Many chronic conditions such as arthritis or diabetes carry a risk of recurrence, even after years of successful medical management. In a similar way, there will always be a possibility of relapse for those in recovery.1 However, finding a reputable treatment program that utilizes evidence-based treatment (and staying in treatment long enough—NIDA recommends at least 3 months) gives people a head start on sobriety and gives them the tools they'll need to prevent relapse.2
One study tracked the weekly drug use among individuals who attended residential treatment centers. After one year post discharge they discovered that there is a correlation between retention rates and the length of stay at a facility. Individuals coming form programs of 90 days or more showed a lower relapse rate than those coming from programs of less than 90 days.
Scientific research since 1970 shows that effective treatment addresses the multiple needs of the patient rather than treating addiction alone. In addition, medically assisted drug detoxification or alcohol detoxification alone is ineffective as a treatment for addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends detoxification followed by both medication (where applicable) and behavioral therapy, followed by relapse prevention. According to NIDA, effective treatment must address medical and mental health services as well as follow-up options, such as community or family-based recovery support systems. Whatever the methodology, patient motivation is an important factor in treatment success.
During alcoholism treatment, therapy teams provide lessons on relapse prevention. These lessons are designed to help people spot the people, places, and things that can drive them to return to drinking. With the help of these lessons, people can learn to both avoid and/or handle their triggers so they won’t pick up an alcoholic beverage when they’re under stress.
According to the NIAAA around 20 - 25-percent of people who receive medication and therapy will recover from alcoholism and never touch alcohol again. A further 10-percent will recover and only drink alcohol in moderation or very occasionally. Unfortunately, the relapse rate for alcoholism is high, especially in the first 12-months. This means engaging the alcoholic individual in relapse prevention therapy while in treatment is important. This should reduce the person's chances of returning to drink, once the treatment has ended. There are also other factors that can influence a person's chance of making a successful recovery and it is nothing to do with any kind of treatment. It is believed that people who are on a low-income and come from areas experiencing economic decline, are more likely to relapse than an individual who lives in an effluent area. This is because escaping stress and anxiety is one of the major reasons why people turn to drink. Worrying about money, being unemployed or potentially losing
Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)