A common misconception about drug rehabilitation is that it aims to ‘cure’ people struggling with the overuse of substances. They view rehab programs as a silver bullet that will end all cravings for the substance for good. However, this is not the case.
Firstly, it is important to understand that addiction is a chronic disease, much like cancer, diabetes, or asthma. Some patients are fortunate enough to beat the illness and live symptom-free for the rest of their lives. But for most people, the symptoms will flare up again after treatment from time to time.
Relapse Isn’t the End
The fact that symptoms recur doesn’t mean that treatment has been ineffective. In most cases, the patient will go in for a review, and the doctor will simply prescribe an alternative course of treatment. However, the symptoms recur in some cases because the patient stopped following the previously prescribed treatment plan.
The same thing applies to the treatment for drug overuse. Relapses will occasionally happen, which is not a sign that treatment has failed, contrary to common belief. All that is required is a resumption or modification of the treatment regime.
Here are just some of the ways relapse treatment programs can help.
Achieving a Substance-Free Life
The ultimate aim of any center of drug rehab in Wichita, or elsewhere is to lead patients who are addicted to any substance toward a life of independence or reduced dependency.
Effective relapse treatment will help patients spot situations that would tempt them back into drug use early enough to avoid them. If it is impossible to evade the situation, the treatment will help them develop coping mechanisms so they don’t go down a slippery slope.
In addition to preparing recovering addicts to deal with high-pressure situations, relapse treatment programs will include motivational enhancement therapy. This facet of the program will help drug use patients desire to change their behavior and stay clean. Also, it will prompt them to get back on their feet after falling into relapse.
The Severity and Frequency of Relapse
As with any chronic ailment, successful treatment of drug overuse treatment is not in curing the patient but in reducing the severity and frequency of a relapse. Chronic relapse treatment programs achieve this using a combination of elements.
Group therapy sessions, where recovering addicts can open up about their experiences and find encouragement among their peers, are crucial in curbing relapse. In addition, contacts obtained from mutual support sessions will help ensure an addict has someone they can call when they feel like they’re losing control over their urges. Massachusetts drug rehabilitation centers in particular specialize in individualized treatment programs for their patients that will include effective strategies for relapse prevention.
The Effects of Chronic Drug Relapse
Years of substance overuse can lead to physical health complications. For example, long-term alcohol use has been associated with liver damage, liver cirrhosis, and some forms of cancer.
Also, the overuse of opioids can cause respiratory depression as well as sleep-disordered breathing. It can also have adverse long-term effects on the nervous system.
Falling into relapse after a long period of abstinence can be particularly dangerous. This is because the body’s tolerance for the substance will have dwindled drastically. If the body is exposed to high quantities of the drug at that point, it can easily succumb to a fatal overdose.
By helping drug overuse disorder patients overcome the urge to fall back into usage, these programs also help patients maintain their physical wellbeing.
Preventing Psychological Issues
Drug overuse leads to physical problems and opens the door to a host of psychological issues. Research has shown that opioid addicts have higher chances than non-users of developing anxiety disorders and depression. In extreme cases, drug addicts have developed suicidal tendencies due to antisocial impulses.
Relapse treatment programs help recovering addicts do away with the behaviors that made them feel ostracized by their families and society. Also, relapse treatment programs focus on life after the drug addict’s time in the rehab facility, ensuring they can take care of their psychological well-being on their own.
Aids Research Into Improving Mental Health
Over and above helping drug overuse disorder patients overcome drugs and their effects, chronic relapse treatment programs have had a global impact. Going so far as to engineer groundbreaking research in the field of mental health.
In addition, parts of these programs have been used to enrich the training of medical professionals, from doctors to caregivers. This has led to an overall improvement in managing patients with mental health challenges.
A Marathon, Not A Sprint
Relapse treatment is an inextricable part of any successful drug rehabilitation program. It helps drug overuse disorder patients overcome their dependence on substances and become meaningful contributors to society. But relapse treatment is not a quick fix, as with the management of any other chronic ailment, it is a lifelong journey.