Reading about relapse statistics can be downright depressing. Whether you are a person in recovery or have a loved one who is an addict, the fact is that the numbers are discouraging. You shouldn’t let the numbers make you give up, and you certainly can’t say no to treatment because of them. There are ways to beat the odds, no matter if you have five days sober or five years.
Taking a Look at Relapse Statistics
The chances of relapse go down when you have more sober time. It is estimated that as many as 80% people in recovery relapse in their first year of sobriety. Many of these happen right out of treatment because people simply aren’t ready to get clean. Also, having a newfound freedom and a lack of accountability can contribute to these relapses.
As time passes, this high relapse rate drops. After five years sober, it is estimated that less than 40% of addicts will relapse. These relapse statistics are promising, but they certainly don’t mean a person with five years clean is immune to relapse. Also, getting to the five-year mark can be quite the challenge within itself.
Before you stop reading and assume all the news is bad, let’s take a look at why people do succeed and what can be done to prevent relapse.
How to Help Prevent a Relapse
The first and best thing to do to get on the right path to sobriety is to get yourself or your loved one into treatment in the first place. Sure, a small number of people can get sober on their own but more often than not it ends in relapse. It is imperative to have the structure and professional support of a rehab facility to make sure you get – and have the tools to stay – clean.
In regards to choosing a treatment option, it is important to give it your all. Many people think that going to see a therapist once a week is enough, but the truth is it isn’t, especially not in the beginning. Around-the-clock residential rehab is the best option. Here are some of the reasons why:
- You are away from your old environment
- You are away from triggers
- You have continued support from your doctors, therapists, technicians, and peers
- You have limited contact with the outside world, with minimal distractions
- You have time to let go of other responsibilities and focus on yourself entirely
- You are in a safe place where you have support if you want to use or drink
- You will get the tools you need to reintegrate back into the real world once you are done with residential treatment.
Residential treatment can last anywhere from 30 days to several months. It is important to stay for the full time and listen to your doctors and therapists as they adjust your treatment plan or even the number of days they think you should stay in treatment.
Aftercare Planning for Addiction Recovery
Once you successfully complete your treatment, it is extremely important to have a detailed and thorough aftercare plan. Remember, many people get out of treatment and relapse within a week. This can easily be prevented with a couple of key steps.
- Consider a stepped-down level of treatment, like outpatient treatment. Many places only require you to attend about 9 hours per week, and you can pick and choose different time slots to fit with your work and personal schedule. During the sessions, you will be attending group classes similar to what you did in residential treatment, along with weekly one-on-one sessions. If you can’t commit that much time, make sure you set up a follow-up appointment with a therapist that you can see regularly, and consider going to 12-step meetings regularly.
- Look into sober living. This could be the single most important thing you do when you are trying to stay sober. Sober living offers a controlled and supervised environment, while still giving you the freedom to find (or return to) a job and have a personal life. Also, you are constantly surrounded by peers, which prevents boredom and gives you 24/7 support.
- Avoid old triggers. This means people, places, and things that may cause you to want to use drugs or drink. They aren’t worth it.
Recovery isn’t easy, and relapse happens. Even if it does happen to you, the best thing to do is stop and get help as soon as possible. And, as long as you stay committed, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to beat the relapse statistics.
If you need information on treatment programs or you’re ready to enroll, Willow Place for Women can help. Call us today at 1-888-651-4212 to begin your recovery journey.