Drug Relapse Statistics/Trends

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What are Common Trends in Drug Relapse?

Drug Relapse Statistics/Trends

According to the educational text Substance Abuse Counseling: Theory and Practice (2005), "Some believe that the 'most common treatment outcome for alcoholics and addicts is relapse.'" (291; Dimeff & Marlatt, 1995, p. 176). This fact remains true, even 12 years after this quote was initially published.

According to AA, relapse involves the resuming of pre-recovery use/behaviors and the need to start again from the beginning of the recovery process. Even if you have 29 years sober, if you relapse, you are back at square one and step one. And sometimes, people who relapse never get another chance to recover.

A "dry" addict/alcoholic is someone who simply ceases use, but does not embark on any of the mental, physical and even spiritual changes that are suggested for an optimal life experience. A "recovering" addict is someone who not only ceases use, but who works hard to change his/her history of distorted thinking, negative repetitive (and self-destructive) behaviors, and seeks a network of support through which he/she can give and receive assistance.

It is strongly suggested that you be aware of the following sure signs of potential relapse during your recovery:

  • Getting involved in other compulsive/impulsive behaviors or addictions (i.e. eating too much, sleeping around, shopping constantly, or even becoming obsessed with AA)
  • Being unaware of your feelings/needs and/or not meeting your basic needs. It is important to eat, sleep, rest and have play time in-between work and recovery time.
  • Closed mindedness or a refusal to try a new way of viewing the world.
  • Continuing to hang around the same people and embark on the same people and expect things to turn out differently



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