Causes of Relapse

We understand that drug and alcohol relapse can be a problem but we also understand the causes of relapse and therefore we know what to do to reduce the chances of it occurring. The first source of relapse stems from the physical cravings and compulsions to use drugs or alcohol. The second stems from not addressing the underlying sources of addiction with the proper educational life skills and problem solving skills necessary avoid the use of these substances.

Relapse stemming from physical cravings:

When drugs or alcohol are taken in excess over a period of time, a person can form a physical dependency on them as the person's body and mind become conditioned to them. As the addicted person abstains from using drugs or alcohol, they can become negatively affected by drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The first stage of withdrawal consists of what are called "active withdrawals" and are commonly associated with feelings of sickness, severe flu like symptoms, high anxiety, inability to sleep, mood swings and the like. There is a common but erroneous belief that once the active withdrawal symptoms have subsided, the person is "detoxed." The truth is that even after the active withdrawal period is over, the addicted person can still have an inactive or suppressed withdrawal period lasting several weeks or months after the active withdrawal period. This second stage is usually not easily recognized but would be considered to be an inactive withdrawal period, which can also produce drug related thoughts and cravings.

The basic theory behind our innovative detoxification method is that drugs are processed by the body as toxins and that the leftover drug residues (drug metabolites) can accumulate in the fat cells of the body. These drug metabolites can be released back into the body well after they are no longer active in the blood stream. The release of these very small drug particles occur at a cellular level when the fat cells are used for energy during periods of physical activity or stress. Once these toxins are released, the person can experience a thought or compulsion to use drugs or alcohol and can even sometimes feel as though they can taste or smell the drug. This is what we call a drug restimulation, and this can trigger a drug relapse. The solution to ridding the body of these drug- restimulating residuals and speeding up the body's natural detoxification process is the Detoxification Program, also known as the sauna detoxification program.

Relapse stemming from other factors:

Relapse can also be caused by several other factors. There can be unresolved traumas, issues or transgressions that have not been confronted or recognized, such as the breakup of a relationship, parents' divorce, problems at school, loss of a loved one, or any number of other life problems. Without recognizing the real problem or solution to it, an addict will usually turn to drugs or alcohol to "escape" the problem. Of course, the drugs or alcohol do not solve their underlying problems but will merely mask them and with continued use, the addiction creates more and more issues and difficulties.

As the addiction progresses and the addict becomes desperate, they will generally do anything to get the drugs or alcohol, which leads to unethical behavior. The addicted person can lose their personal integrity, morals and ethics they were taught and raised with, while underneath it all feeling guilty, ashamed, angry or sad. When the person is sober these emotions become so overwhelming that they often end up using more drugs to deal with them. This of course becomes a vicious cycle and the addicted person spirals out of control.

The solution to this downward spiral of drug abuse and drug relapse is to have the addict first fully detoxify properly from the drugs or alcohol and then they must be taught the proper life skills and coping skills to handle their underlying problems. Our treatment methods handle both of these aspects in the Detoxification program and in the Life Skills program, which goes on to address each part of the program participant's life and restores them to ethical, responsible, drug-free, contributing members of society. Please read more about this in the Program Overview and Guide and Full Program Description.

Relapse can happen, but it does not have to be part of every addict's recovery. The fact is that if the problems that cause relapse are fully understood and the right solutions to them are applied, then effective treatment can occur and can give anyone the ability to live a drug free life. Such a model was put into practice in 1966 and was developed into what it is today in all of our treatment facilities. Please call 855-734-2223, and get real, effective and proven help.