Is Relapse an Indicator of Treatment Failure?

Is Relapse an Indicator of a Treatment Failure?

It is difficult to view what is considered a failure when it comes to treating an individual with a substance use disorder. Most people with substance use disorders deal with complex problems associated with their addiction to alcohol or drugs.

People with a severe addiction to alcohol or drugs are dealing with multiple symptoms and problems that need to be addressed while in the treatment process. Failure is normally viewed as a lack of success in staying abstinent from addictive substances.

What is a failure with a substance use disorder?

Traditionally, people who return to using an addictive substance will consider relapse as a failure because their initial intention was to become substance-free when they entered treatment to deal with their substance use disorder. However, this type of view does not take into consideration learning how to identify the relapse process or if the individual ever learned how to identify the relapse warning signs associated with their individual substance use disorder while they were being treated during the treatment process.

Substance Use Disorders are Medical Conditions:

Some people enter treatment through medical detoxification to remove the addictive substance from their bodies. This is important because the physical withdrawal symptoms that emerge once a person abruptly stops ingesting an addictive substance or abruptly stops taking the addictive substance must be managed if a person is to engage in the treatment process.

If an individual was to enter medical detox & stabilize from the physical symptoms associated with their addiction, they could theoretically view themselves as free from an addictive substance temporarily. However, this is not a complete treatment for a substance use disorder as it only stops the initial physical symptoms of the withdrawal process.

More treatment is required to teach a person how to remain alcohol or drug-free from addictive substances. The inpatient or residential treatment program is the type of treatment that is designed to help people to learn solutions and techniques to prevent a future relapse or return to addictive use.

Completing Substance Use Disorder Treatment:         

Often a new person in recovery who has completed a treatment program will need to be aware of the relapse process. The relapse process is filled with warning signs and different phases that indicate that a person has entered the relapse process.

Once a person discovers that they are in the relapse process they must immediately begin utilizing solutions that are designed to move a person back into the recovery process to avoid continuing down a path toward alcohol or drug usage. Relapse is a process and not a single event, however, if the process is not interrupted it will result in a return to alcohol or drugs.

Summer Sky Treatment Center® teaches an individual how to identify personal relapse warning signs and everyone in our treatment center is provided an opportunity to learn about the relapse and recovery process before discharging from treatment.

30-Day Rehab Programs:

For individuals who are utilizing our 30-day rehab programs, it is important that each person focuses on working diligently to learn and identify their own personal relapse warning signs. Since most 30-day treatment programs are limited in the amount of time that an individual has in treatment to learn about their individualized relapse warning signs it is important to spend as much time in treatment learning how to identify relapse warning signs.

All 30-day treatment programs are limited in the amount of time that is available to practice recovery skills that will be utilized to help a person remain sober or clean after completing a 30-day treatment program. We can’t stress the importance of understanding this reality because when an individual is in a 30-day treatment program the times will move by fast and before you know it it’s time to discharge.

Extended Medical Detoxification Services:

Unfortunately, not everyone goes through the medical detox phase at the same rate, because of the physical complications that can present during the detox process. Some substances will require a longer time duration to properly detox from the addictive substance.

If you are someone that requires more medical detoxification services, then you may need to consider entering our Texas 60-Day Rehab Program or 90-Day Rehab Program for adequate time to experience the treatment you will need to properly learn all the necessary skills to remain alcohol or drug-free after treatment.

An individual in treatment will need time additional time to complete all treatment goals before discharging from treatment services. It is always a good idea to stay on task during treatment and work hard to complete all assignments, tasks, goals, and objectives that are prepared in your treatment plan. A treatment plan is like a map that will guide you through the treatment process and keep you focused on the overall goal of treating your addiction to substances.

Relapse Prevention Planning:

Addiction to either alcohol or drugs is a disorder that impairs an individual biologically, psychologically, and socially. As a result of this impairment, the treatment will require addressing these three areas to recover from a substance use disorder. Leaving one of these three areas untreated will result in a person entering the relapse process and if the relapse process is not interrupted a person will return to alcohol or drugs.

For this reason, treatment is vital to a person who has developed a substance use disorder. During the treatment process, an individual will be introduced to relapse prevention planning. This technique can teach a person how to effectively interrupt the relapse process and help a person prevent a return to alcohol or drugs. This is great news to someone who has struggled with the inability to remain substance-free and has been puzzled by their seeming inability to leave alcohol or drugs alone.

Three Processes to Addiction Freedom:

Addiction is a process that takes place over time, and sometimes a person can intervene in the addiction process shortly after they start experiencing adverse consequences. However, some people experience short-term consequences and long-term consequences because of their alcohol or drug usage. If you have been experiencing negative consequences from your alcohol or drug usage, then it is a good idea to seriously consider seeking treatment for your substance-related problems. The three processes to addiction freedom are listed below.

  • Treatment Process
  • Relapse Process
  • Recovery Process

Treatment Process:

Treatment is a process that takes place over time because of the brain dysfunction created by repeated usage of alcohol or drugs. How much treatment time a person will need to recover will depend upon how much dysfunction has been created by the addiction. Some people will have developed a “mild” substance use disorder and less intense treatment interventions will be required.

Some people develop substance use disorders that are considered “moderate” on the severity scale of addiction. These individuals may need more intense levels of treatment services to recover from their substance use disorder.

However, some people develop “severe” substance use disorder and these individuals require the most intense form of treatment services to recover from their substance use disorder. No matter which severity level of addiction a person has all three involve the treatment process.

Relapse Process:

The relapse process will take place over time, and it is a complex process. It is the leading reason why people return to alcohol or drugs. When a person has never learned how to interrupt the relapse process, they are at risk of eventually returning to alcohol or drugs.

A person who enters treatment will need to learn and understand during treatment about their addictive disease before they can learn to apply the principles of relapse prevention planning. Things will just not make sense without first learning about your addiction and how to treat all the symptoms associated with the disease of addiction. Once an understanding is grasped then the relapse process is much easier to address. The good news is the relapse process can be intervened with proper relapse prevention planning.

Recovery Process:

The recovery process is like the treatment process and relapse process in that the recovery process takes place over time. There are no quick fixes when it comes to treating a substance use disorder. A person with an addiction will be required to dedicate time, education, and therapy, and learn recovery-based skills to keep their substance use disorder in remission.

Developing a recovery plan and utilizing the recovery plan will help in ensuring a person becomes free from addiction. Without the recovery process, it will be extremely difficult to experience freedom from addiction.

Do you or a loved one need alcohol or drug treatment?

Summer Sky is a Texas-based alcohol & drug rehab that can help you recover from your substance use disorder. We offer many different alcohol & drug treatments to help people break free from their addiction to substances. Below is an overview of some of the types of treatment programs we offer.

Addiction Treatment Programs Offered by Summer Sky:

Summer Sky Treatment Center Additional Services:

Same-Day Admission Scheduling:

Summer Sky operates a 24-hour admissions department 7-days a week and we can help individuals access addiction treatment services on the same day that they call to request addiction treatment services. The process to verify health benefits or pay privately for treatment can be done on the same day an individual is ready to admit for treatment services. To learn about our addiction treatment programs or schedule an admission, you can contact us 24 hours a day 7-days a week 1-888-857-8857.

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