Coping with the relapse of a loved one…and helping them get back on track

You’ve done everything you can. And, finally, you got the result you hoped for.

Or so you thought.

Finally see a loved one make it to — and through — a rehab program can bring relief to many families. But making it to rehab is not the end to the long road to addiction recovery. Just the contrary, many times it is just the beginning.

Like many serious diseases, the chances are high for a relapse. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse pegs the relapse rates from addiction at 40% to 60% — which is comparable to other chronic illnesses like Type I diabetes (30 – 50%), Hypertension (50-70%) and asthma (50 to 70%).

Even armed with this information, the relapse of a loved one can leave you disappointed, frustrated and angry — especially when it is not the first time a relapse occurs. During this emotional time it is easy to give up — but it is important to remember that drug addiction should be treated like any other chronic illness, with a relapse indicating the need for renewed treatment.

Just because an addict relapses and needs more treatment doesn’t mean their prior treatment “didn’t work,” or that they won’t eventually be able to live a substance-free life.

At first, you may have a hard time believing it is happening again, but experts say be sure to avoid making excuses. It is important to hold addicts accountable for their recovery from the relapse, just as it was important to hold them accountable for their addiction in the first place. However, while it may be tempting to push your loved one back to a rehab facility, remember — only an addict can choose to help themselves. Once you have urged your loved one to reconnect with the people who can help, take a step back. Be supportive without trying to solve everything yourself.

At 12 Keys Rehab, we understand the frustration the relapse of a loved one can cause for you and your family. If you have questions about how to get them back on track, we welcome you to call or visit our Jensen Beach, Florida recovery center and speak with our caring staff.

The Addiction Blog