What Percentage of Addicts Stay Clean After Rehab?
What Is Relapse?
Relapse is the term for the worsening of a condition that was improving. It is a complex issue that affects many people who have quit drinking and using drugs and may involve a one-time slip, lapsing a few times, or a full relapse by returning to old habits of use. But what percentage of addicts stay clean after rehab?
Addiction treatment aims to provide all the recovery tools and sobriety skills a person will need to remain sober. Still, life, stress, temptation, and triggers can all contribute to drug or alcohol use returning.
You need to deal with a lot, especially in the first few years after leaving drug rehab. Changing your thought processes and behaviors is difficult, along with needing to cut off certain friendships or relationships, avoiding places or events that may trigger a relapse, and staying away from the substances you have an issue with.
Relapse prevention programs are essential to help you identify high-risk situations that can lead to a relapse and provide you with strategies to respond to these situations in a healthy way. Some common triggers include:
- Untreated mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and trauma
- Relationship issues
- Peer pressure
- Attending parties, festivals, and holiday celebrations
- Friends who use drugs
- Returning to locations in which you used to use drugs
Relapse can be dangerous, even leading to overdose, as you may not consider that the time away from the substance will likely reduce your tolerance and take too much.
Coping with triggers is a huge part of long-term recovery. At Muse Treatment, our behavioral therapists, counselors, and addictions experts can provide you with these strategies so you can avoid unnecessarily stressful moments and move on with your life. You will gain new behavioral techniques and lifestyle changes like relaxation strategies, dietary and exercise counseling, and a better sleep schedule. You will learn coping skills, and you will receive cognitive therapy interventions to reframe your thinking.
At Muse Treatment, we are here to help you if a relapse occurs, not only through therapy but also in a way that best benefits your body, mind, and spirit. We provide group and individual therapy, 12-step integration, educational groups, and case management so you can stop using drugs long-term and move forward in life and meet goals, gain employment, and live a healthy and independent life.
Relapsing After Rehab
Many people wonder what percentage of addicts stay clean after rehab? The answer is that between 40% and 60% of people with substance abuse disorders will experience a relapse at one point or another. In the first year of recovery, one in five people who complete a rehab program will stay completely sober, meaning nearly 80% will relapse in that first year, and there is also a 40% chance of relapsing in the second year. Relapse is not a sudden occurrence in most cases but a process that takes some time. The stages of relapse include:
- Emotional relapse: you may not be thinking about returning to substance use, but your behaviors and emotions may be returning you to a state in which addiction can take over. This may look like social isolation, anxiety, or poor self-care.
- Mental relapse: You may begin to think about using the substance again and may miss the people and places associated with the drug.
- Physical relapse: This is the phase in which you may return to actual drug use.
What to do After Relapsing
If you experience a relapse, all hope is not lost if you know what percentage of addicts stay clean after rehab. The best thing you can do is accept that you’re not alone in slipping momentarily and you can move on with your recovery. It’s essential to act right away, speaking with a doctor or treatment center. As the above statistics show, you are not alone in making a temporary mistake, and you will not be punished or chastised.
It is imperative to return to treatment so you can get to the root of your addiction issues, address the underlying cause of your addiction and relapse, and better understand your triggers so you will be able to avoid them in the future. You may also try alternative treatment methods if what you are currently doing is not working.
You are not a failure, there is nothing to be ashamed of, and there is always support and help available to help get you back on track if you need it. It is not that your recovery is impossible; it is just that what you are currently doing does not work for your individual needs, and your treatment plan needs to be adjusted or revised.
Recovery is not easy and takes constant work, commitment, and external support from friends, family, peer groups, and professionals to maintain. Sobriety is a learned behavior that involves learning how to live sober, which sometimes requires trial and error.
To remain in recovery, it is usually best to:
- Continue to follow your treatment plan and lean on family and friends when you need them as they will provide support as well as demand accountability. It will also help you to join an anonymous support group or begin group therapy.
- Avoid the people and places that trigger you, even when your “addict brain” tells you otherwise. This simple act will keep you away from drugs and alcohol and remove the stress of peer pressure or needing to fight within yourself.
- Create and follow a relapse prevention plan that includes identifying what is most helpful to you, personally, when you are struggling. You may want to go to a meeting or tap into your support system in other ways. You know yourself best, so having a plan that will work for you and following through when times get complicated is the best way to remain sober.
- Attend a treatment center to help you get to the bottom of your addiction and treat the underlying root causes of your addiction.
There are likely multiple contributing factors to your relapse. Sometimes a mental health issue needs treatment, or you may need professional help to address self-destructive behaviors. Whatever the case, it is best to take care of it sooner rather than later.
Building Support System for Lasting Recovery
Some great ways to build a support system include:
- Going to 12-step meetings: these are free meetings with support for members in all stages of recovery and are an excellent place to meet others who understand what you are going through.
- Rebuilding your family relationships: this may be a difficult bridge to mend, but your family may be a good source of support once you work together to repair your relationship. Family therapy is an excellent option to begin this journey.
- Participating in an exercise like yoga or other workout groups: you will gain positive habits, reduce stress, increase natural endorphins and heal your body as you gain the opportunity to get to know like-minded, positive, and health-conscious people.
- Being selective when meeting new people: Not everybody will work out as a friend, especially if they are active drug or alcohol users.
A strong support system is one of the main components to maintaining lasting recovery. At Muse Treatment, we have alumni programs explicitly created to provide support and offer help when times get tough. Speaking with somebody who understands what you are going through may be just what you need.
AA and NA Meetings
A 12-step program like AA and NA has the belief that relapse is a part of recovery. These groups will see your slip-up, lapse, or relapse as a sign that you need to do your 12 steps over again. The steps are designed to help you regain your accountability, inner strength, and control, connecting you to your goals and internal self.
Although it may feel awkward or embarrassing to introduce yourself again as a newcomer with less than 30 days, this is an important step in not only beginning your journey once again but also to show others that although relapse happens, it is possible to come back from it.
You will feel camaraderie through sharing your experience with like-minded individuals, as well as benefitting from a spiritual element that will help you through these difficult times. Hearing what others have gone through may also help you in the future, as you learn from their mistakes. You can also provide your own relapse story to help others.
Working the steps and attending meetings will help you forgive yourself, create a new way of life in which you take on responsibilities, and live up to your own expectations. To learn more about Muse Treatment’s relapse prevention programs and what percentage of addicts stay clean after rehab, contact us today at (800) 426-1818. We are here for you, and we can help you right away.
— Muse Treatment (@MuseTreatmentLA) December 1, 2021