienced relapse. How will they ever know if they are fully cured? Is it possible to obtain true and lasting freedom from alcoholism or drug addiction? Most importantly, if detox and rehab gave them the tools they needed for sobriety, how could they fail to stay sober?

In the wake of these questions, many alcohol or drug addicted individuals feel responsible for their own relapses. The truth is that relapse is never the fault of the alcohol or drug dependent person any moreso than the original addiction was. Relapse simply indicates that treatment was not successful in treating the physical and emotional causes of alcoholism or drug addiction.

Turning Relapse Into a Cure for Alcoholism or Drug Addiction

As we recognize that prior drug or alcohol addiction treatment has failed, relapse presents an opportunity to receive the deep levels of healing we need—in both our minds and bodies. Medically supervised detoxification can be approached in a natural setting—without using drugs such as methadone that can simply create a substitute addiction. Natural detox can create the opportunity to perform diagnostic tests to pinpoint any chemical or nutritional imbalances present in the body that may contribute to the physical pursuit of alcohol or drugs.

Individualized, confidential counseling sessions can also begin to pinpoint the psychological reasons for addiction—in order to heal past trauma, low self esteem or negative world views that may create an emotional need to escape. If your prior alcohol or drug treatment did not find the root cause of your addiction, it likely did little to cure your addiction in a lasting way. For those who have experienced the pain and disappointment of relapse, seeking out a holistic alcohol or drug addiction treatment center that focuses on curing the mental, physical and spiritual reasons for addiction can be the turning point in your life story. When you find these underlying issues resolve, the addiction that resulted will be eliminated in a lasting way, as well.

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