One of the pitfalls of sobriety that can lead to relapse is becoming a part of groups or activities that are not conducive to sobriety and effective recovery. Another pitfall is receding into conversations and social interactions that can lead to danger and trouble ahead.
The greatest challenge that anyone who has had anything to do with addiction faces might not come until after he or she has beaten the problem, and vanquished it with rehabilitation. A lot of people do not understand this to be true, but it very often is the exact case. Once an addict beats addiction in rehab, in a lot of ways the problem has just begun. Now that person has to face life as a recovering addict. Now that person has to face the real world and real life as a responsible adult, with none of the help and support, safety, and security that they had while in an inpatient rehab center.
Any recovering addict’s greatest fear is the threat of relapse. It is a legitimate fear to have. Having conversations that revolve around drugs or alcohol or that are in any way connected to substance abuse as being an okay thing to do is quite dangerous. Recovering addicts who put themselves in situations or environments that could bring about substance abuse is also quite dangerous.
Why Relapse Must be Avoided
The threat of relapse is any recovering addict’s greatest fear. This is why they must avoid conversations and situations that might suggest or bring about a relapse. Some of the statistics on relapse that truly show why it is key to do whatever is necessary to avoid the threat of such an occurrence are:
- Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, in general, has been a pretty serious and concerning issue, to say the least, especially in recent years. By far, the most prevalent of these issues has been with prescription drug use and abuse amongst young adults. This is the most difficult addiction to address and get rid of. Relapse rates are also very, very high for this age range and demographic, which is in fact particularly concerning for the future of the nation as these individuals will be the backbone of the American workforce soon enough.
- For some time now, drug and alcohol abuse has been one of the top 10 leading causes of death in America, killing as it does around 570,000 people a year. These deaths come from overdoses, relapses, drunk driving, drugged driving, drug crime, violence, and other accidents and injuries and incidents of poisoning of some kind. Substance abuse by far is a major, leading cause of preventable death in the United States, ranking in only behind smoking and obesity respectively.
- For the saddening but very true statistics on relapse, on average, there are between about 25 to 50 percent of substance abusers who will return to using drugs or alcohol within two years of receiving their treatment, regardless of which rehab center they went to or how successful they were in it or how reputable the rehab center was. Many studies have been performed on this subject that highlight for us that abstinence, or refraining from using the substance at all, is the only true way to prevent relapse. This means that a pot head can never smoke again, a pill abuser can never take another pill, a hard drug user can never touch the stuff again, and an alcoholic can never have another drink again.
But it goes even deeper than the above statistic. The true key, in fact, is not only in abstaining from the different aspects of substance abuse, but also in abstaining from conversations that could result in relapse, and from situations and environments that could lead to relapse. A recovered addict has to try their best to stay away from drugs and alcohol in the future and to do their best to lead lives of happiness and complete sobriety from drugs and alcohol.