Why Do Addicts Relapse When Things Are Good Again?

Did someone you love recently attend detox or addiction treatment services to help them overcome a substance abuse disorder? Research shows that more than 70% of U.S. adults who believe they once had a problem with drugs or alcohol now consider themselves to be in recovery.

This can be a wonderful and freeing state to be in. Overcoming an addiction is a major life milestone! Unfortunately, it can also be a fleeting moment for some.

Why do addicts relapse when things are good? Today we’re sharing five of the most common reasons and how you can help your loved one find the long-lasting help they need.

1. Mental Health Condition

Did you know that nearly half of all people who are addicted to illegal substances also have a co-occurring mental health condition? Sometimes, treating the addiction itself isn’t enough.

Individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or any other type of psychological illness need to work with a treatment provider that specializes in dual-diagnosis care. This way, they can address the underlying causes of their substance abuse and set the foundation for continued sobriety.

2. Wrong Crowd

Staying sober takes work. In many cases, it also takes space and distance. If former addicts leave a recovery center and go right back into their same environment, they might be tempted to start using again.

They may hang out with friends or family members who encourage and even financially support their drug habit. This is why many recovery programs include a sober living component, where clients can learn life skills and relapse prevention strategies to help them reintegrate back into society.

This type of long term treatment for addiction can help individuals stay strong, even when faced with their former temptations.

3. Fear of Success

It might sound counterintuitive, but many addicts are stuck in a cycle of negative self-talk. They tell themselves that their addiction defines them and that they’ll never amount to anything.

The idea of living a successful, healthy life might even scare them. They’re so unfamiliar with that concept and more comfortable with the life they once knew. Often, this line of thinking stems from some type of childhood trauma.

If children are brought up in a home with verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, they might have a limited view of themselves and their abilities. The idea of rising above their shortcomings and moving beyond their past might send them spiraling into a state of relapse.

Why Do Addicts Relapse When Things Are Good?

The addicted brain doesn’t follow the same thought patterns as a healthy brain. We might shake our heads and look at someone we love, wondering “Why do addicts relapse when things are good?”

However, the reality is that we can’t understand until we’ve been in that position. It’s important to approach this topic with care and sensitivity, coming at it from a place of genuine concern instead of judgment. Only then can we offer true, meaningful assistance.

Looking for more helpful tips on how to live, love, and work well? Be sure to check out our other articles!