According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the average relapse rate for all drugs combined is between 40-60 percent. This may seem like a pretty big gap, but it’s very difficult to accurately measure those who use again after rehab. It’s important that people understand that relapse doesn’t automatically equate to failure, though. It just means that some more help is needed
With that being said, even the best odds aren’t that great. Fortunately, addicts have the key to succeeding in treatment — it’s just a matter of being ready to use it. Addiction is a community disease, and Arizona residents are still struggling to recover, but luckily, there is hope.
An Area Saturated with Drugs
Arizona was hit hard when meth became popular. Rural areas and plenty of access to the necessary chemicals made larger cities a hotbed for drug-related activity. With addiction alive and, unfortunately, well in these communities, the opioid epidemic blossomed.
Now, more people are struggling with a severe addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin than ever before. The government has recognized the problem and named the scourge of overdose deaths exactly what they are: an epidemic. Scottsdale treatment centers have risen to the occasion to combat the addiction epidemic, but even the best programs can’t help an addict who isn’t ready to stop using.
Addiction is a complicated disease made worse because there isn’t a cure. Like other chronic diseases, it can be managed but not eradicated. If scientists could nail down a single set of factors that caused addiction, we could stop it, but every single addict is a different case. There are no easy answers, leaving Arizona rehabs with a monumental task ahead.
When drugs become common in communities, it’s easier to keep using than it is to stay sober; the addict’s entire life is based on their drug use. The reason so many rehabs and programs seem to fail is because success is entirely dependent on how the addict responds to them.
People have to choose to use what they’re taught to stop using, and they have to be dedicated to staying sober. It’s the human element and a relentless compulsion that leads people right back to the path of self-destruction.
Poor Coping Skills
A lot of people who suffer from addiction have experienced some sort of prior or recent trauma. There’s usually something that convinces them that it’s okay to take illegal drugs in the first place, and this triggers a physiological reward response.
Maybe their parents used openly or they wanted to escape from trauma any way that they could. Some people can also start off with legitimate prescriptions that trigger their addiction and turns them into illicit drug users. Babies are born addicted, drinking is normalized, and people are so judgmental of addicts that it’s hard to find the courage to come forward.
No matter what triggered the addiction, though, drugs are almost always used as a way to cope with something. Drugs are an easy way to cope, they don’t force you to face the a problem or feel the pain. It’s a deadly coping mechanism, and drug users need a better way to deal with stressors. Programs and treatments don’t fail, but an addict can experience setbacks when they become overconfident and try to control things their way. Again, every person needs different tools to put themselves back together.
An Inability to Admit to the Problem
One of the biggest mistakes that the legal system and some families make is to force someone to go to rehab—especially when the addict doesn’t believe that they have a problem. If a person doesn’t want to get better, they won’t, even though it will help save their life.
A person with diabetes who refuses treatment won’t go into remission, and an AIDS patient who doesn’t take meds won’t prolong their life. The same concept applies to an addict who refuses to stick to a program. This doesn’t mean they chose to be an addict, though. That belief creates a dangerous stigma that helps no one.
The assumption that addicts choose to trigger a disease they didn’t know they had is ignorant. Their brains don’t respond normally to drugs and alcohol, and the physiological response is what causes the dependence.
A person doesn’t want to become an addict, but an addict doesn’t want to give up their drug of choice. The disease creates an unnatural need for drugs and alcohol and sets off a reward response when the addict uses. Our bodies are hardwired to associate these responses with survival, which is why so many addicts protect their disease.
If a person doesn’t think they have a problem, then they aren’t going to take treatment seriously. They’ll go through the motions to fulfill their obligations and then go right back to using. The first step in solving the problem is admitting that there is one.
The addict needs to understand what their drug use is really doing to their lives; they have to believe that it’s hurting them. This is absolutely essential for any treatment to be successful.
Some Addicts Just Aren’t Ready
Some addicts aren’t ready to be sober. That may seem way too simple, but it happens more often than not. They can know that they have a problem, admit that they need help, and still refuse to go to rehab because it means changing everything in their lives that they’re comfortable with.
All it takes is one single moment of clarity for a person to walk into a treatment facility and start living for themselves again. It’s scary, but they’ll walk out of it stronger on the other side. Treatment centers in Scottsdale have started to realize this and are beginning to climb up to the task. Hopefully, it’ll be the start of a massive wave of healing.