What If Drug Treatment Doesn’t Work?

Addiction treatment isn’t a one-time event for many people. In fact, you may have even heard about drug rehabs having a revolving door that feels like an endless loop. At first glance, this might look like failure on the program’s part. Or you may even be blaming yourself or a loved one for failing to get sober. As frustrating as it is to realize that drug treatment didn’t work the first time, it helps to understand that there are many reasons why this may happen. You may even want to know what to do if drug treatment doesn’t work before you enter a program for the first time so that you can avoid making common mistakes. Learning more about why this happens can help anyone who is in the recovery process begin to plan for long-term success.

The first thing to do is start thinking about what might have happened to cause a person to start falling back into old behaviors. These are the most common causes of a relapse that you can use to see if any of these ring true.
•Leaving an addiction treatment program too early
•Lacking social support at home
•Skipping out on after care meetings
•Failing to address an underlying mental health disorder
•Developing a new mental health disorder
•Experiencing a major stressor such as divorce without the proper support
•Being exposed to temptation too soon

The reasons for a relapse can vary from one person to another, and you could even have several of these issues occurring at once. The most important thing is to acknowledge that something happened. Trying to hide or ignore a relapse only allows the problem to fester, which can lead to a need for more intensive treatment. If you’ve experience a relapse, then setting your mind to get back on track helps you to make it stick this time around.

Address the Potential Reasons Why Drug Treatment Didn’t Work the First Time

Before we start taking about what to do, it is important to note that you may not be able to identify why drug treatment didn’t work. In this case, you can work with a counselor to figure out why. Just like they helped you identify why you developed an addiction, they can work with you to find reasons for why you had your relapse.

If you think you know what happened, then you can start looking for ways to prevent it from impacting your sobriety again. If you left your treatment program too early, then you may need to look for a different rehab center that you will feel more comfortable staying at for a longer period of time. Some people simply need to find the right fit for them at an addiction center since feeling comfortable helps you to open up to your counselors. Someone who returned to a home environment that is filled with their drug of choice or alcohol may need to consider living elsewhere after they finish another round of treatment. Or, you may need to ask your partner or roommates to attend counseling sessions with you so that they can learn how to provide support to someone in recovery.

Addiction treatment also tends to fail if people don’t complete their follow up care. Most people with an addiction are not magically cured during a 30 day or less program. Instead, you need to make plans to continue to do the work by attending group and individual therapy sessions. This is especially important if you have an underlying mental health condition that requires treatment. Skipping your medication or forgetting to do your relaxation techniques can lead to increased symptoms and built up stress that you may try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

There are also times when people just slip up. You might have gone for a drink to numb your emotions after losing your job or experiencing the loss of a loved one. Times are hard, and lacking the appropriate plan for coping with an unexpected event is a common cause of relapse. After you get back on track by seeking help, you can work on developing new coping skills to use when you get hit by bad news. As with many things in life, staying sober is a constantly changing process that sometimes requires making a few adjustments to your current plan.

The old saying that if you don’t succeed at first, then you should try again rings true with addiction treatment. Give us a call today to start making a plan to address what went wrong the first time. We’re available 24/7 at 833-846-5669.