Are you wondering why do addicts relapse?

It is said, “Once an addict, always an addict.” Even after going to rehab it is not uncommon for a user to relapse. Have you ever wondered why addicts relapse? It’s a difficult and unfortunate topic to approach, but a necessary one. Addiction is not easily overcome. It is a disease that never goes away. While addiction to cigarettes, gambling, alcohol, drugs or any other thing, can be combated, rehab does not always take. There are many reasons for this, some the fault of addiction; others because the addict returns to the lifestyle they once led. Here are a few reasons why relapse happens so commonly.

Life’s Stresses Can Cause a Relapse

For many addicts, it takes just one sip, one roll of the dice, or one snort to return to using fully. The object of addiction on which the user depended seemingly provided support that allowed them to escape from problems. When met by financial or legal problems, job loss, the death of a friend or loved one, rejection by a partner, or lingering health problems, the first place an addict will always want to turn is their object of compulsion. Sadly, relapse under these conditions amplifies the problem as it does not go away and a return to addiction compounds it.

Refusing to Make a Lifestyle Change

Sometimes an addict goes back to leading the life they had before entering rehab. For many, this is the only life they know, so they seek out old friends who continue to engage in the habit. They may return to the same bars or gambling halls to see old friends and then give into peer pressure.

Failing to Find Meaning or Structure in Life

For some people, this meaning can be found by attending meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or in doing good deeds by helping one’s community. Sadly, this approach does not work for everyone. Some do not want to put in the work, while others may not believe in the value of the program in which they are engaged. Without support, it is easy for an addict to relapse.

Not Recognizing they have a Problem

Unfortunately, some addicts refuse to believe they have a problem. They do not understand or recognize how much of a hold addiction has over their lives. Since they do not believe they are an addict, they return to using, which triggers a relapse.

Relapse Does not have to be an Ending

While relapse into addiction is not uncommon, it is not an end in itself. Through the help of friends, loved ones, sponsors, and most importantly the addict’s desire to get clean, a return to sobriety is always a possibility. While the user may feel sadness or shame in going back to a meeting and starting again with a day one coin, it is the first step in returning from relapse. It can and must be done as often as necessary until it takes.