Factors of Relapse

Factors of Relapse: Program’s Effectiveness

Families trying to help a loved one addicted to alcohol or other drugs suffer right along with the addict as they try to find a solution. When the rehab program they choose is followed by relapse—more drinking or drug abuse—their hearts break all over again. But this time their heartbreak is intensified by an inability to understand why the rehab program didn’t work.

Isn’t rehab supposed to enable a person to stay sober afterward? Is it the fault of their loved one? Was he (or she) just weak? Is it even possible to recover from addiction? Some people say that it could take several treatments followed by several relapses before a person can find stable sobriety.

relapse to alcohol

Each time a loved one relapses, a family must live with the daily horror of knowing someone they care for is at terrible risk.

Again, they dread the phone call that tells them of a hospitalization, an arrest or worse. A drug deal that goes bad, an overdose, a contaminated drug, serious infections resulting from injected drugs, a traffic accident—any of these events can end that person’s chances of rehabilitation and real recovery forever.

Helping someone make his or her way back to a sober life where one is living responsibly in-control of himself is a confusing, mystifying, expensive and stressful process.

Factors that Must be Addressed

What is seldom explained to the family is that there are specific and exact factors of addiction that must be thoroughly addressed. If these factors are not addressed, relapse and/or failure to recover is far more likely. It is only fair to a family and to the addicted person who is seeking a better life that these factors be made clear.

There is no program in the world that achieves a 100% success rate in resolving addiction. Rehab programs vary greatly and address the problems created by addiction in different ways. When a family understands what factors can undermine a person’s lasting sobriety after rehab, they can make a more accurate evaluation whether a particular program meets their needs or not.

International Endorsement of Life Skills to Prevent Relapse

Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are concerned with guiding national and international efforts to return the addicted to healthy lives. Both organizations have published statements describing the ‘life skills’ that must be developed to prevent a person from ever being drawn to drug abuse.

When life skills and abilities are boosted as an inherent and important component of drug rehab, a person can regain (or gain for the first time) the capability to achieve a quality of life satisfying enough to reduce the need for drugs or alcohol to solve life problems, which may have sucked the person into drug addiction in the first place. A report on positive outcomes from a Narconon program in Sweden noted: “The objective for all Narconon graduates is that they use the Narconon program tools and live not only a healthy, drug-abstinent life but become productive and ethical members of their communities.”

No matter what culture a person lives in, no matter what age he or she is, these abilities or life skills apply.

According to the World Health Organization, learning to avoid drugs or overcoming a desire to use drugs should include the development or rehabilitation of the following mental and emotional skills, among others:

  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • Creative thinking and critical thinking
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Self-awareness and empathy
  • Ability to cope with emotions and stress

Further, the WHO also provides a list of descriptive terms to give a more expansive understanding of the social skills or abilities needed to avoid alcohol and other drug abuse.

man not doing well in life

A family which has had the misfortune to harbor an alcoholic or drug addict can review the following list of personal strengths or social abilities. They will recognize that they have had to look on while these positive qualities disappeared in the addict one by one, deteriorating his strength and common sense, destroyed by drug abuse.

  • Active listening
  • Dealing with authority
  • Assertiveness
  • Cooperation
  • Negotiation
  • Clarification of values
  • Resisting pressure
  • Planning ahead
  • Coping with disappointment
  • Making and keeping friends and relationships
  • Dealing with conflicts that cannot be resolved
  • Respect
  • Tolerance
  • Trust
  • Sharing
  • Sympathy
  • Compassion
  • Sociability
  • Self-esteem

As noted by these national and international organizations, the more an individual develops the qualities described above the better his chance at a lifetime of successful recovery.

man with good listening skills

The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has two main focuses—detoxification and developing the skills and abilities to successfully live a drug-free life. The life skills courses used in this program constitute a unique and innovative approach to rebuilding such abilities.

Keep reading to understand how this program can help someone you care about.

Contents of Factors of Relapse