3 Signs That Drug Treatment Isn’t Finished

woman looking unstable and concerned

Each different treatment philosophy holds a different opinion on the role of “relapse” as a part of the recovery cycle. Some say relapse is inevitable, while others consider it to be a necessary step towards lasting sobriety.

As any addict will tell you, relapse is devastating. It isn’t always nice to hear that you have a relapse to look forward to on your already difficult road towards recovery.

Rather than consider relapse important, necessary, inevitable or any of these things, we choose to focus on the important task at hand—getting through the most comprehensive rehab program possible. And when this happens, evidence has shown that someone formerly addicted can achieve permanent and lasting sobriety with no relapse.

Success Is Personal

So many of the treatment programs that exist in the United States today are state-funded, giving all they can with the resources they have. Unfortunately, a lot of these programs are unable to offer programs any longer than 30 days in length. For most addicts and alcoholics, this is simply not enough time to tackle the underlying issues of the substance abuse problem. Relapse then occurs because the addiction itself wasn’t addressed.

Because of its commonality in the field of rehab, relapse has come to be more and more accepted. The truth is, however, the more comprehensively you tackle the addiction and alcoholism from multiple different angles, the more your chances at making it are improved to where relapse is something that is not probable after treatment.

Some substance abusers have success with short-term programs, while many others require open-ended and long-term drug rehab. Sobriety, recovery, and success in life is a personal journey all your own, as individual as you are.

Warning Signs Of Instability

As stated, drug and alcohol treatment is a personal journey and should be treated case by case. In the course of treatment, sometimes an addict will hit various bumps in the road. The feeling of confidence and readiness for one’s new drug-free life is unmistakable. So if you have a loved one that has just returned from treatment or did not complete a program you should be aware of signs that indicate that there could be a problem.

In addition, addicts should look within themselves for these 3 signs that treatment isn’t finished, and supportive family/friends can also do their part to watch for the following warning signs:

1. Rapid shifts in attitude.

Drug treatment is a time to adopt new habits and lifestyle choices. Addicts should work to develop consistent patterns that feel comfortable and workable. Rapid attitude shifts from day to day—from “I’m making positive changes in my life” to “I don’t want to be here anymore”—are a sign that more work is to be done. Consistency is key.

2. High levels of stress.

Part of an effective treatment program should include at least a little work in stress and anxiety management tools, or ways to diffuse situations without leaning on drugs or alcohol. If stress continues to get to an addict, this is a sign that there is some more work to be done.

3. Shaky friends or a lack of support structure.

A support structure of positive and sober family and friends is vital to the successful recovery of an addict. Those who insist on continuing relationships with drug users or whose support structure is lacking are sure to run into trouble back at home.

An Individualized Approach Can Often Stop Relapse

Because the Narconon Program is individualized, each phase can take as long as the student needs. If there are more issues to tackle in one area, or a little more time is needed on a certain step, this is considered perfectly normal.

Our treatment staff and case supervisors analyze each student’s situation closely to make sure of the completeness of each step of the program and that each student achieves the intended results of that portion of the program.

To read about our program in full and our life skills courses, visit our www.narconon.org/drug-rehab/.



Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.